Quantum Darwinism!

Without question this is one of the neatest ideas I’ve come across in a while! I was reading an article in fq(x) News about a physicist named Wojciech Zurek. He has a ‘natural selection’ account of how the quantum waveform is collapsed to a single outcome.

The idea runs thusly: every quantum event is a cloud of probably outcomes when it is first generated. However, as this set of potential states meets up with other particles with their own states, the original particle’s states that are not compatible with the newly met particle’s are eliminated. This occurs multiple times as the waveform interacts with more and more particles, eliminating incompatible potential states until finally waveform has collapsed into the smallest possible set of possibilities that are compatible with every other particle’s states that it has encountered (a quantum level ‘observer effect’).

Tho to me this still begs questions – why can’t there be a larger set of probabilities for the particle to be reduced to? Why is there some sort of limit, and how is it determined?

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Posted 2009-01-03 by Tyler in category "Quantum Physics

About the Author

Totally a geek engineer type - I like to think, tinker and make things go BOOM! I'm also pretty introspective, and enjoy analyzing most things around me and talk about them (often to exasperation). I don't do much pop culture in general, and don't own a TV - give me lively debate with another inquiring mind instead any day of the week!

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