This tag is for questions about the exact nature of wavefunction collapse.

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How can we “know” that system interacted with another system or environment in quantum mechanics/decoherence?

I might be raising measurement problem in quantum physics in different words, but I will ask the question. Quantum decoherence has been proposed by proponents as a theory that eliminates all weird ...
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0answers
45 views

Uncertainty principle implies the non-deterministic universe? [duplicate]

Does the uncertainty principle imply the non-deterministic universe, or just the fact that our model of the universe, the one based on observation, can be at most non-deterministic, since we will not ...
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3answers
118 views

When you measure position of an electron in a energy pure state, what happens to the energy?

When you measure the position of an electron that is in a pure energy state, what happens the energy becomes non-deterministic. That is future measurements of energy can only be predicted with respect ...
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2answers
310 views

QM: why is reflection of a photon not a measurement?

Many experiments with entangled photons are sending them through different glass fiber cables (e.g. in opposite directions for spatial separation). The photons will inevitably be reflected many times ...
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0answers
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Weak measurement formalism: Weak value can be too big?

A question to experts in the weak measurement formalism: In the famous paper How the Result of a Measurement of a Component of the Spin of a Spin-1/2 Particle Can Turn Out to be 100 by Aharonov, ...
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Do restrictions on quantum mechanical measurement always just work out to avoid contradictions?

Classically it was said that measurement leads to a collapse of the wave function. However, if there wouldn't be any limit on the process on measurement itself, strange things can happen, e.g. a ...
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0answers
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Beginner Quantum Mechanics Questions and Theories [closed]

So, I recently read the following article: http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/eternitytohere/quantum/ and I have some questions on some of the things it discussed, as well as some theories of my ...
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4answers
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How can things be chaotic on a quantum level, yet tangible on a classical level?

This may seem basic, but I am wondering if anyone has any input on this topic. It doesn't make any sense to me (I mean I don't need to use the Schrödinger equation to find my cell phone...). I just do ...
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9answers
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Is the uncertainty principle a property of elementary particles or a result of our measurement tools?

In many physics divulgation books I've read, this seems to be a commonly accepted point of view (I'm making this quote up, as I don't remember the exact words, but this should give you an idea): ...
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4answers
244 views

Double slit experiment and single particles. Is the wave function just a mathematical model?

I really do want to apologize in advance, I know this question has been 'answered' before. I have this 'problem' of feeling negatively toward much of today's 'mystical' interpretations of physics, ...
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1answer
129 views

How to determine Young's modulus of a wire by Searle's method?

The question is: A student performs an experiment to determine the Young's modulus of a wire, exactly 2m long, by Searle's method. In a particular reading, the student measures the extension in ...
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2answers
237 views

What does this quantum experiment says about quantum world?

I am complete noob so please bear with me. I always read that in quantum world things exists as probability and only become one when they are observed...or wave collapses into particle. But there was ...
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1answer
66 views

About Hilbert and Physics [duplicate]

Was one of Hilbert questions regarding physics to make an axiomatic foundation for physics? Has this been done? Isn't the search for a Unified Field Theory and the so called 'Theory of Everything' ...
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1answer
87 views

Understanding wave functions

I'm currently writing an essay on the measurement problem, and I'm not quite certain that I've fully understood the purpose of the wave function, in that does the following sentence make sense with ...
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0answers
111 views

“Consciousness causes collapse”-interpretation or free will excluded by quantum zeno effect? [closed]

This question is if the von Neumann–Wigner interpretation, aka "consciousness cause collapse" (see e.g. John von Neumann's 1932 book The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics) is compatible ...
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0answers
113 views

What are you studying when you study a Harmonic Oscillator in QM?

This probably is a naive question - so please forgive a self-studier. In the text I am studying, one builds a HO by placing a particle in a potential that increases quadratically from the origin. The ...
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2answers
129 views

Understanding Well Defined States

I am self-studying from a text in QM. Well defined states are mentioned several times. By and large these are consistent and seem to be readily apparent: states of well defined energy are basis ...
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1answer
48 views

Position and potential Energy

Why are the position and potential energy of a particle able to be measured precisely in Quantum Mechanics? I mean why do they commute with each other?
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1answer
86 views

Collapse of the Free Particle Wave Function

The time evolution of the one-dimensional quantum mechanical free particle ($V(x) = 0$ $\forall x$) is described by the following Schroedinger equation $ -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\frac{\partial^2 ...
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1answer
129 views

The Physical Meaning behind a Commutator [duplicate]

I've just been introduced to the idea of commutators and I'm aware that it's not a trivial thing if two operators $A$ and $B$ commute, i.e. if two Hermitian operators commute then the eigenvalues of ...
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6answers
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If I drop a leaf twice from the height of a tree in a completely controlled environment, will the trajectory in each case be the same?

Putting my question in other words, can earth form again if a similar initial universe condition is given? The uncertainty principle says that we cannot tell with certainty the position of a particle ...
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0answers
97 views

Why is QM maximally predictive?

Let's suppose I'm in the lab and I claim that I can predict more than QM can, specifically, I can predict exactly at which moment in time a particle decays. You don't believe me (naturally) so I set ...
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3answers
211 views

Is commutation relation an equivalence relation?

