Quantum violation of macroscopic realism: And how the classical world emerges from the quantum realm

Author(s): J. Kofler

Journal: SVH Südwestdeutscher Verlag für Hochschulschriften [ISBN 978-3838100050]

Year: 2008

DOI Number: --

Link: Link to publication


The descriptions of the quantum realm and the macroscopic classical world differ significantly not only in their mathematical formulations but also in their foundational concepts and philosophical consequences. When and how physical systems stop to behave quantum mechanically and begin to behave classically is still heavily debated in the physics community and subject to theoretical and experimental research.

This dissertation puts forward an approach to the quantum-to-classical transition fully within quantum theory and conceptually different from already existing models: It neither needs to refer to the uncontrollable environment of a system (decoherence) nor to change the quantum laws itself (collapse models), but puts the stress on the limits of observability of quantum phenomena due to the imprecision of our measurement apparatuses. For a certain class of time evolutions it is this mere restriction to coarse-grained measurements which is sufficient to see the natural emergence of macroscopic realism and even the classical Newtonian laws out of the full quantum formalism. But there also exist "non-classical" Hamiltonians for which a classical spatiotemporal description of the system's time evolution remains impossible even under fuzzy measurements or decoherence. It is argued that such Hamiltonians are unlikely to be spontaneously realized in nature because of their high complexity.

The last part addresses the question of the origin of quantum randomness and proposes a link with mathematical undecidability.