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Help on classical-quantum boundary poll?

  1. May 28, 2007 #1
    I am planning to post a poll or two about the dividing line between the classical and the quantum world. This topic has been discussed for years, and also goes by names such as the Heisenberg boundary, the emergence of classicality, etc.

    I would like to make my poll (or just possibly two or three polls, no more) as clear as possible, both in the question(s) and also in the multiple choice answers.

    Therefore I am posting this pre-Poll draft and appealing for help in making my poll(s) as clear, as interesting and as illuminating as possible.

    I am trying to get at whether people think this boundary is real/physical or interpretational/philosophical.

    Also (perhaps a different way of looking at the same question), I want to know whether they think this boundary can be empirically measured by experiment.

    Finally, I’m interested in what people think the nature of this boundary is gradual, abrupt, probabilistic, chaotic.

    Anyhow, here are a few draft questions and draft answers. Suggestions for improving the poll(s) would be most welcome, including particularly any possible answers I haven’t included. Also, the best way of splitting or combining the questions.

    Jim Graber

    Drafts for Question 1:

    Is there a dividing line between classical and quantum physics?

    Is there a measurable physical dividing line between classical and quantum physics?

    Is there a measurable physical dividing line between the classical world and the quantum world?

    Draft multiple choice answers for Question 1:

    No, because everything is quantum. The classical world is just an illusion.

    There is no “real” transition, but there is an “apparent” transition and it is measurable.

    There is a dividing line, but it is not measurable by any physical means. It only exists in mathematics or philosophy.

    There is a physically measurable dividing line, and it is measured every time we measure a decoherence rate for some reproducible system.

    This whole topic belongs in philosophy, not physics.

    Drafts for Question 2:

    Is the “phase transition” from quantum to classical gradual or abrupt?

    What is the nature of the transition from quantum to classical?

    Draft multiple choice answers for Question 2:

    The dividing line is abrupt.

    The dividing line is gradual

    The dividing line is probabilistic.

    The dividing line is chaotic, like the boundary of the Mandelbrot set.

    The dividing line is mathematical

    The dividing line is philosophical

    The dividing line is unmeasurable
  2. jcsd
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