Vol. 4, No. 3-4, 2016

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From quantum to classical world: emergence of trajectories in a quantum system

Rodolfo Figari and Alessandro Teta

Vol. 4 (2016), No. 3-4, 235–254

This note deals with models of quantum systems where the emergence of a classical behavior can be concretely analyzed. We first briefly review some well known difficulties arising in the classical limit of quantum mechanics according to the Copenhagen interpretation. Then we discuss the seminal contribution by Mott (1929) on the tracks observed in a cloud chamber, where the problem can be approached in a particularly transparent way. Finally, we propose a model Hamiltonian, with interaction described by spin dependent point interactions, where Mott’s analysis can be rephrased and the result can be rigorously formulated.

Dedicated to Lucio

environment induced decoherence, cloud chamber, transition quantum to classical
Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme 2010
Primary: 03.65.-w
Received: 4 May 2016
Revised: 13 June 2016
Accepted: 1 August 2016
Published: 17 December 2016

Communicated by Raffaele Esposito
Rodolfo Figari
Dept. of Physics “Ettore Pancini” and National Institute of Nuclear Physics
University of Napoli Federico II
Complesso Univ. Monte Sant’Angelo Ed. 6
Via Cintia
I-80126 Napoli
Alessandro Teta
Dipartimento di Matematica G. Castelnuovo
Sapienza Università di Roma
P.le A. Moro 5
I-00185 Roma