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Everettian Branching in the World and of the World

Blackshaw, Nadia and Huggett, Nick and Ladyman, James (2024) Everettian Branching in the World and of the World. [Preprint]


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This paper investigates the formation and propagation of wavefunction `branches' through the process of entanglement with the environment. While this process is a consequence of unitary dynamics, and hence significant to many if not all approaches to quantum theory, it plays a central role in many recent articulations of the Everett or `many worlds' interpretation. A highly idealized model of a locally interacting system and environment is described, and investigated in several situations in which branching occurs, including those involving Bell inequality violating correlations; we illustrate how any non-locality is compatible with the locality of the dynamics. Although branching is particularly important for many worlds quantum theory, we take a neutral stance here, simply tracing out the consequences of a unitary dynamics. The overall goals are to provide a simple concrete realization of the quantum physics of branch formation, and especially to emphasise the compatibility of branching with relativity; the paper is intended to illuminate matters both for foundational work, and for the application of quantum theory to non-isolated systems.

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Item Type: Preprint
Huggett, Nickhuggett@uic.edu0000-0002-5699-5479
Keywords: quantum, decoherence, branching, many worlds, locality
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Nick Huggett
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2024 03:31
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 03:31
Item ID: 23069
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 9 February 2024

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