Watching it boil: Continuous observation for the quantum zeno effect [Book Review]

Foundations of Physics 27 (12):1623-1636 (1997)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The quantum Zeno effect (QZE) is often associated with the ironic maxim, “a watched pot never boils”, although the notion of “watching” suggests a continuous activity at odds with the usual (pulsed measurement) presentation of the QZE. We show how continuous watching can provide the same halting of decay as the usual QZE, and, for incomplete hindrance, we provide a precise connection between the interval between projections and the response time of the continuous observer. Thus, watching closely, but not so closely as to halt the “boiling”, is equivalent to—gives the same degree of partial hindrance as—pulsed measurements with a particular pulsing rate. Our demonstration is accomplished by treating the apparatus for the continuous watching as a fully quantum object. This in turn allows us a second perspective on the QZE, in which it is the modified level structure of the combined system/apparatus Hamiltonian that slows the decay. This and other considerations favor the characterization “dominated time evolution” for the QZE



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,140

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

Nondemolition principle of quantum measurement theory.V. P. Belavkin - 1994 - Foundations of Physics 24 (5):685-714.
Dynamical origin of the quantum Zeno effect.Saverio Pascazio - 1997 - Foundations of Physics 27 (12):1655-1670.
The continuous spectra of quantum operators.Boris Leaf - 1982 - Foundations of Physics 12 (6):583-606.
`Watching' medicine: Do bioethicists respect patients' privacy?Donald C. Ainslie - 2000 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 21 (6):537-552.
Wittgenstein and Ant-watching.Deborah M. Gordon - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):13-25.
Mothers watching children watching television.Ellen Seiter - 1995 - In Beverley Skeggs (ed.), Feminist Cultural Theory: Process and Production. Distributed Exclusively in the Usa and Canada by St. Martin's Press. pp. 137--152.


Added to PP

73 (#166,913)

6 months
2 (#297,033)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Time's Arrows and Quantum Measurement.Huw Price - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (3):522-525.

Add more references