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The Re-Emergence of EmergenceThe Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion$
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Philip Clayton and Paul Davies

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199544318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199544318.001.0001

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The Emergence of Classicality from Quantum Theory

The Emergence of Classicality from Quantum Theory

(p.53) 3 The Emergence of Classicality from Quantum Theory
The Re-Emergence of Emergence

Erich Joos

Oxford University Press

A thoroughgoing and consistent application of quantum theory shows that the connection between classical and quantum physics is very different from what can be found in standard textbooks. In the last two decades it has been shown that the elements of classical physics emerge through an irreversible quantum process called ‘decoherence’. According to decoherence theories, quantum objects acquire classical properties only through interactions with their natural environment as a consequence of the holistic features of quantum theory. In view of the interpretation problem of quantum theory, only two directions out of the host of proposals suggested in the course of time appear to remain consistent solutions. Whatever solution is preferred, the message of decoherence remains the same: classical notions are not needed as the starting point for physics. Instead, these emerge through the dynamical process of decoherence from the quantum substrate.

Keywords:   classical physics, quantum physics, quantum substrate, dynamics, quantum objects, observer, decoherence, quantum theory

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