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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
Shenker, Orly R.
Hemmo, Meir
Keywords: Environmental Decoherence, Equilibrium, Second Law of Thermodynamics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Dr Orly Shenker
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2002
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:11
Item ID: 881

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