Daily Archives: January 14, 2008

Consistent Histories and Density Operator Formalism

I’ve been busy recently, mostly trying to sell an ethanol plant, and I realize that the plan was to talk about how a particle interaction could cause a force like gravity. However, I also made the New Year’s Resolution to be more professional in my physics and that would be a rather scary post. So instead, partly due to a posting of Lubos Motl, I’m going to rewrite the formalism of the Consistent Histories interpretation of quantum mechanics into my favorite formalism, that of pure density operators. This will be added to the first chapter of my book on density operator applications to elementary particles using Clifford / geometric algebra / calculus.

We will begin with a quick review of the consistent histories formalism, largely lifted from the Wikipedia article. We will then detail how the components of that formalism (which uses projection operators and a mixed density matrix) can be rewritten in terms of pure density matrices. Finally, time and space allowing, we will discuss what these things have to do with Margaret Hawton’s photon position operator in this language.
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