Time in a Steady-State Quantum System

In summary, it is possible to build a clock within an arbitrary multi-particle quantum system whose state function / probability density does not change with time. However, for an observer completely decoupled from the system, this clock would stand still. This can be seen in examples such as the Quantum Zeno effect and an observer in an accelerated reference frame. There is still much discussion and debate surrounding the meaning of time in such a system.
  • #1
LarryS
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Suppose we are given an arbitrary multi-particle quantum system whose state function / probability density does not change with time. Given, Einstein’s definition of time, that “time is what a clock measures”, is it possible to build a “clock” within such a system? More generally, does time have any meaning in such a system? Thanks in advance.
 
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  • #2
referframe said:
Suppose we are given an arbitrary multi-particle quantum system whose state function / probability density does not change with time. Given, Einstein’s definition of time, that “time is what a clock measures”, is it possible to build a “clock” within such a system? More generally, does time have any meaning in such a system? Thanks in advance.

IMO: I think it is possible to build "clock" within such a system, it also seems to me that this clock would stand still for an observer completely decoupled from the system.

I can think of several examples of such decouplings that vary (or stop) the unitary time evolution:
1) Quantum Zeno effect. See. [http://qserver.usc.edu/group/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/pra690323142004.pdf]
2) An observer in the accelerated reference frame (consider the system left behind the event horizon)

Here is a lengthy [and unresolved] discussion on the same subject. https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=351259
 
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  • #3


I can say that time does have a meaning in a steady-state quantum system, but it may not be the same as what we understand in classical physics. In a classical system, time is a continuous and linear progression, but in quantum mechanics, time is treated as an operator that acts on the state function. This means that time in a quantum system is not a fixed quantity, but rather it is a variable that is dependent on the state of the system.

In a steady-state quantum system, the state function does not change with time, which means that the system is in a stable and constant state. This does not mean that time has stopped or has no meaning, but rather it implies that the system is in a state of equilibrium where all the particles are in a balanced and unchanging distribution. In this case, it is possible to build a "clock" within the system, but it would not function in the same way as a classical clock. It would measure the flow of time in a quantum sense, which is not necessarily the same as what we experience in our daily lives.

Furthermore, the concept of time in quantum mechanics is not fully understood and is still a topic of debate among scientists. Some theories suggest that time may be an emergent property of the quantum system, while others propose that it may be a fundamental aspect of the universe. Therefore, it is difficult to say definitively whether time has any meaning in a steady-state quantum system, as our understanding of time in the quantum realm is still evolving.

In conclusion, while time may have a different meaning in a steady-state quantum system, it does not mean that it is non-existent or irrelevant. As scientists, we continue to explore and study the concept of time in the quantum world, and with further research and advancements, we may gain a better understanding of its true nature.
 

Related to Time in a Steady-State Quantum System

1. How does time behave in a steady-state quantum system?

In a steady-state quantum system, time behaves differently than in classical systems. According to quantum mechanics, time is considered to be an operator, meaning that it does not change over time. This means that time is not seen as a continuous flow, but rather as a series of discrete moments.

2. Can time be reversed in a steady-state quantum system?

No, time cannot be reversed in a steady-state quantum system. Unlike in classical systems, time in a quantum system is irreversible. This is due to the nature of quantum mechanics, where the state of a system evolves according to the Schrödinger equation, which only moves forward in time.

3. How is time measured in a steady-state quantum system?

In a steady-state quantum system, time is measured using a special type of clock called a quantum clock. This clock utilizes quantum properties, such as superposition and entanglement, to measure time at the quantum level. It is still an area of ongoing research and development.

4. Can time travel occur in a steady-state quantum system?

No, time travel is not possible in a steady-state quantum system. While some theories suggest that time travel may be possible in classical systems, it is not possible in quantum systems due to the irreversible nature of time in quantum mechanics.

5. How does the concept of time in a steady-state quantum system differ from that of classical systems?

In classical systems, time is seen as a continuous flow that can be measured and reversed. In contrast, time in a steady-state quantum system is considered to be an operator that does not change over time and cannot be reversed. Additionally, the concept of time in quantum systems is closely tied to other quantum properties and is still not fully understood.

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