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On Quantum Non-Unitarity as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Kastner, Ruth (2017) On Quantum Non-Unitarity as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

It was first suggested by Albert that the existence of real, physical non-unitarity at the quantum level would yield a complete explanation for the increase of entropy over time in macroscopic systems. An alternative understanding of the source of non-unitarity is presented herein, in terms of the Transactional Interpretation. The present model provides a specific physical justification for Boltzmann’s Stosszahlansatz (assumption of molecular chaos), thereby changing its status from an ad hoc postulate to a theoretically grounded result, without requiring any change to the basic quantum theory. In addition, it is argued that TI provides an elegant way of reconciling, via collapse, the time-reversible Liouville evolution with the time-irreversible evolution inherent in master equations. The present model is contrasted with the GRW ‘spontaneous collapse’ theory previously suggested for this purpose by Albert.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kastner, Ruthrkastner@umd.edu
Keywords: Second Law of Thermodynamics; irreversibility; entropy; H-Theorem; transactional interpretation; wave function collapse.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Ruth E. Kastner
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2017 15:42
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2017 15:42
Item ID: 12822
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 25 December 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12822

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