Decoherence: The View from the History and the Philosophy of Science


Authors
Amit Hagar
Indiana University, Bloomington
Abstract
We present a brief history of decoherence, from its roots in the foundations of classical statistical mechanics, to the current spin bath models in condensed matter physics. We analyze the philosophical import of the subject matter in three different foundational problems, and find that, contrary to the received view, decoherence is less instrumental to their solutions than it is commonly believed. What makes decoherence more philosophically interesting, we argue, are the methodological issues it draws attention to, and the question of the universality of quantum mechanics.
Keywords Decoherence  Quantum Mechanics  Thermodynamics  Statistical Mechanics
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References found in this work BETA

Can the World Be Only Wavefunction?Tim Maudlin - 2010 - In Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory & Reality. Oxford University Press.
Bluff Your Way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.Jos Uffink - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (3):305-394.

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