On Quantum Collapse as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics
AbstractIt was first suggested by David Z. Albert that the existence of a real, physical non-unitary process (i.e., “collapse”) at the quantum level would yield a complete explanation for the Second Law of Thermodynamics (i.e., the increase in entropy over time). The contribution of such a process would be to provide a physical basis for the ontological indeterminacy needed to derive the irreversible Second Law against a backdrop of otherwise reversible, deterministic physical laws. An alternative understanding of the source of this possible quantum “collapse” or non-unitarity is presented herein, in terms of the Transactional Interpretation (TI). The present model provides a specific physical justification for Boltzmann’s often-criticized assumption of molecular randomness (Stosszahlansatz), thereby changing its status from an ad hoc postulate to a theoretically grounded result, without requiring any change to the basic quantum theory. In addition, it is argued that TI provides an elegant way of reconciling, via indeterministic collapse, the time-reversible Liouville evolution with the time-irreversible evolution inherent in so-called “master equations” that specify the changes in occupation of the various possible states in terms of the transition rates between them. The present model is contrasted with the Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber (GRW) “spontaneous collapse” theory previously suggested for this purpose by Albert. View Full-Text
Scifeed alert for new publicationsNever miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
- Get alerts for new papers matching your research
- Find out the new papers from selected authors
- Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
- Define your Scifeed now
Kastner, R.E. On Quantum Collapse as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy 2017, 19, 106.
Kastner RE. On Quantum Collapse as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy. 2017; 19(3):106.Chicago/Turabian Style
Kastner, Ruth E. 2017. "On Quantum Collapse as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics." Entropy 19, no. 3: 106.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.