Wednesday, July 3, 2013

1307.0378 (Seth Lloyd)

Pure state quantum statistical mechanics and black holes    [PDF]

Seth Lloyd
Chapter 3 of S. Lloyd's 1988 Ph.D. thesis, `Black Holes, Demons, and the Loss of Coherence: How complex systems get information and what they do with it,' supervisor Heinz Pagels. Reformulates statistical mechanics in terms of pure states and shows that (a) quantum statistics of typical pure states are very close to the mechanics of statistical mechanical ensembles; (b) if a system is in a typical state with energy E, then the reduced density matrix of a subsystem is very close to a thermal state. (A similar result was derived using Levy's lemma some years later by S. Popescu, A.J. Short, A.Winter, Nature Physics 2, 754-758 (2006).) Pure state quantum statistical mechanics is applied to black holesto show that for typical states of matter insideand outside a black hole, the external state is likely to be thermal. Proposes novel interpretation of probabilities in quantum statistical mechanics. Full thesis available at This chapter was submitted for publication to Physical Review in 1988 but rejected by one sentence referee report: `There is no physics in this paper.' You be the judge.
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