Quantal Time Asymmetry: Mathematical Foundation And Physical Interpretation
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Time in standard quantum mechanics extends from -infinity < t < + infinity; this is the result of a mathematical theorem (Stone-von Neumann) for the solutions of the Schrodinger equation for states or of the Heisenberg equation for observables. In reality t does not extend to t -> -infinity since according to causality, a quantum state phi(+) must be prepared first at a particular time t = t(0), before the probability vertical bar(psi(-)(t),phi+(t(0))vertical bar(2) for an observable psi(-) can be measured in it at t > t(0) (Feynman (1948)). In experiments on single Ba(+) ions, Dehmelt and others observed this finite preparation time as the ensemble of onset-times t(0)(1),t(0)(2), ..., t(0)(n) of dark periods. How the semigroup time evolution, t(0) equivalent to 0 < t < infinity with a beginning of time t(0), can suggest the parametrization of the resonance pole position of the Z-boson at S= s(R) as s(R) = (M(R) - i Gamma(R)/2)(2) in terms of a mass M(R) and a width Gamma(R) given by a lifetime tau = (h) over bar/Gamma(R), is the subject of this contribution dedicated to Augusto Garcia.