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Wojciech Zurek


In the end one might ask: How Darwinian is Quantum Darwinism?". Clearly, there is survival of the fittest, and fitness is defined as in natural selection through the ability to procreate. The no-cloning theorem implies competition for resources so that only pointer states can multiply (at the expense of their complementary competition).

Wojciech Zurek


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Wojciech Zurek and universal Darwinism

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.

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.