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      Black holes, information and decoherence

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          Abstract

          We investigate the experimental capabilities required to test whether black holes destroy information. We show that an experiment capable of illuminating the information puzzle must necessarily be able to detect or manipulate macroscopic superpositions (i.e., Everett branches). Hence, it could also address the fundamental question of decoherence versus wavefunction collapse.

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          Decoherence, einselection, and the quantum origins of the classical

            (2001)
          Decoherence is caused by the interaction with the environment. Environment monitors certain observables of the system, destroying interference between the pointer states corresponding to their eigenvalues. This leads to environment-induced superselection or einselection, a quantum process associated with selective loss of information. Einselected pointer states are stable. They can retain correlations with the rest of the Universe in spite of the environment. Einselection enforces classicality by imposing an effective ban on the vast majority of the Hilbert space, eliminating especially the flagrantly non-local "Schr\"odinger cat" states. Classical structure of phase space emerges from the quantum Hilbert space in the appropriate macroscopic limit: Combination of einselection with dynamics leads to the idealizations of a point and of a classical trajectory. In measurements, einselection replaces quantum entanglement between the apparatus and the measured system with the classical correlation.
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            On Evolution Laws Taking Pure States to Mixed States in Quantum Field Theory

            It has been argued that any evolution law taking pure states to mixed states in quantum field theory necessarily gives rise to violations of either causality or energy-momentum conservation, in such a way as to have unacceptable consequences for ordinary laboratory physics. We show here that this is not the case by giving a simple class of examples of Markovian evolution laws where rapid evolution from pure states to mixed states occurs for a wide class of states with appropriate properties at the ``Planck scale", suitable locality and causality properties hold for all states, and the deviations from ordinary dynamics (and, in particular, violations of energy-momentum conservation) are unobservably small for all states which one could expect to produce in a laboratory. In addition, we argue (via consideration of other, non-Markovian models) that conservation of energy and momentum for all states is not fundamentally incompatible with causality in dynamical models in which pure states evolve to mixed states.
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              Author and article information

              Journal
              0903.2258
              10.1103/PhysRevD.79.124037

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