Quantum decoherence is the *irreversible loss of ordering of the phase angles* between the components of a system in a quantum superposition resulting in classical or probabilistically additive behavior, thereby suppressing interference of wavefunction components.

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Why doesn't a typical beam splitter cause a photon to decohere?

In many experiments in quantum mechanics, a single photon is sent to a mirror which it passes through or bounces off with 50% probability, then the same for some more similar mirrors, and at the end ...
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Reversing gravitational decoherence

[Update: Thanks, everyone, for the wonderful replies! I learned something extremely interesting and relevant (namely, the basic way decoherence works in QFT), even though it wasn't what I thought I ...
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Is decoherence even possible in anti de Sitter space?

Is decoherence even possible in anti de Sitter space? The spatial conformal boundary acts as a repulsive wall, thus turning anti de Sitter space into an eternally closed quantum system. Superpositions ...
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How is it possible that quantum phenomenons (e.g. superposition) are possible when all quantum particles are being constantly observed?

I don't understand how quantum mechanics (and therefore also quantum computers) can work given that while we work with quantum states, particles that this quantum state consist of cannot be observed, ...
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Is the preferred basis problem solved?

Once and for all: Is the preferred basis problem in the Everettian Interpretation of QM considered solved by decoherence or not? THere are a few people who claim that it's not, but it seems the vast ...
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Are Thomas Breuer's subjective decoherence and Scott Aaronson's freebits with Knightian freedom the same things in essence?

In his remarkable works (1,2 and their recent development 3) Thomas Breuer proves by diagonalization the phenomenon that the observer cannot distinguish all phase space states of a system where he is ...
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Can observers be particles?

Generally Quantum mechanics divides a system what is to be observed and an observer. This is generally taken to be some human being. But why restrict it to such? Why not a particle? Is there a good ...
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A tutorial explanation of decoherence?

Is there a tutorial explanation as to how decoherence transforms a wavefunction (with a superposition of possible observable values) into a set of well-defined specific "classical" observable values ...
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Is the collapse of the wave function inherently time asymmetric?

Schroedinger's equation, as we all know, is time symmetric. In quantum field theory, we have to come up with a more sophisticated CPT reversal, but the essential point remains unchanged. However, the ...
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Born's rule and Schrödinger's equation

In non-relativistic quantum mechanics, the equation of evolution of the quantum state is given by Schrödinger's equation and measurement of a state of particle is itself a physical process. Thus, ...
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Are quantum decoherence and Everettian approaches to the measurement problem necessarily distinct?

As I understand it, there is a large contingent of physicists who believe that the measurement problem is "solved" by decoherence, without, for example, needing to postulate the existence of "many ...
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Did Leggett and Caldeira solve the measurement problem?

In 1983 Leggett and Caldeira published a paper (see also here) that shows the evolution of the density matrix in a dissipative system. Follow-up work by Zurek and others shows the relevance to ...
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Is the Copenhagen interpretation merely an approximation to quantum mechanics?

So, I'm reading Max Tegmark's Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf edition, p. 229). He's discussing Everett/MWI for a bit and I'm not really paying attention and then I wake up to this: [I]t's time ...
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Can the Montevideo interpretation of quantum mechanics do what it claims?

Partly inspired by the great responses to a my previous physics.SE question about "reversing gravitational decoherence, today I was rereading the intriguing papers by Gambini, Pullin, Porto, et al., ...
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Any link between decoherence and renormalization?

I have been studying decoherence in quantum mechanics (not in qft, and don't know how it is described there) and renormalization in QFT and statistical field theory, I found at first a similarity ...
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Reason for decoherence time's dependence on variables?

Zurek 2001 is a review article on decoherence in quantum mechanics. Equation 5.36 on p. 24 gives an estimate of the decoherence time, which I'll paraphrase as follows: $ \frac{t_D}{t_R} = \left(\frac{...
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What is behind recoherence?

I am quite familiar with the concept of decoherence, and I heard that a system that has decohered could recohere after that, I was wondering what could cause the the coherences that have leaked into ...
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If all the particles of a Bose-Einstein condensate become entangled with each other,does the system still remain a Bose-Einstein condensate?

I know that an entangled system is found in a single entangled state and that when you try to observe the individual state of a particle from an entangled system using a reduced density matrix, you ...
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Can an observer be the observed?

As a supplement to this question as to whether particles can be observers, supposing that the answer is yes. One could suppose a setup where particle A is observing particle B, but what to stop us ...
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How can the quantum state of the universe decohere

Decoherence explains how a classical state appears once quantum information in a quantum state leaks out. But presumably that environment has its own quantum state which then leaks out to a larger ...
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Is the wave function of a particle re-created after a measurement stops?

Yeah, I haven't quite understood, or been told, what happens to, for example an electron and its wavefunction, when you stop to measure it. I mean, an electron has a wave function describing its ...
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221 views

How does quantum decoherence occur?

My question is how does quantum decoherence happen. What happens with a quantum system when "observed?" Can you give a mathematical explanation that is simple, precise, and easy to understand?
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Can a super-positioned human be used to differentiate between the Copenhagen interpretation and many-worlds?

I'm pretty new to quantum physics, so there's a good chance that I have this all backwards. However, by my understanding of the Copenhagen interpretation, the wave function 'collapses' upon ...
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quantum field theoretic models of decoherence

I am interested in whether there is a field theoretic description (there is, so what is it?) of the tensor product (aka density matrix) model of open quantum systems. In particular, I am interested in ...
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How is decoherence due to the environment compatible with the Copenhagen interpretation?

