This Letter proposes an answer to a challenge posed by Bell on the lack of clarity in regards to the dividing line between the quantum and classical regimes in a measurement problem. To this end, a generalized logarithmic nonlinear Schrödinger equation is proposed to describe the time evolution of a quantum dissipative system under continuous measurement. Within the Bohmian mechanics framework, a solution to this equation reveals a novel result: it displays a time constant that should represent the dividing line between the quantum and classical trajectories. It is shown that continuous measurements and damping not only disturb the particle but compel the system to converge in time to a Newtonian regime. While the width of the wave packet may reach a stationary regime, its quantum trajectories converge exponentially in time to classical trajectories. In particular, it is shown that damping tends to suppress further quantum effects on a time scale shorter than the relaxation time of the system. If the initial wave packet width is taken to be equal to (the approximate size of an electron), the Bohmian time constant is found to have an upper limit, i.e., .
- Received 9 May 2013
© 2013 American Physical Society