Amplification, Redundancy, and Quantum Chernoff Information

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  • Amplification was regarded, since the early days of quantum theory, as a mysterious ingredient that endows quantum microstates with macroscopic consequences, key to the “collapse of the wave packet,” and a way to avoid embarrassing problems exemplified by Schrödinger’s cat. Such a bridge between the quantum microworld and the classical world of our experience was postulated ad hoc in the Copenhagen interpretation. Quantum Darwinism views amplification as replication, in many copies, of the information about quantum states. We show that such amplification is a natural consequence of a broad class of models of decoherence, including the photon environment we use to obtain most of our information. This leads to objective reality via the presence of robust and widely accessible records of selected quantum states. The resulting redundancy (the number of copies deposited in the environment) follows from the quantum Chernoff information that quantifies the information transmitted by a typical elementary subsystem of the environment.
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  • Zwolak, M., Riedel, C. J., & Zurek, W. H. (2014). Amplification, Redundancy, and Quantum Chernoff Information. Physical Review Letters, 112(14), 140406. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.140406
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  • 112
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  • 14
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  • This research was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy through the LANL/LDRD Program and, in part, by the John Templeton Foundation and by FQXi.
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