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Effective “open systems quantum dynamics” has indeed been postulated as an approximation for calculating forward in time in analogy to the Boltzmann equation in the form of semigroups or master equations. An equivalent formalism was introduced by Feynman and Vernon (1963) in terms of path integrals (see Chap. 5). This approach can not explain the appearance of proper mixtures unless it is meant to postulate a fundamental correction to the Schr¨ odinger equation. The formal theory of master equations will be discussed in Chap.

Zeh 1973, 1979, Albrecht 1992, 1993, Barvinsky n and Kamenshchik 1995). It is also used in the “modal interpretation” of quantum mechanics (cf. Dieks 1995). 38 H. D. Zeh declare the program of decoherence a failure. As explained in Sect. 3, both claims miss the point. However, decoherence represents a crucial dynamical step in the measurement process. The rest may remain a pure epistemological problem (requiring only a reformulation of the psycho-physical parallelism in consistent quantum mechanical terms).

14 Such superluminal “phenomena” are reminiscent of the story of Der Hase und der Igel (the race between The Hedgehog and the Rabbit), narrated by the Grimm brothers. ”). Similar arguments hold for “quantum teleportation”, where an appropriate nonlocal state that contains the state to be ported as a component has to be well prepared (cf. also Vaidman 1998). Experiments clearly support this view of a continuous evolution instead of quantum jumps (cf. Fearn, Cock, and Milonni 1995). Teleportation would be required if reality were local and physical properties entered existence “out of the blue” in fundamental quantum events.

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Decoherence, basic concepts and interpretation by Zeh.


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