4,225 research outputs found

    What is tested when experiments test that quantum dynamics is linear

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    Experiments that look for nonlinear quantum dynamics test the fundamental premise of physics that one of two separate systems can influence the physical behavior of the other only if there is a force between them, an interaction that involves momentum and energy. The premise is tested because it is the assumption of a proof that quantum dynamics must be linear. Here variations of a familiar example are used to show how results of nonlinear dynamics in one system can depend on correlations with the other. Effects of one system on the other, influence without interaction between separate systems, not previously considered possible, would be expected with nonlinear quantum dynamics. Whether it is possible or not is subject to experimental tests together with the linearity of quantum dynamics. Concluding comments and questions consider directions our thinking might take in response to this surprising unprecedented situation.Comment: 14 pages, Title changed, sentences adde

    Assumptions that imply quantum dynamics is linear

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    A basic linearity of quantum dynamics, that density matrices are mapped linearly to density matrices, is proved very simply for a system that does not interact with anything else. It is assumed that at each time the physical quantities and states are described by the usual linear structures of quantum mechanics. Beyond that, the proof assumes only that the dynamics does not depend on anything outside the system but must allow the system to be described as part of a larger system. The basic linearity is linked with previously established results to complete a simple derivation of the linear Schrodinger equation. For this it is assumed that density matrices are mapped one-to-one onto density matrices. An alternative is to assume that pure states are mapped one-to-one onto pure states and that entropy does not decrease.Comment: 10 pages. Added references. Improved discussion of equations of motion for mean values. Expanded Introductio

    Change of the plane of oscillation of a Foucault pendulum from simple pictures

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    The change of the plane of oscillation of a Foucault pendulum is calculated without using equations of motion, the Gauss-Bonnet theorem, parallel transport, or assumptions that are difficult to explain.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figure

    Weak Decoherence and Quantum Trajectory Graphs

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    Griffiths' ``quantum trajectories'' formalism is extended to describe weak decoherence. The decoherence conditions are shown to severely limit the complexity of histories composed of fine-grained events.Comment: 12 pages, LaTeX, 3 figures (uses psfig), all in a uuencoded compressed tar fil

    Cosmology calculations almost without general relativity

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    The Friedmann equation is derived for a Newtonian universe. Changing mass density to energy density gives exactly the Friedmann equation of general relativity. Accounting for work done by pressure then yields the two Einstein equations that govern the expansion of the universe. Descriptions and explanations of radiation pressure and vacuum pressure are added to complete a basic kit of cosmology tools. It provides a basis for teaching cosmology to undergraduates in a way that quickly equips them to do basic calculations. This is demonstrated with calculations involving: characteristics of the expansion for densities dominated by radiation, matter, or vacuum; the closeness of the density to the critical density; how much vacuum energy compared to matter energy is needed to make the expansion accelerate; and how little is needed to make it stop. Travel time and luninosity distance are calculated in terms of the redshift and the densities of matter and vacuum energy, using a scaled Friedmann equation with the constant in the curvature term determined by matching with the present values of the Hubble parameter and energy density. General relativity is needed only for the luminosity distance, to describe how the curvature of space, determined by the energy density, can change the intensity of light by changing the area of the sphere to which the light has spread. Thirty-one problems are included.Comment: 21 pages, 31 problems, 1 figure, submitted to American Journal of Physics, refereed, revised, recommended for publication by refere

    Lorentz transformations that entangle spins and entangle momenta

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    Simple examples are presented of Lorentz transformations that entangle the spins and momenta of two particles with positive mass and spin 1/2. They apply to indistinguishable particles, produce maximal entanglement from finite Lorentz transformations of states for finite momenta, and describe entanglement of spins produced together with entanglement of momenta. From the entanglements considered, no sum of entanglements is found to be unchanged.Comment: 5 Pages, 2 Figures, One new paragraph and reference adde

    One qubit almost completely reveals the dynamics of two

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    From the time dependence of states of one of them, the dynamics of two interacting qubits is determined to be one of two possibilities that differ only by a change of signs of parameters in the Hamiltonian. The only exception is a simple particular case where several parameters in the Hamiltonian are zero and one of the remaining nonzero parameters has no effect on the time dependence of states of the one qubit. The mean values that describe the initial state of the other qubit and of the correlations between the two qubits also are generally determined to within a change of signs by the time dependence of states of the one qubit, but with many more exceptions. An example demonstrates all the results. Feedback in the equations of motion that allows time dependence in a subsystem to determine the dynamics of the larger system can occur in both classical and quantum mechanics. The role of quantum mechanics here is just to identify qubits as the simplest objects to consider and specify the form that equations of motion for two interacting qubits can take.Comment: 6 pages with new and updated materia
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