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IPM
30
YEARS OLD

“School of Astronomy”

Paper   IPM / Astronomy / 13932
   School of Astronomy
  Title: On the second law of thermodynamics: The significance of coarse-graining and the role of decoherence
  Author(s): M. Noorbala
  Status: Published
  Journal: Ann. Phys.
  Vol.: 351
  Year: 2014
  Pages: 5
  Supported by: IPM
  Abstract:
We take up the question why the initial entropy in the universe was small, in the context of evolution of the entropy of a classical system. We note that coarse-graining is an important aspect of entropy evaluation which can reverse the direction of the increase in entropy, i.e., the direction of thermodynamic arrow of time. Then we investigate the role of decoherence in the selection of coarse-graining and explain how to compute entropy for a decohered classical system. Finally, we argue that the requirement of low initial entropy imposes constraints on the decoherence process.

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