# Practical meaning of making a measurement/observation in QM?

When an argument like 'measure the spin along the $x$ axis', 'observe the position of a particle' and so on is made, what is the implied experimental procedure? Since laboratory equipment is macroscopic, I have a hard time relating this to measuring an observable.

For example, if I have a QM harmonic oscillator, how do I actually determine which eigenmode it is in?

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