On Quantum Non-Unitarity as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics

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Kastner, Ruth
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preprint description
It was first suggested by Albert that the existence of real, physical non-unitarity at the quantum level would yield a complete explanation for the increase of entropy over time in macroscopic systems. An alternative understanding of the source of non-unitarity is presented herein, in terms of the Transactional Interpretation. The present model provides a specific physical justification for Boltzmann’s Stosszahlansatz (assumption of molecular chaos), thereby changing its status from an ad hoc postulate to a theoretically grounded result, without requiring any change to the basic quantum theory. In addition, it is argued that TI provides an elegant way of reconciling, via collapse, the time-reversible Liouville evolution with the time-irreversible evolution inherent in master equations. The present model is contrasted with the GRW ‘spontaneous collapse’ theory previously suggested for this purpose by Albert.