Decoherence, Complex Systems, and achieving Macroscopic Quantum Systems


Macroscopic quantum systems (MQS) are macroscopic systems driven by quantum rather than classical mechanics, a long studied area with minimal success till recently. Harnessing the benefits of quantum mechanics on a macroscopic level would revolutionize fields ranging from telecommunication to biology, the latter focused on here for reasons discussed. Contrary to misconceptions, there are no known physical laws that prevent the development of MQS. Instead, they are generally believed universally lost in complex systems from environmental entanglements (decoherence). But we argue success is achievable MQS with decoherence compensation developed, naturally or artificially, from top-down rather current reductionist approaches. This paper advances the MQS field by a complex systems approach to decoherence. First, why complex system decoherence approaches (top-down) are needed is discussed. Specifically, complex adaptive systems (CAS) are not amenable to reductionist models (and their master equations) because of emergent behavior, approximation failures, not accounting for quantum compensator mechanisms, ignoring path integrals, and the subentity problem. In addition, since MQS must exist within the context of the classical world, rapid decoherence and prolonged coherence are both needed. Nature has already demonstrated this for quantum subsystems such as photosynthesis and magnetoreception. Second, we perform a preliminary study that illustrates a top-down approach to potential MQS. In summary, reductionist arguments against MQS are not justifiable. It is more likely they are not easily detectable in large intact classical systems or has been destroyed by reductionist experimental set-ups. This complex systems decoherence approach, using top down investigations, is critical to paradigm shifts in MQS research both in biological and non-biological systems.

For more information:  Can we advance macroscopic quantum systems outside the framework of complex decoherence theory?