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Why do Cosmological Perturbations Look Classical to Us?

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According to the inflationary scenario of cosmology, all structure in the Universe can be traced back to primordial fluctuations during an accelerated (inflationary) phase of the very early Universe. A conceptual problem arises due to the fact that the primordial fluctuations are quantum, while the standard scenario of structure formation deals with classical fluctuations. In this essay we present a concise summary of the physics describing the quantum-to-classical transition. We first discuss the observational indistinguishability between classical and quantum correlation functions in the closed system approach (pragmatic view). We then present the open system approach with environment-induced decoherence. We finally discuss the question of the fluctuations' entropy for which, in principle, the concrete mechanism leading to decoherence possesses observational relevance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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  • ADVANCED SCIENCE LETTERS is an international peer-reviewed journal with a very wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all areas of (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Engineering, (5) Computer and Information Sciences, and (6) Geosciences to publish original short communications, full research papers and timely brief (mini) reviews with authors photo and biography encompassing the basic and applied research and current developments in educational aspects of these scientific areas.
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