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The quantum and classical worlds are clearly very different, but how a physical system transitions between them is much less clear. The most well-known attempt to explain the quantum-to-classical transition is decoherence, which is the idea that interactions with the environment destroy quantum coherence, causing a quantum system to become classical.

But in more recent years, physicists have been investigating alternative explanations based on an observer's limited ability to control the precision of the measurements made on a system. The idea is that a system that appears to exhibit quantum behavior when observed with very precise measurements will appear to behave classically if the measurements are too coarse or fuzzy. In such a scenario, the coarsening of measurements forces the quantum-to-classical transition.

The problem is, fuzziness in measurements does not always result in the quantum-to-classical transition, and physicists aren't sure what exact conditions of the measurement process are necessary to definitively force the quantum-to-classical transition.

In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Hyunseok Jeong and Youngrong Lim at Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea, and M. S. Kim at Imperial College London in the UK, have proposed an explanation.

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