The 'Decoherence' Approach to the Measurement Problem in Quantum Mechanics

Decoherence results from the dissipative interaction between a quantum system and its environment. As the system and environment become entangled, the reduced density operator describing the system "decoheres" into a mixture (with the interference terms damped out). This formal result prompts some to exclaim that the measurement problem is solved. I will scrutinize this claim by examining how modal and relative-state interpretations can use decoherence. Although decoherence cannot rescue these interpretations from general metaphysical difficulties, decoherence may help these interpretations to pick out a preferred basis. I will explore whether decoherence solves nagging technical problems associated with selecting a preferred basis.
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    L. S. (2003). Why Decoherence has Not Solved the Measurement Problem: A Response to P.W. Anderson. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (1):135-142.
    Guido Bacciagaluppi & Meir Hemmo (1994). Making Sense of Approximate Decoherence. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:345 - 354.

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