Let's say that "decoherence" is that transition from a pure quantum state to a mixed state due to interactions with the environment. (A reasonable definition?) How is that compatible with the ...
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Why is the dephasing time T2* gaussian?

In MRI dephasing is characterized by $T_2^*$. $T_2^*$ is measured by performing a Ramsey experiment and is defined as the 1/e decay time of the measured oscillation. I have read, in Universal ...
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Does the Hilbert space of the universe have to be infinite dimensional to make sense of quantum mechanics?

Does the Hilbert space of the universe have to be infinite dimensional to make sense of quantum mechanics? Otherwise, decoherence can never become exact. Does interpreting quantum mechanics require ...
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Do black holes play a role in quantum decoherence?

Sorry for such a vague question but I could have sworn I read somewhere that Hawking proposed the reason we might see a classically appearing universe is due to the possible role of black holes in ...
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Subjectivity of decoherence

I read that quantum decoherence is subjective, in the sense that two observers may not have the same "environment" and after each one has traced over those degrees of freedom they will end up with a ...
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Decoherence and collapse

It is said that the decoherence does not solve the problem of measurement and/or the emergence of classicality, can somebody explain it with simple analogies or in a manner accessible to a non-...
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What events lead to quantum decoherence?

Is there a very specific definition for all types of events where quantum decoherence occurs? Is it merely any event that is "thermodynamically irreversible" and/or "causes entropy to increase"? Is it ...
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Why doesn't gravity mess up the double slit experiment?

So let's say you are doing a double slit experiment. Also, let's use electrons. My question is, won't the gravity of the electron affect the earth, thereby causing it decoherence and its wave ...
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When you measure position of an electron in a energy pure state, what happens to the energy?

When you measure the position of an electron that is in a pure energy state, what happens the energy becomes non-deterministic. That is future measurements of energy can only be predicted with respect ...
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Without apparatus can we say that the system is measured(decohered) by the environment?

"Einselection" and "tridecompositional uniqueness theorem" seem to resolve the preferred basis problem. But the premise is that there are three parts in discussion.(system, apparatus, environment) ...
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Does decoherence explain all instances of wave function collapse?

Specifically, how can decoherence explain the appearance of flecks of metallic silver on a photographic plate when exposed to the very weak light of a distant star? EDIT: Perhaps the advocates of ...
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Transition from one state to another in Quantum Mechanics

When we measure an electron's position we know that the wave function $\psi$ peaks at the measured position and the wave function as a function of momentum is a harmonic function. When it makes the ...
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What makes quantum decoherence different from dissipation?

From my understanding quantum decoherence and dissipation are completely different ways of modelling information loss to the environment. Dissipation can be modeled using the Caldeira-Leggett model ...
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Local decoherence and entropy

Consider a quantum system consisting of two subsystems, $A$ and $B$. Let $\rho$ be the density matrix of the whole system $A\cup B$. Let $|\alpha\rangle$, $\alpha = 1,2\cdots d_B$, be the states of ...
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If there is no collapse of the wave-function does this mean that the many worlds interpretation of QM must be wrong?

If as some people suggest, there is no collapse of the wave function (is there a standard name for this position), then must one rule out the many-worlds interpretation of QM?
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Decoherence Free Subspaces and how they stay this way, using the Zeno Effect

I am currently reading papers discussing the Zeno Effect, which discuss how measuring a system at high frequencies can almost freeze the state of a system, or keep the system in a specific subspace of ...
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Decoherence and interpretations

With quantum decoherence, are there still any "gaps" in our knowledge of quantum mechanics that hint (either in terms of the physics, philosophy, or otherwise) at the need for further interpretation? ...
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When does the world split in MWI

I've been reading Eliezer Yudkowsky's blog post regarding decoherence and many worlds, and although he is not a physics but a strong proponent of MWI, I can basically see why he feels that MWI is a "...
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How does a Wavefunction collapse?

I have been wondering and researching... How does a wavefunction collapse into one state?More specifically, what conditions cause a wavefunction for a quantum particle to collapse? Does this have to ...
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Quantum Decoherence and Macroscopic Phenomena

I don't really know what quantum decoherence is, but I have heard that it is used to explain why macroscopic objects do not seemingly follow quantum dynamics. Could someone please give a simple ...
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Conservation of quantum coherence?

Is coherence conserved under unitary transformation? As we saw in the process of generating entanglement, coherence between states of the subsystem is transferred to quantum correlations (related to ...
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Wave function collapse and Schrodinger's equation without measurement

Will wave function collapse without measurement? Since all matters are described by wave functions, then in principle, I should be able to describe wave function collapse by Schrodinger's equation. (...
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What does quantum phenomena exist as prior to observation?

It's been said that according to the Schrodinger equation, independent of observation, particles exist in a state of a wave function, which is a series of potentialities rather than actual objects. ...
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What is the preferred basis objection to the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics?

I've seen the preferred basis problem referred to in many places, but have not seen a clear explanation of what the problem is. For example, this question asks whether the problem has been solved, but ...
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The effect of Quantum Decoherence on density operators

Suppose we have a qubit in state $| \Psi \rangle = \alpha | 0 \rangle + \beta | 1 \rangle$ Suppose we expose this to decoherence, which we will express as the state $| R \rangle$ such that $$| 0 \...
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Simple question about decoherence

In simple terms, decoherence is the mechanism through which a quantum system in superposition that interacts with the environment undergoes a quick "apparent collapse" and is no longer found in ...