Nonseparability and quantum chaos

Philosophy of Science 65 (1):50-75 (1998)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Conventional wisdom has it that chaotic behavior is either strongly suppressed or absent in quantum models. Indeed, some researchers have concluded that these considerations serve to undermine the correspondence principle, thereby raising serious doubts about the adequacy of quantum mechanics. Thus, the quantum chaos question is a prime subject for philosophical analysis. The most significant reasons given for the absence or suppression of chaotic behavior in quantum models are the linearity of Schrödinger’s equation and the unitarity of the time-evolution described by that equation. Both are shown in this essay to be irrelevant by demonstrating that the crucial feature for chaos is the nonseparability of the Hamiltonian. That demonstration indicates that quantum chaos is likely to be exhibited in models of open quantum systems. A measure for probing such models for chaotic behavior is developed, and then used to show that quantum mechanics has chaotic models for systems having a continuous energy spectrum. The prospects of this result for vindicating the correspondence principle (or the motivation behind it, at least) are then briefly examined.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,441

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Forms of quantum nonseparability and related philosophical consequences.Vassilios Karakostas - 2004 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 35 (2):283 - 312.
Bohmian insights into quantum chaos.James T. Cushing - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):445.
Horizontal models: From bakers to cats.Alisa Bokulich - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (3):609-627.
Holism and nonseparability in physics.Richard Healey - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Quantum Chaos and Semiclassical Mechanics.Robert Batterman - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:50-65.
Chaos in a model of an open quantum system.Frederick M. Kronz - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):453.


Added to PP

131 (#118,841)

6 months
7 (#141,216)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

Downward causation in fluid convection.Robert C. Bishop - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):229 - 248.
Chaos.Robert Bishop - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Bohmian insights into quantum chaos.James T. Cushing - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):445.
Non-integrability and mixing in quantum systems: On the way to quantum chaos.Mario Castagnino & Olimpia Lombardi - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):482-513.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations