Royal Society Publishing

Decoherence, einselection and the existential interpretation (the rough guide)

Abstract

The roles of decoherence and environment–induced superselection in the emergence of the classical from the quantum substrate are described. The stability of correlations between the einselected quantum pointer states and the environment allows them to exist almost as objectively as classical states were once thought to exist: there are ways of finding out what is the pointer state of the system which uses redundancy of their correlations with the environment, and which leave einselected states essentially unperturbed. This relatively objective existence of certain quantum states facilitates operational definition of probabilities in the quantum setting. Moreover, once there are states that ‘exist’and can be ‘found out’, a ‘collapse’ in the traditional sense is no longer necessary—–in effect, it has already happened. The records of the observer will contain evidence of an effective collapse. The role of the preferred states in the processing and storage of information is emphasized. The existential interpretation based on the relatively objective existence of stable correlations between the einselected states of observers memory and in the outside universe is formulated and discussed.

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