4 years ago

Classical branches and entanglement structure in the wavefunction of cosmological fluctuations.

C. Jess Riedel, Elliot Nelson

The emergence of preferred classical variables within a many-body wavefunction is encoded in its entanglement structure in the form of redundant classical information shared between many spatially local subsystems. We show how such structure can be generated via cosmological dynamics from the vacuum state of a massless field, causing the wavefunction to branch into classical field configurations on large scales. An accelerating epoch first excites the vacuum into a superposition of classical fields as well as a highly sensitive bath of squeezed super-horizon modes. During a subsequent decelerating epoch, gravitational interactions allow these modes to collect information about longer-wavelength fluctuations. This information disperses spatially, creating long-range redundant correlations in the wavefunction. The resulting classical observables, preferred basis for decoherence, and system/environment decomposition emerge from the translation invariant wavefunction and Hamiltonian, rather than being fixed by hand. We discuss the role of squeezing, the cosmological horizon scale, and phase information in the wavefunction, as well as aspects of wavefunction branching for continuous variables and in field theories.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.05719

DOI: arXiv:1711.05719v1

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