3 years ago

Unravelling Cosmological Perturbations.

Timothy J. Hollowood

We explain in detail the quantum-to-classical transition for the cosmological perturbations using only the standard rules of quantum mechanics: the Schrodinger equation and Born's rule applied to a subsystem. We show that the conditioned, i.e. intrinsic, pure state of the perturbations, is driven by the interactions with a generic environment, to become increasingly localized in field space as a mode exists the horizon during inflation. With a favourable coupling to the environment, the conditioned state of the perturbations becomes highly localized in field space due to the expansion of spacetime by a factor of roughly exp(-c N), where N~50 and c is a model dependent number of order 1. Effectively the state rapidly becomes specified completely by a point in phase space and an effective, classical, stochastic process emerges described by a classical Langevin equation. The statistics of the stochastic process is described by the solution of the master equation that describes the perturbations coupled to the environment.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1804.07637

DOI: arXiv:1804.07637v2

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