The inherent difficulty in talking about quantum decoherence in the context of quantum cosmology is that decoherence requires subsystems, and cosmology is the study of the whole Universe. Consistent histories gave a possible answer to this conundrum, by phrasing decoherence as loss of interference between alternative histories of closed systems. When one can apply Boolean logic to a set of histories, it is deemed ‘consistent’. However, the vast majority of the sets of histories that are merely consistent are blatantly nonclassical in other respects, and further constraints than just consistency need to be invoked. In this paper, I attempt to give an alternative answer to the issues faced by consistent histories, by exploring a timeless interpretation of quantum mechanics of closed systems. This is done solely in terms of path integrals in non-relativistic, timeless, configuration space. What prompts a fresh look at such foundational problems in this context is the advent of multiple gravitational models in which Lorentz symmetry is not fundamental, but only emergent. And what allows this approach to overcome previous barriers to a timeless, conditional probabilities interpretation of quantum mechanics is the new notion of records—made possible by an inherent asymmetry of configuration space. I outline and explore consequences of this approach for foundational issues of quantum mechanics, such as the natural emergence of the Born rule, conservation of probabilities, and the Sleeping Beauty paradox.
Foundations of Physics – Springer Journals
Published: May 25, 2018
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