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Decoherent histories quantum mechanics with one real fine-grained history

Gell-Mann, Murray and Hartle, James B. (2012) Decoherent histories quantum mechanics with one real fine-grained history. Physical Review A, 85 (6). Art. No. 062120. ISSN 1050-2947. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.85.062120.

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Decoherent histories quantum theory is reformulated with the assumption that there is one “real” fine-grained history, specified in a preferred complete set of sum-over-histories variables. This real history is described by embedding it in an ensemble of comparable imagined fine-grained histories, not unlike the familiar ensemble of statistical mechanics. These histories are assigned extended probabilities, which can sometimes be negative or greater than one. As we will show, this construction implies that the real history is not completely accessible to experimental or other observational discovery. However, sufficiently and appropriately coarse-grained sets of alternative histories have standard probabilities providing information about the real fine-grained history that can be compared with observation. We recover the probabilities of decoherent histories quantum mechanics for sets of histories that are recorded and therefore decohere. Quantum mechanics can be viewed as a classical stochastic theory of histories with extended probabilities and a well-defined notion of reality common to all decoherent sets of alternative coarse-grained histories.

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Additional Information:©2012 American Physical Society. (Received 5 December 2011; published 25 June 2012) We thank Fay Dowker for a helpful exchange. J.B.H. thanks the Santa Fe Institute for supporting many visits there. The work of J.B.H. was also supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. PHY07-57035. M.G.-M. and J. B. H. acknowledge the support of the Bryan J. and June B. Zwan Foundation. M.G.-M. was in addition supported by the C.O.U.Q. Foundation, by Insight Venture Partners, and by the KITP in Santa Barbara. The generous help provided by these organizations is gratefully acknowledged by both authors.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Santa Fe InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Bryan J. and June B. Zwan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Insight Venture PartnersUNSPECIFIED
Kavli Institute for Theoretical PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:6
Classification Code:PACS number(s): 03.65.Ta, 03.65.Yz, 98.80.Qc, 98.80.Bp
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150824-101957030
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Official Citation:Decoherent histories quantum mechanics with one real fine-grained history Murray Gell-Mann and James B. Hartle Phys. Rev. A 85, 062120
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59839
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 Aug 2015 18:09
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:26

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