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Compatibility between Environment-Induced Decoherence and the Modal-Hamiltonian Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Olimpia Lombardi, Juan Sebastián Ardenghi, Sebastian Fortin and Mario Castagnino
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 1024-1036
DOI: 10.1086/662253
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662253
Page Count: 13
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Compatibility between Environment-Induced Decoherence and the Modal-Hamiltonian Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
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Abstract

Given the impressive success of environment-induced decoherence (EID), nowadays no interpretation of quantum mechanics can ignore its results. The modal-Hamiltonian interpretation (MHI) has proved to be effective for solving several interpretative problems, but since its actualization rule applies to closed systems, it seems to stand at odds with EID. The purpose of this article is to show that this is not the case: the states einselected by the interaction with the environment according to EID (the elements of the “pointer basis”) are the eigenvectors of an actual-valued observable belonging to the preferred context selected by the MHI.

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