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Quantum Decoherence and the Approach to Equilibrium (Part 1)

Shenker, Orly R. and Hemmo, Meir (2001) Quantum Decoherence and the Approach to Equilibrium (Part 1). [Preprint]

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    We discuss a recent proposal by Albert (1994a,b; 2000, Chapter 7) to recover thermodynamics on a purely dynamical basis, using the quantum theory of the collapse of the wave function of Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (1986). We propose an alternative way to explain thermodynamics within no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. Our approach relies on the standard quantum mechanical models of environmental decoherence of open systems, \eg Joos and Zeh (1985) and Zurek and Paz (1994). This paper presents the two approaches and discusses their advantages. The problems they face will be discussed in a sequel (Hemmo and Shenker 2002b).

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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: Environmental Decoherence, Equilibrium, Second Law of Thermodynamics
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Depositing User: Dr Orly R. Shenker
    Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2002
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:11
    Item ID: 881

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