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Obama has chosen his VP, the universe has decohered/collapsed

  1. Aug 21, 2008 #1
    Suppose an observer is located a few thousand km from Obama. If that observer has a box containing N molecules then, because the box doesn't keep the molecules isolated from the environment, the wavefunction of the N molecules is always in an entangled state with the environment. We can simply say that the N molecules are part of the environment that has decohered because of Obama's choice.

    The question is how large must we choose N so that the wavefunction will be close to orthogonal for the few choices Obama has?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2008 #2


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    Biden's wave-form hasn't collapsed, though his environment is large. How will you figure this.
  4. Aug 21, 2008 #3
    Well, we can't be consciously aware of our own exact wavefunction.

    Anyway, we now have a situation like:

    |VP_1>|environment_1> + |VP_2>|environment_2> + ....

    The question is as follows. For what N is it possible to have an N particle operator acting on the environment states that
    has the |environment_k> states as eigenvectors with different eigenvalues for different k? The N particles are chosen several thousand km from Obama.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  5. Aug 22, 2008 #4
    Put differently, in the operator A

    A = sum over k of k |environment_k><environment_k|

    what part of the environment do you really need to include here for A to have the desired property?
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