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Aug 29, 2022

How does classical, Newtonian inertia emerge from quantum mechanics?

Posted by in categories: information science, quantum physics

From my understanding, inertia is typically taken as an axiom rather than something that can be explained by some deeper phenomenon. However, it’s also my understanding that quantum mechanics must reduce to classical, Newtonian mechanics in the macroscopic limit.

By inertia, I mean the resistance to changes in velocity — the fact of more massive objects (or paticles, let’s say) accelerating more slowly given the same force.

What is the quantum mechanical mechanism that, in its limit, leads to Newtonian inertia? Is there some concept of axiomatic inertia that applies to the quantum mechanical equations and explains Newtonian inertia, even if it remains a fundamental assumption of quantum theory?

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