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Objective past of a quantum universe: Redundant records of consistent histories Public Deposited

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  • Motivated by the advances of quantum Darwinism and recognizing the role played by redundancy in identifying the small subset of quantum states with resilience characteristic of objective classical reality, we explore the implications of redundant records for consistent histories. The consistent histories formalism is a tool for describing sequences of events taking place in an evolving closed quantum system. A set of histories is consistent when one can reason about them using Boolean logic, i.e., when probabilities of sequences of events that define histories are additive. However, the vast majority of the sets of histories that are merely consistent are flagrantly nonclassical in other respects. This embarras de richesses (known as the set selection problem) suggests that one must go beyond consistency to identify how the classical past arises in our quantum universe. The key intuition we follow is that the records of events that define the familiar objective past are inscribed in many distinct systems, e.g., subsystems of the environment, and are accessible locally in space and time to observers. We identify histories that are not just consistent but redundantly consistent using the partial-trace condition introduced by Finkelstein as a bridge between histories and decoherence. The existence of redundant records is a sufficient condition for redundant consistency. It selects, from the multitude of the alternative sets of consistent histories, a small subset endowed with redundant records characteristic of the objective classical past. The information about an objective history of the past is then simultaneously within reach of many, who can independently reconstruct it and arrive at compatible conclusions in the present.
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  • Riedel, C. J., Zurek, W. H., & Zwolak, M. (2016). Objective Past of a Quantum Universe: Redundant Records of Consistent Histories. Physical Review A, 93(3), 032126. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.93.032126
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  • 93
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  • 3
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  • This research was partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through the LANL/LDRD program, by the John Templeton Foundation, and by the Foundational Questions Institute Grant No. 2015-144057 on "Physics of What Happens." Research at the Perimeter Institute is supported by the Government of Canada through Industry Canada and by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Patricia Black (patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2016-04-21T16:31:28Z No. of bitstreams: 1 RiedelObjectivePastQuantum.pdf: 665903 bytes, checksum: fd1a870ae71049ab4c8c4734f488c9d1 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2016-04-21T16:32:20Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 RiedelObjectivePastQuantum.pdf: 665903 bytes, checksum: fd1a870ae71049ab4c8c4734f488c9d1 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2016-03-16
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2016-04-21T16:32:20Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 RiedelObjectivePastQuantum.pdf: 665903 bytes, checksum: fd1a870ae71049ab4c8c4734f488c9d1 (MD5)

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