Decoherence and the Appearance of a Classical World in Quantum Theory: Edition 2

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When we were preparing the first edition of this book, the concept of de coherence was known only to a minority of physicists. In the meantime, a wealth of contributions has appeared in the literature - important ones as well as serious misunderstandings. The phenomenon itself is now experimen tally clearly established and theoretically well understood in principle. New fields of application, discussed in the revised book, are chaos theory, informa tion theory, quantum computers, neuroscience, primordial cosmology, some aspects of black holes and strings, and others. While the first edition arose from regular discussions between the authors, thus leading to a clear" entanglement" of their otherwise quite different chap ters, the latter have thereafter evolved more or less independently. While this may broaden the book's scope as far as applications and methods are con cerned, it may also appear confusing to the reader wherever basic assumptions and intentions differ (as they do). For this reason we have rearranged the or der of the authors: they now appear in the same order as the chapters, such that those most closely related to the "early" and most ambitious concept of decoherence are listed first. The first three authors (Joos, Zeh, Kiefer) agree with one another that decoherence (in contradistinction to the Copen hagen interpretation) allows one to eliminate primary classical concepts, thus neither relying on an axiomatic concept of observables nor on a probability interpretation of the wave function in terms of classical concepts.
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Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Mar 9, 2013
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Pages
496
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ISBN
9783662053287
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Information Technology
Science / Physics / General
Science / Physics / Mathematical & Computational
Science / Physics / Quantum Theory
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This content is DRM protected.
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The International Conference on Theoretical Physics, TH-2002, took place in Paris from July 22 to 27 in the Conference Center of the UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, under aegis of the IUPAP, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and of the French and Euro pean Physical Societies, with a large support of several French, European and international Institutions. International and crossdisciplinary, TH-2002 welcomed around 1200 partic ipants representing all domains of modern theoretical physics. The conference offered a high-level scientific program, including 18 plenary lectures, 45 general lectures in thematic sessions and 140 more specialized lectures, partly invited and partly selected among proposals received from participants. Around 500 contribu tions were also presented as posters. Plenary lectures as well as general thematic lectures were addressed to a general audience of theoricians, not only to specialists. According to our commitments towards UNESCO and other sponsoring insti tutions, TH-2002 attributed more than 200 fellowships, mostly to scientists from developing countries and Eastern Europe, covering registration fees and, for more than half of them, stay expenses with student type accomodation. Special highlights of the conference included • the opening ceremony on July 22, with the participation of Mrs Claudie Haignere, French Minister of Research, and M. Walter Erdelen, General Ad joint Director for Sciences at UNESCO. Their opening addresses were espe cially appreciated and are reproduced below. This ceremony preceded the first lecture by Professor Cohen-Tannoudji, Physics Nobel prize winner.
This textbook presents in a concise and self-contained way the advanced fundamental mathematical structures in quantum theory. It is based on lectures prepared for a 6 months course for MSc students. The reader is introduced to the beautiful interconnection between logic, lattice theory, general probability theory, and general spectral theory including the basic theory of von Neumann algebras and of the algebraic formulation, naturally arising in the study of the mathematical machinery of quantum theories. Some general results concerning hidden-variable interpretations of QM such as Gleason's and the Kochen-Specker theorems and the related notions of realism and non-contextuality are carefully discussed. This is done also in relation with the famous Bell (BCHSH) inequality concerning local causality.Written in a didactic style, this book includes many examples and solved exercises.

The work is organized as follows. Chapter 1 reviews some elementary facts and properties of quantum systems. Chapter 2 and 3 present the main results of spectral analysis in complex Hilbert spaces. Chapter 4 introduces the point of view of the orthomodular lattices' theory. Quantum theory form this perspective turns out to the probability measure theory on the non-Boolean lattice of elementary observables and Gleason's theorem characterizes all these measures. Chapter 5 deals with some philosophical and interpretative aspects of quantum theory like hidden-variable formulations of QM. The Kochen-Specker theorem and its implications are analyzed also in relation BCHSH inequality, entanglement, realism, locality, and non-contextuality. Chapter 6 focuses on the algebra of observables also in the presence of superselection rules introducing the notion of von Neumann algebra. Chapter 7 offers the idea of (groups of) quantum symmetry, in particular, illustrated in terms of Wigner and Kadison theorems. Chapter 8 deals with the elementary ideas and results of the so called algebraic formulation of quantum theories in terms of both *-algebras and C*-algebras.

This book should appeal to a dual readership: on one hand mathematicians that wish to acquire the tools that unlock the physical aspects of quantum theories; on the other physicists eager to solidify their understanding of the mathematical scaffolding of quantum theories.


Over the course of the past decade, decoherence has become a ubiquitous scienti?c term popular in all kinds of research, from fundamental theories of quantum physics to applications in nanoengineering. Decoherence has been hailed as the solution to long-standing foundational problems dating back to the beginnings of quantum mechanics. It has been cursed as the key obstacle to next-generation technologies, such as quantum computers (another se- ingly omnipresent ?eld of research). And while decoherence has been directly observed in various experiments, its scope and meaning have often been m- understood and misrepresented. Decoherence makes a fantastic subject of research, as it touches upon many di?erent facets of physics, from phi- sophically inclined questions of interpretation all the way to down-to-earth problems in experimental settings and engineering applications. This book will introduce the reader, in an accessible and self-contained manner, to these various fascinating aspects of decoherence. It will focus in particularontherelationofdecoherencetotheso-calledquantum-to-classical transition, i. e. , the question of how decoherence may explain the emergence of the classical appearance of the macroscopic world around us from the underlying quantum substrate. Thescopeofthisbookisrelativelybroadinordertofamiliarizethereader withthemanyfacetsofdecoherence,inboththetheoreticalandexperimental domains. Throughout the book, I have sought to maintain a healthy balance betweentheconceptualideasassociatedwiththedecoherenceprogramonthe one hand and the formal and mathematical details on the other hand. This book will establish a proper understanding of decoherence as a pure quantum phenomenon and will emphasize the importance of the correct interpretation of the consequences and achievements of decoherence.
The search for a quantum theory of the gravitational field is one of the great open problems in theoretical physics. This book presents a self-contained discussion of the concepts, methods and applications that can be expected in such a theory. The two main approaches to its construction — the direct quantisation of Einstein's general theory of relativity and string theory — are covered. Whereas the first attempts to construct a viable theory for the gravitational field alone, string theory assumes that a quantum theory of gravity will be achieved only through a unification of all the interactions. However, both employ the general method of quantization of constrained systems, which is described together with illustrative examples relevant for quantum gravity. There is a detailed presentation of the main approaches employed in quantum general relativity: path-integral quantization, the background-field method and canonical quantum gravity in the metric, connection and loop formulations. The discussion of string theory centres around its quantum-gravitational aspects and the comparison with quantum general relativity. Physical applications discussed at length include the quantization of black holes, quantum cosmology, the indications of a discrete structure of spacetime, and the origin of irreversibility. This third edition contains new chapters or sections on quantum gravity phenomenology, Horava-Lifshitz quantum gravity, analogue gravity, the holographic principle, and affine quantum gravity. It will present updates on loop quantum cosmology, the LTB model, asymptotic safety, and various discrete approaches. The third edition also contains pedagogical extensions throughout the text. This book will be of interest to researchers and students working in relativity and gravitation, cosmology, quantum field theory and related topics. It will also be of interest to mathematicians and philosophers of science.
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