A Computational Model for Quantum Measurement

A Computational Model for Quantum Measurement Is the dynamical evolution of physical systems objectively a manifestation of information processing by the universe? We find that an affirmative answer has important consequences for the measurement problem. In particular, we calculate the amount of quantum information processing involved in the evolution of physical systems, assuming a finite degree of fine-graining of Hilbert space. This assumption is shown to imply that there is a finite capacity to sustain the immense entanglement that measurement entails. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the system's unitary evolution becomes computationally unstable and the system suffers an information transition (“collapse”). Classical behavior arises from the rapid cycles of unitary evolution and information transition. Thus, the fine-graining of Hilbert space determines the location of the “Heisenberg cut”, the mesoscopic threshold separating the microscopic, quantum system from the macroscopic, classical environment. The model can be viewed as a probablistic complement to decoherence, that completes the measurement process by turning decohered improper mixtures of states into proper mixtures. It is shown to provide a natural resolution to the measurement problem and the basis problem. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quantum Information Processing Springer Journals

A Computational Model for Quantum Measurement

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Physics; Quantum Information Technology, Spintronics; Quantum Computing; Data Structures, Cryptology and Information Theory; Quantum Physics; Mathematical Physics
ISSN
1570-0755
eISSN
1573-1332
D.O.I.
10.1023/B:QINP.0000004123.82268.f4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Is the dynamical evolution of physical systems objectively a manifestation of information processing by the universe? We find that an affirmative answer has important consequences for the measurement problem. In particular, we calculate the amount of quantum information processing involved in the evolution of physical systems, assuming a finite degree of fine-graining of Hilbert space. This assumption is shown to imply that there is a finite capacity to sustain the immense entanglement that measurement entails. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the system's unitary evolution becomes computationally unstable and the system suffers an information transition (“collapse”). Classical behavior arises from the rapid cycles of unitary evolution and information transition. Thus, the fine-graining of Hilbert space determines the location of the “Heisenberg cut”, the mesoscopic threshold separating the microscopic, quantum system from the macroscopic, classical environment. The model can be viewed as a probablistic complement to decoherence, that completes the measurement process by turning decohered improper mixtures of states into proper mixtures. It is shown to provide a natural resolution to the measurement problem and the basis problem.

Journal

Quantum Information ProcessingSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 18, 2004

References

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