B.A. (Kenyon College) 1998
M.A. (University of California, Berkeley) 2000
Abstract:
I investigate the ways in which information, about an open quantum
system, is recorded in its environment. The underlying themes are
classicality and its
symptom, objectivity.
How decoherence leads to redundantly recorded information is of
particular importance. Redundancy
is introduced as a concrete manifestation of objectivity, and a set of
tools for identifying redundancy is presented. Several variants
of
spin bath and oscillator bath models for decoherence are analyzed in
terms of redundancy. Redundant information storage is shown to be
a
common feature of decoherence models.
Predictability and
amplification, two related symptoms of classicality, are also
explored. I introduce the operator
sieve,
an improved algorithm for implementing the predictability sieve, and
apply it to the problem of connecting redundancy and
predictability.
This leads to a general theory of informationpreserving
structures,
which unifies pointer bases with decoherencefree subspaces/subsystems
in an algebraic framework. As a first step in exploring amplification
(and its connections with redundancy), a simple analytic model of an
unstable environment is solved. I show that a single amplifying
degree
of freedom can produce more (and faster) decoherence than an bath of
infinitely many oscillators.

Important Information:
My dissertation is quite long. It contains quite a bit of
information, including approximately 75 color figures. The ~
389
422 pages
^{[*] }of manuscript include:
 ~20 pages of preamble (e.g., signature pages, table of contents,
etc),
 ~305 pages of core material,
 ~17 pages of bibliography
 ~79 pages of appendices, which contain nonessential material,
For the convenience of readers, and in order to minimize the number of
trees that need to die, I have provided
several two versions of
the same
text below.
Please
be aware that generating all these versions is
somewhat timeconsuming. The ones labeled "
*not available yet*" are ones that
I haven't yet generated. Please request
one of these by email (robin AT blumekohout DOT com ) if you
actually need it, and I'll be glad to generate it. If possible, I
will provide the following abstractions:
 UC  Official version (double spaced, 12 pt)
 A more efficient, singlespaced version
 Color pages only. I assume that you will print
doublesided, so this includes all pagepairs for which one side or the
other is color.
 Noncolor pages only. See previous line for explanation 
this consists of all the other pages. The idea is that you can
print this one on a B&W printer, the other on a color printer, and
interleave them.
[*] The University of California requires that all dissertations be
double spaced (really, truly,
double spaced,
not spaceandahalf). The recommended font size is 12
point. This inflates the size of a document quite a bit.
The singlespaced version  formatted a little less tightly than a
typical Phys. Rev. paper  is about 253 pages long. Printing
this version will save one or two trees.