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Title: Objective past of a quantum universe: Redundant records of consistent histories

Abstract

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 redundantmore » 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. Furthermore, 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.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON (Canada); IBM Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1296658
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1242843
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-13-29441
Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9926
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review A
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 93; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2469-9926
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; atomic and nuclear physics

Citation Formats

Reidel, C. Jess, Zurek, Wojciech H., and Zwolak, Michael. Objective past of a quantum universe: Redundant records of consistent histories. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.93.032126.
Reidel, C. Jess, Zurek, Wojciech H., & Zwolak, Michael. Objective past of a quantum universe: Redundant records of consistent histories. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.93.032126.
Reidel, C. Jess, Zurek, Wojciech H., and Zwolak, Michael. Mon . "Objective past of a quantum universe: Redundant records of consistent histories". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.93.032126. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1296658.
@article{osti_1296658,
title = {Objective past of a quantum universe: Redundant records of consistent histories},
author = {Reidel, C. Jess and Zurek, Wojciech H. and Zwolak, Michael},
abstractNote = {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. Furthermore, 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.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevA.93.032126},
journal = {Physical Review A},
number = 3,
volume = 93,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {3}
}

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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Quantum theory of the classical: quantum jumps, Born’s Rule and objective classical reality via quantum Darwinism
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    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 376, Issue 2123
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    Quantum reversibility is relative, or does a quantum measurement reset initial conditions?
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    Quantum reversibility is relative, or does a quantum measurement reset initial conditions?
    journal, May 2018

    • Zurek, Wojciech H.
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 376, Issue 2123
    • DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2017.0315

    Quantum theory of the classical: quantum jumps, Born’s Rule and objective classical reality via quantum Darwinism
    journal, May 2018

    • Zurek, Wojciech Hubert
    • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, Vol. 376, Issue 2123
    • DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2018.0107