Quantum Darwinism


Nature Article

Relative States and the Environment Einselection, Envariance, Quantum Darwinism, and the Existential Interpretation.

Quantum Darwinism: Entanglement, Branches, and the Emergent Classicality of Redundantly Stored Quantum Information

Environment as a Witness: Selective Proliferation of Information and Emergence of Objectivity in a Quantum Universe



Wojciech Zurek

In a landmark series of papers Wojciech Zurek offers an explanation of the relationship between  quantum and classical realities resolving the debate between Einstein and Bohr, perhaps the most famous scientific debate in history. Einstein insisted there must be an objective reality existing independent of the observations we choose to make while Bohr insisted it is wrong to think the task of physics is to find out how Nature is, physics concerns only what we can say about Nature.

As might be expected they both turn out to be partially right! Einstein, who many considered unreasonably  cranky in his objections to quantum theory, is largely vindicated by Zurek's thorough explanation of the circumstances under which quantum phenomena result in objective reality. Perhaps the most unforeseen aspect of Zurek's findings is a Darwinian process he coins Quantum Darwinism, responsible for selecting classical reality from quantum reality.

Zurek presents his most recent results and theoretical summary in his most recent paper: Relative States and the Environment Einselection, Envariance, Quantum Darwinism, and the Existential Interpretation.

The design space in which evolution operates is unimaginably huge and must ultimately correlate to the Hilbert space in which the universe's quantum state vector evolves. How the limitless potentialities of this quantum space are reduced to the more manageable classical space of possibilities witnessed by objective observers has long puzzled thoughtful researchers. Now in a series of ground breaking papers Wojciech Zurek and other researchers have outlined a process called 'Quantum Darwinism' that they claim can manage this feat.

Wojciech Hubert Zurek is a well-known scientist in the study of physics. Laboratory Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A leading authority on quantum theory, especially decoherence, among other physics topics. His work also has a lot of potential benefit to the emerging field of quantum computing.

Educated in Krakow, Poland (M.Sc. 1974) and Austin, Texas (Ph.D. 1979). Spent two years at Caltech as Tolman Fellow . Started at LANL as a J. Oppenheimer Fellow . Was leader of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at Los Alamos during from 1991 until he was made a Laboratory Fellow in the Theory Division in 1996. Is a foreign associate of the Cosmology Program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research . Served as a memeber of the external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. Has been a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Co-organized the Quantum Coherence and Decoherence as well as the Quantum Computing and Chaos Programs at UCSB's Institute for Theoretical Physics