An exactly solvable model of an avalanche-type measuring deviceR. Merlin
The Harrison M. Randall Laboratory of Physics, The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1040, USA
received 16 April 2006; accepted in final form 19 September 2006
published online 18 October 2006
A quantum many-body model is presented with features similar to those of certain particle detectors. The energy spectrum contains a single, thermodynamically metastable "ready" state and macroscopically-distinct, ground "pointer" states. Transitions into classical-like states can be triggered by a single particle with the help of the thermal bath. Schrödinger cat states are associated with superpositions of inequivalent vacua, thus suggestion a relationship between wave function collapse and the dynamics of symmetry breaking in phase transformations.
03.65.Ta - Foundations of quantum mechanics; measurement theory.
03.70.+k - Theory of quantized fields.
© EDP Sciences 2006