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Title: Autonomous quantum to classical transitions and the generalized imaging theorem

The mechanism of the transition of a dynamical system from quantum to classical mechanics is of continuing interest. Practically it is of importance for the interpretation of multi-particle coincidence measurements performed at macroscopic distances from a microscopic reaction zone. We prove the generalized imaging theorem which shows that the spatial wave function of any multi-particle quantum system, propagating over distances and times large on an atomic scale but still microscopic, and subject to deterministic external fields and particle interactions, becomes proportional to the initial momentum wave function where the position and momentum coordinates define a classical trajectory. Now, the quantum to classical transition is considered to occur via decoherence caused by stochastic interaction with an environment. The imaging theorem arises from unitary Schrödinger propagation and so is valid without any environmental interaction. It implies that a simultaneous measurement of both position and momentum will define a unique classical trajectory, whereas a less complete measurement of say position alone can lead to quantum interference effects.
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Freiburg (Germany). Inst. of Physics
  2. California State Univ. (CalState), Fullerton, CA (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
New Journal of Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
Univ. of Freiburg (Germany). Inst. of Physics; California State Univ. (CalState), Fullerton, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; 74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; quantum to classical transition; the imaging theorem; decoherence
OSTI Identifier: