Decoherence: and the Quantum-To-Classical Transition

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jul 28, 2007 - Science - 418 pages
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.
 

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Contents

Introducing Decoherence
1
The Basic Formalism and Interpretation of Decoherence
13
MasterEquation Formulations of Decoherence
153
5
171
Decoherence and Quantum Computing
293
The Role of Decoherence in Interpretations
329
Observations the Quantum Brain and Decoherence
359
The Interaction Picture
379
Index 409
408
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Maximilian Schlosshauer is an internationally recognized researcher in the foundations of quantum mechanics in general and in quantum decoherence in particular. After completing his undergraduate education at Freiburg University, Germany, he graduated from Lund University, Sweden, with a Master of Science degree in 2001. He received a Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2005. His postgraduate research (with Arthur Fine) was focused on decoherence and the quantum-to-classical transition. He is currently an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Physics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Besides his interest in decoherence and the foundations of quantum mechanics, he has also contributed important research in theoretical biophysics.

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