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What I understand about decoherence I learned mainly from this paper: Joos and Zeh, The emergence of classical properties through interaction with the environment, Z Phys B 59 (1985) 223. It's long but somewhat readable. Another treatment is in this book: Pade, Quantum Mechanics for Pedestrians, vol. 2 See ch. 24. I found it a little abstract and hard ...


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"Dechorence" tends to involve two ideas. One is interaction with the environment and the second is the interaction making the original system a superposition of classical states, or in more technical terms, a state that can be represented by a diagonal density matrix. A complex object isolated from the environment won't interact with the environment by ...


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Consider double-slit interference of large molecules. The molecules are in superposition since they interfere. But we do not record broken molecules in the experiment, which means they interfere as whole molecules. Now there is no external source (environment) for decoherence, else the molecules would not interfere. So we can see that, even in the absence of ...


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Under (conventional) quantum theory their is no such thing as "self decoherence". So the billiard ball, if it were fully isolated from the outside universe, would remain in a coherent (pure) state indefinitely. (In practice this could never happen. Even if placed in a perfect vacuum empty of any light the billiard ball could still decohere if it was at a ...


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That is a really good question, and your intuition is largely correct. If the macroscopic object is very small, like a buckyball or a small protein molecule, and if it is chilled to almost absolute zero so that it effectively only contains enough energy to be in its lowest possible energy state, and if its spin axis is oriented in a precisely predetermined ...


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In practical terms your intuition is correct: a macroscopic object will decohere itself in the sense that it will not be possible in practice to control all the degrees of freedom sufficiently well to perform interference experiments with such an object. So in this sense Schrodinger's cat is unambiguously either alive or dead before anyone opens the box. ...


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