Decoherence: Theoretical, experimental, and conceptual by P. Blanchard, D. Giulini, E. Joos, C. Kiefer, I.-O.

By P. Blanchard, D. Giulini, E. Joos, C. Kiefer, I.-O. Stamatescu

During this booklet the method of decoherence is reviewed from either the theoretical and the experimental physicist's standpoint. Implications of this significant suggestion for primary difficulties of quantum concept and for chemistry and biology also are given. This vast evaluate of decoherence addresses researchers and graduate scholars. it might probably even be utilized in seminar paintings

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Extra info for Decoherence: Theoretical, experimental, and conceptual problems. Proceedings Bielefeld, 1998

Example text

The spin of the electron is like the spin of the earth around its axis (which takes 24 hours to complete a turn). In quantum mechanics, apart from the spatial degrees of freedom of elementary particles, an inner degree of freedom called “spin” exists. We say that a particle has spin s if it can have 2s + 1 projections of its spin on an external axis. , the spin states |↑ and |↓ can be represented by two-component vectors |↑ ≡ 1 , 0 |↓ ≡ 0 . , the projection of the angular momentum on an external axis (say, the z-axis) can take the values +1, 0, and −1 (in units of h¯ ), and these three states can be represented by three-dimensional vectors, as will be discussed in Chapter 3.

A basic building block of all electronics today is the transistor, a semiconductor device that uses a small amount of voltage or electrical current to control a larger voltage or current. For example, a transistor can be used to set the voltage on a wire to be either high or low, representing a binary 1 or 0, respectively. Transistors can have very fast response (as fast as 10−11 s, or 100 GHz), and are used in a very wide variety of applications: amplification, switching, signal modulation, etc.

One can ask whether it is possible to put a macroscopic system (or if you like, a macroscopic object) into a superposition state. In Schr¨odinger’s famous cat paradox, the question asked is whether one can put a cat into a superposition state |ψ cat = √1 (|ψalive + |ψdead ). In this state, the cat is neither alive nor dead, but is in a linear combination of the 2 two (until we perform a measurement and collapse the cat’s wave function, see Sec. 4; if we find the cat to be dead, we would be responsible for its death because we carried out the measurement).

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