On Fri, 2008-11-14 at 10:46 -0800, Brent Meeker wrote:

> That was my point.  The SWE indicates that every microscopic event that 
> happens or doesn't happen stochastically splits the wave function.  But 
> these events don't generally cause a split of Kory or other classical 
> objects.  Those "objects" are not in some pure state anyway.  They are 
> already "fuzzy" and their interaction with the environment keeps the 
> fuzzy bundle along the classical path.  There are microscopic splittings 
> that are 'within' the fuzz, but I think these are far below the 
> substitution level envisioned for your teleporter thought experiment.

I think you've hit on an area that is sufficiently ill-understood by a
layman like me to warrant further elaboration.

It seems to me there is a strong similarity here with statistical
mechanics.  If I might speak loosely, there are a large number of
quantum states that correspond to "microstates" of the system, while
"being Kory" is a "macrostate".  Most microstate trajectories stay
within the boundaries of a single macrostate trajectory.  But sometimes
the microstate trajectories can diverge enough, due to an amplification
process, to cause the macrostate trajectory to divide into two.

(This of course leaves out definitions of all the above, but I hope you
get the gist of it.)

To me this makes much more intuitive sense than using words like
"universes splitting into copies", or even "many worlds".

Part of my difficulty in grasping some of the discussion here is that we
tend to speak of aggregrate objects consisting of many particles, yet
refer to quantum properties of individual particles when discussing
superposition, etc.  I get the single particle stuff fairly well, but
it's the transition to large systems of particles that have an aggregate
identity of "me" that I think is sometimes glossed over.

In statistical mechanics, aggregates have properties and behavior (like
temperature, pressure, and density) that don't exist in single particle
systems.  Likewise, macroscopic objects have independent identities
("macrostates") that persist even when their component particles go
through many changes at the atomic level.

I'm almost to the point where I understand how decoherence causes the
above to be true...


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