On the Ollivier–Poulin–Zurek Definition of Objectivity

Abstract

The Ollivier–Poulin–Zurek definition of objectivity provides a philosophical basis for the environment as witness formulation of decoherence theory and hence for quantum Darwinism. It is shown that no account of the reference of the key terms in this definition can be given that does not render the definition inapplicable within quantum theory. It is argued that this is not the fault of the language used, but of the assumption that the laws of physics are independent of Hilbert-space decomposition. All evidence suggests that this latter assumption is true. If it is, decoherence cannot explain the emergence of classicality.

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Acknowledgment

I thank Juan Roederer for informative and enjoyable discussions of the issues explored in this paper, and two anonymous referees for raising useful questions about an earlier version.

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Correspondence to Chris Fields.

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Fields, C. On the Ollivier–Poulin–Zurek Definition of Objectivity. Axiomathes 24, 137–156 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10516-013-9218-3

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Keywords

  • Decoherence
  • Quantum Darwinism
  • Classical information
  • Environment as witness
  • Decomposition into systems
  • Semantics