Publication : t14/005

Lectures on dynamical models for quantum measurements

Theo M. Nieuwenhuizen (CEA, IPhT (Institut de Physique Théorique), F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
Marti Perarnau-Llobet ()
Balian R. (CEA, IPhT (Institut de Physique Théorique), F-91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
In textbooks, ideal quantum measurements are described in terms of the tested system only by the collapse postulate and Born's rule. This level of description o ers a rather exible position for the interpretation of quantum mechanics. Here we analyse an ideal measurement as a process of interaction between the tested system S and an apparatus A, so as to derive the properties postulated in textbooks. We thus consider within standard quantum mechanics the measurement of a quantum spin component ^sz by an apparatus A, being a magnet coupled to a bath. We rst consider the evolution of the density operator of S+A describing a large set of runs of the measurement process. The approach describes the disappearance of the o -diagonal terms (\truncation") of the density matrix as a physical e ect due to A, while the registration of the outcome has classical features due to the large size of the pointer variable, the magnetisation. A quantum ambiguity implies that the density matrix at the nal time can be decomposed on many bases, not only the one of the measurement. This quantum oddity prevents to connect individual outcomes to measurements, a diculty known as the \measurement problem". It is shown that it is circumvented by the apparatus as well, since the evolution in a small time interval erases all decompositions, except the one on the measurement basis. Once one can derive the outcome of individual events from quantum theory, the so-called \collapse of the wave function" or the reduction of the state" appears as the result of a selection of runs among the original large set. Hence nothing more than standard quantum mechanics is needed to explain features of measurements. The employed
Année de publication : 2014
Revue : Int. J. Mod. Phys. B (2014)
Langue : Anglais

Fichier(s) à télécharger :
  • NPB_JoaoPessoa_ijmpa-submit.pdf


    Retour en haut