Decoherence: New Insights Into Quantum Mechanics

Decoherence: New Insights Into Quantum Mechanics

A new theory explaining the quantum-to-classical world transition.

Naresh Kumar
  • 7 july 2010

Over the years, scientists have struggled to come up with a satisfactory conclusion about the missing link that bridges the classical (our familiar everyday environment) and quantum worlds, but now researchers from Arizona State University have devised a new theory on how the world we experience through our senses emerges from the ethereal quantum world, the world made of the basic building blocks of matter-atoms.

Innovations Report has more on the theory:

The article describes the transition from quantum to classical world as a “decoherence” process that involves a kind of evolutionary progression somewhat analogous to Charles Darwin’s concept of natural selection. The decoherence concept holds that many quantum states “collapse” into a “broad diaspora,” or dispersion, while interacting with the environment. Through a selection process, other quantum states arrive at a final stable state, called a pointer state, which is “fit enough” (think “survival of the fittest” in Darwinian terms) to be transmitted through the environment without collapsing.

These single states with the lowest energy can then make high-energy copies of themselves that can be described by the Darwinian process and observed on the macroscopic scale in the classical world.

The research team says that their concept opens a new view in the search for evidence of how the quantum-to-classical world transition actually occurs.

Arizona State University

Innovations Report: “Search for the bridge to the quantum world”

Image by Kalense Kid


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