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- Combining An Infinite Number of Quantum Systems

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08030029

A single classical system is characterized by its manifold of states; and to combine several systems, we take the product of manifolds. A single quantum system is characterized by its Hilbert space of states; and to combine several systems, we take the tensor product of Hilbert spaces. But what if we choose to combine an infinite number of systems? A naive attempt to describe such combinations fails, for there is apparently no natural notion of an infinite product of manifolds; nor of an infinite tensor product of Hilbert spaces. But, at least in the quantum case, the situation is not as hopeless as it might appear. We argue that there does indeed exist a natural mathematical framework for combinations of infinite numbers of quantum systems.

©2012 Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics