THEME - I
CHARPAK et al.
JANSEN, FK - a
JANSEN, FK -b
IS THE UNIVERSE BASED ON HAZARDS ?
SCHULMAN, Lawrence S.
Professor of Theoretical Physics
Clarkson University, Potsdam
New York 13699-5820, USA
Professional literature : http://people.clarkson.edu/~physics/schulman.htm
TEXTE received september 2006
In response to the editor's encouragement for a contribution to the above question PROFESSOR LAWRENCE. S. SCHULMAN answered :
.......... during this last year I gave lectures at Saclay and the Technion on time, with a bit on my ideas on quantum mechanics, which as I noted earlier, takes a totally deterministic view. I've attached those notes.
Also when I looked through them I saw that I hadn't quite emphasized the deterministic features, which were implicit.
.......... what I've done is make a small excerpt from Chap 6 of my book and added it as an additional section (10.E) in the lecture notes..........
The additional section 10.E :
L S Schulman • Time-related issues . . . •
SPhT & Technion lectures 70 E. Excerpt from Ref. 
(Time’s Arrows and Quantum Measurement),
Sec. 6.3, on the determinism implicit in this worldview.
This excerpt emphasizes the fact that the quantum measurement theory described in these notes (and in the book) require a deterministic world. The entire history of the universe, past and future, is fixed.
The other claim is the more dramatic. First you can’t control your initial state, and second it is always one of the presumably rare ‘special’ ones. For those who have read the earlier chapters of this book, this claim should not be surprising. The thermodynamic arrow of time is what gives us our strong prejudice on the arbitrariness of initial conditions and the specificity of final conditions. In a dynamical system for which the boundary conditions are naturally defined at more than one time, the selection of allowable states (from among all candidates macroscopically possible) will not favor initial conditions in this way.
Therefore we can already anticipate that the constraint on initial states will have something to do with the giving of conditions in the future, conflicting with our primitive intuition that only statements about the past influence the present state of a system.
There is another claim implicit in this proposal. Suppose your laboratory is wealthy enough to have two cloud chambers and before doing the experiment you have to decide between them, based perhaps on choosing the one with a gas leak or the one with an unreliable compressor. (Well, maybe the lab is not so wealthy after all!) The chamber that you opt to use will turn out to be the one with the right ‘special’ state. Or suppose you decide to aim the beam a little differently. Then it will be other gas molecules that are primed for perfect detection or perfect non-detection. It follows that the ‘special’ states that occur are coordinated with your decision. But since (according to this theory) nothing ever happens except pure, unitary quantum evolution, the precursors of these states were heading where they were going before you made your ‘decision.’ So your decision was not a decision, and your wave function and that of the detectors are correlated. Pursuing this line of reasoning to ever greater scales, it follows that my ideas can only be valid if there is a single wave function for the entire universe. This wave function has the precise correlations necessary to guarantee ‘special’ states at every juncture where they are needed.
Again, it is my hope that the edge on the foregoing assertion has been taken off by the earlier parts of this book in which I discussed the arrow of time and past and future boundary conditions. A future boundary condition can trivially generate long range correlations. For chaotic systems these correlations demand extreme precision. What the foregoing discussion implies is that if I propose to motivate the appearance of ‘special’ states by a future boundary condition, that boundary condition should involve the entire universe. So if I am right about this explanation of the quantum measurement problem, not only must we reexamine statistical mechanics, but cosmology plays a role as well.
See also the notes to Sec. 6.3 of the book (pp. 220–221).
See also the whole lectures:
TIME-RELATED ISSUES IN STATISTICAL MECHANICS
( has to be opened with PDF )