‘Einselection’ of Pointer Observables: The New H-Theorem?

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Ruth Kastner
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In attempting to derive irreversible macroscopic thermodynamics from reversible microscopic dynamics, Boltzmann inadvertently smuggled in a premise that assumed the very irreversibility he was trying to prove: ‘molecular chaos.’ The program of ‘Einselection’ (environmentally induced superselection) within Everettian approaches faces a similar ‘Loschmidt’s Paradox’: the universe, according to the Everettian picture, is a closed system obeying only unitary dynamics, and it therefore contains no distinguishable environmental subsystems with the necessary ‘phase randomness’ to effect einselection of a pointer observable. The theoretically unjustified assumption of distinguishable environmental subsystems is the hidden premise that makes the derivation of einselection circular. In effect, it presupposes the ‘emergent’ structures from the beginning. Thus the problem of basis ambiguity remains unsolved in Everettian interpretations.

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Quantum Darwinism

Quantum Darwinism is a theory claiming to explain the emergence of the classical world from the quantum world as due to a process of Darwinian natural selection; where the many possible quantum states are selected against in favor of a stable pointer state. It was proposed in ...

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In quantum mechanics, einselection, short for environment-induced superselection, is a name coined by Wojciech H. Zurek for a process which is claimed to explain the appearance of wavefunction collapse and the emergence of classical descriptions of reality from quantum descrip...

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