The role of pragmatic information in quantum mechanics and the quantum-classical transition
University of Alaska-Fairbanks

I will show how an objective definition of the concept of information and the consideration of recent results about information-processing in the human brain help clarify some fundamental and often counter-intuitive aspects of quantum mechanics. In particular, I will discuss entanglement, teleportation, non-interaction measurements and decoherence in the light of the fact that pragmatic information, the one our brain handles, can only be defined in the classical macroscopic domain; it does not operate in the quantum domain. This justifies viewing quantum mechanics as a discipline dealing with mathematical models and procedures aimed exclusively at predicting the possible macroscopic changes and their likelihood that a given quantum system may cause when it interacts with its environment, including man-made devices such as measurement instruments. I will discuss the informational and neurobiological reasons of why counter-intuitive aspects arise whenever we attempt to construct mental images of the “inner workings” of a quantum system by forcing the concepts of classical information and time into the quantum domain; in this context I will examine the role of pragmatic information as a discriminator in the quantum-to-classical transition.

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