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      On Evolution Laws Taking Pure States to Mixed States in Quantum Field Theory

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          Abstract

          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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          Journal
          hep-th/9503024
          10.1103/PhysRevD.52.2176

          General relativity & Quantum cosmology, High energy & Particle physics

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