Decoherence and the Quantum-to-Classical Transition

The Frontiers Collection, Springer, Heidelberg/Berlin (2007, 4th reprint 2009), 417 pages

Learn more » | Sample pages | Table of Contents | Preface

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A. Zeilinger in Nature (PDF)
E. Merzbacher in Physics Today (PDF)
C. Kiefer in Physik Journal (in German)
N.P. Landsman in Stud. Hist. Phil. Mod. Phys. (PDF)

About the Book (From the Publisher)

The ultimate introduction, textbook, and reference on decoherence and the quantum-to-classical transition. This detailed but accessible text describes the concepts, formalism, interpretation, and experimental observation of decoherence and explains how decoherence is responsible for the emergence, from the realm of quantum mechanics, of the classical world of our experience.

Topics include:

  • Foundational problems at the quantum–classical border;
  • The role of the environment and entanglement;
  • Environment-induced loss of coherence and superselection;
  • Scattering-induced decoherence and spatial localization;
  • Master equations;
  • Decoherence models;
  • Experimental realization of "Schrödinger kittens" and their decoherence;
  • Quantum computing, quantum error correction, and decoherence-free subspaces;
  • Implications of decoherence for interpretations of quantum mechanics and for the “measurement problem”;
  • Decoherence in the brain.

Reviews and Praise

A thorough and readable representation of today’s understanding of the topic. … An excellent overview of the various theoretical approaches to the physics that leads to decoherence. … An important resource for anyone interested in decoherence.
—Anton Zeilinger, Nature 451, 18 (2008)

A very fine tour of the decoherence program in all its facets. … Schlosshauer’s book is highly recommended. … Schlosshauer has written an excellent survey of a field that is of the greatest possible interest for the foundations of quantum physics.
—N. P. Landsman, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40, 94 (2009)

A competent, accessible, and extremely engaging introduction to a fascinating topic, encompassing both the fundamentals and the ever-increasing number of applications. … Throughout the book the author manages to maintain the difficult balance between conceptual and mathematical exposition. … Schlosshauer’s book is a must-have for anyone interested in an understanding of quantum theory.
—Claus Kiefer, Physik-Journal 9/2008, 128

An excellent monograph about what the best current thoughts are on the link between quantum and classical physics. … Schlosshauer’s book is a welcome contribution.
—Eugen Merzbacher, Physics Today, September 2008

Reads like a bestseller. An engaging and intuitive treatment of a very important subject, combining the scope of a monograph with the clarity of a textbook and the intellectual excitement of a Sherlock Holmes adventure.
—Wojciech Zurek, Los Alamos

Everyone who works in the borderlands between quantum and classical physics, from philosophers of physics to quantum-computer technologists, will find much here to stimulate and inspire.
—Gerard Milburn, University of Queensland

A thorough, readable, and very useful account of decoherence theory and its diverse applications. Valuable as a text and as a reference work, both for graduate students and for active researchers in the field.
—Steve Adler, IAS, Princeton

Elegance and Enigma: The Quantum Interviews

The Frontiers Collection, Springer, Heidelberg/Berlin (2011), 311 pages

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Free sneak previews: | | Google Books

Free PDF samples:
Sample chapter: “Question 2: Big Issues”
Full interviews (arXiv): David Mermin, Christopher Fuchs
Frontmatter (contains preface, table of contents, biographies of the participants, and prologue)
Backmatter (contains epilogue, glossary, and index)

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D. Rickels in Mathematical Reviews (PDF)
B. Satzer in MAA Reviews
M. Leifer in Am. J. Phys (PDF)

Here’s a blog post I wrote about the book.

About the Book (From the Publisher)

Quantum mechanics is one of mankind’s most remarkable intellectual achievements. Stunningly successful and elegant, it challenges our deepest intuitions about the world. In this book, seventeen physicists and philosophers, all deeply concerned with understanding quantum mechanics, reply to Schlosshauer’s penetrating questions about the central issues. They grant us an intimate look at their radically different ways of making sense of the theory’s strangeness. What is quantum mechanics about? What is it telling us about nature? Can quantum information or new experiments help lift the fog? And where are we headed next? Everyone interested in the contemporary but often longstanding conundrums of quantum theory, whether lay reader or expert, will find much food for thought in these pages. A wealth of personal reflections and anecdotes guarantee an engaging read.

Participants: Guido Bacciagaluppi, Caslav Brukner, Jeffrey Bub, Arthur Fine, Christopher Fuchs, GianCarlo Ghirardi, Shelly Goldstein, Daniel Greenberger, Lucien Hardy, Anthony Leggett, Tim Maudlin, David Mermin, Lee Smolin, Antony Valentini, David Wallace, Anton Zeilinger, and Wojciech Zurek.