What is decoherence?

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What is decoherence?

In: Physics

States of a system in quantum mechanics are a probability distribution, having no fixed value but rather a continuum of possible values. They can also “bind” their information together in a way, creating a superposition. All of these states are fragile, however. Decoherence is when a quantum state is “bumped” or “observed” by an outside entity, which causes the quantum state to collapse into a defined value. This basically makes the quantum system turn into a classical looking one for a moment, losing the quantum information it had previously such as a superposition or energy probability distribution. The exact nature of how this happens is not known.