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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Research Staff

Publication details for Prof Jim McElwaine

McElwaine, J.N. (1997). Maximum information and quantum prediction algorithms. Physical review A 56(3): 1756-1766.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This paper describes an algorithm for selecting a consistent set within the consistent histories approach to quantum mechanics and investigates its properties. The algorithm uses a maximum information principle to select from among the consistent sets formed by projections defined by the Schmidt decomposition. The algorithm unconditionally predicts the possible events in closed quantum systems and ascribes probabilities to these events. A simple spin model is described and a complete classification of all exactly consistent sets of histories formed from Schmidt projections in the model is proved. This result is used to show that for this example the algorithm selects a physically realistic set. Other tentative suggestions in the literature for set selection algorithms using ideas from information theory are discussed.