Interacting classical and quantum ensembles

Michael J.W. Hall*, Marcel Reginatto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


A consistent description of interactions between classical and quantum systems is relevant to quantum measurement theory and to calculations in quantum chemistry and quantum gravity. A solution is offered here to this long-standing problem, based on a universally applicable formalism for ensembles on configuration space. This approach overcomes difficulties arising in previous attempts and in particular allows for a back reaction on the classical ensemble, conservation of probability and energy, and the correct classical equations of motion in the limit of no interaction. Applications include automatic decoherence for quantum ensembles interacting with classical measurement apparatuses, a generalization of coherent states to hybrid harmonic oscillators, and an equation for describing the interaction of quantum matter fields with classical gravity, which implies that the radius of a Robertson-Walker universe containing a quantum massive scalar field can be sharply defined only for particular "quantized" values.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062109
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


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