Rethinking ‘quantumness’

I’m still working on a complete rewrite of my paper linking the Cerf-Adami inequalities and the second law of thermodynamics (immense thanks to Terry Rudolph and Ken Wharton for the detailed assistance).  But in going back and doing some more research on the second law, I discovered that, since the 1950s, no less than fifteen papers proposing “new” statements or interpretations of the second law have appeared in a single journal, that being the American Journal of Physics.  In a very recent paper that appeared in Phys. Rev. E, M. Hossein Partovi had this to say on the subject:  “[R]arely have so many distinguished physicists written as extensively on a subject while achieving so little consensus.”

What is particularly interesting about Partovi’s paper is that, in it, he formally develops entangled states that are macroscopic.  It was Schrödinger’s contention that what truly defined a quantum system was entanglement.  Since the latter had always been associated with microscopic systems, it seems as if, implicitly at least, the word ‘quantum’ was often taken to mean ‘microscopic.’  But if macroscopic systems can truly become entangled (that is non-factorable), we must reevaluate what it means for something to be ‘quantum’ and it brings a completely different perspective to the search for the quantum-classical boundary.


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