I'm now learning quantum mechanics with Liboff. In the book it deals with "a compete set of mutually compatible observables" in order to make a state maximally informative. How can one find such set? ...
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0answers
20 views

Average value of consecutive measurements of two observables

Suppose we had two boxes named "1" and "2", and suppose we can measure observables $A_1$ and $A_2$ from these boxes, respectively. $A_1$ and $A_2$ commute, meaning we can find a basis of simultaneous ...
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1answer
139 views

Are we so sure about superposition?

Apparently particles can be anywhere when not observed. How strong is this theory really? Okay the wave-function can be collapsed through observation but how are we so sure that when an object is not ...
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2answers
43 views

Does measuring the exact position of a ball destroy the ball

If you have a macroscopic ball (say, a tennis ball) and you (hypothetically) try to measure the exact position of the center of that ball by measuring the exact positions of the atoms making up the ...
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0answers
60 views

Does quantum mechanics require classical measurement apparatus?

I am trying to learn quantum mechanics and I have a question. Landau, in his quantum mechanics book says that it is in principle impossible to formulate basic concepts of quantum mechanics without ...
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1answer
69 views

If the wave function can be collapsed, can we collapse the particle function? [closed]

No doubt it's been questioned before so what is the theory or experiment? If there is an experiment.
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3answers
115 views

Measurement of quantum state

Consider a particle in a box system.Assume its state to be a superposition of the ground and the first excited energy states.Consider two observers A and B (rest of the world).A made the measurement ...
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3answers
162 views

How does wave function collapse when I measure position?

Text books say that when you measure a particle's position, its wave function collapses to one eigenstate, which is a delta function at that location. I'm confused here. A measurement always have ...
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0answers
51 views

Fine grained vs. coarse grained measurements and MWI

Alright, so it is my understanding that the idea that measuring systems do a coarse grained measurement which give the appearance of decoherence. I understand that the claim implicit there is that ...
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1answer
230 views

Are Thomas Breuer's subjective decoherence and Scott Aaronson's freebits with knightian freedom the same things in essence?

In his remarkable works (1,2 and their recent development 3) Thomas Breuer proves by diagonalization the phenomenon that the observer cannot distinguish all phase space states of a system where he is ...
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2answers
89 views

What does quantum phenomena exist as prior to observation?

It's been said that according to the Schrodinger equation, independent of observation, particles exist in a state of a wave function, which is a series of potentialities rather than actual objects. ...
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1answer
123 views

Is it true that Macrorealism can be shown false?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leggett-Garg_inequality As you can see by the link above, it claims that if the violation of the Leggett–Garg inequality can be demonstrated on the macroscopic scale, it ...
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217 views

Does the Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser experiment prove consciousness causes collapse?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4 This question comes from the video above. If you don't want to watch the video, I'll cut to the chase. Essentially, it claims the Delayed Choice Quantum ...
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2answers
178 views

If only one slit is observed in the Double Slit experiment, will the unobserved slit produce an interference pattern?

I am having a difficult time solving this. Say that electrons are emitted from a source S at a very slow rate. If both slits S1 and S2 are observed, we would have roughly 50% probability of detecting ...
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3answers
243 views

Is the Copenhagen interpretation merely an approximation to quantum mechanics?

So, I'm reading Max Tegmark's Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf edition, p. 229). He's discussing Everett/MWI for a bit and I'm not really paying attention and then I wake up to this: [I]t's time ...
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4answers
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How is it possible that quantum phenomenons (e.g. superposition) are possible when all quantum particles are being constantly observed?

I don't understand how quantum mechanics (and therefore also quantum computers) can work given that while we work with quantum states, particles that this quantum state consist of cannot be observed, ...
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1answer
137 views

Is kinetic energy in QM a state-property or is it distributed?

Suppose we have a quantum mechanical system, which is well described by its wave function in r-representation $\Psi$. We are interested in the properties of an observable, say the kinetic energy $T$. ...
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5answers
214 views

The quantum state just after a position measurement

The wave function of a free particle is given as, $$\psi(x) ~=~ e^{-{ x }^{ 2 }/{ a }^{ 2 }}.$$ Then a position measurement is made and the position of the particle is found to be at $x=a$. My ...
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0answers
108 views

Why are cosmic conspiracies considered undesirable in quantum interpretations?

Quantum interpretations like superdeterminism, nonlocal hidden variables, etc. are regularly dismissed by the vast majority of physicists because they require "cosmic conspiracies" which can ...
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3answers
166 views

How can the reduction postulate be removed with the other postulates of QM still leading to correct predictions?

In the axiomatic presentation of QM, I've seen it stated many times that the reduction postulate is not needed and/or incorrect, and could be gotten rid of. However, without the reduction postulate, ...
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2answers
137 views

Without apparatus can we say that the system is measured(decohered) by the environment?

"Einselection" and "tridecompositional uniqueness theorem" seem to resolve the preferred basis problem. But the premise is that there are three parts in discussion.(system, apparatus, environment) ...
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0answers
97 views

How can the pre-measurement be fulfilled?

In the decoherence program, the pre-measurement refers to the evolution in which the system and apparatus form a Schmidt state. In Maximilian Schlosshauer's review article(2005), I read "the linearity ...
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3answers
199 views

Why does a wavefunction collapse when observation takes place?

Why does a wavefunction collapse when observation takes place? Can this question be explained in non mathematical terms? I have tried finding the answer but couldn't find a clear explanation.
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1answer
98 views

Wigner friend experiment

Let's supposed we take the Wigner's friend experiment from the metaphysical arena and try to implement it as an actual physical experiment Assuming Wigner's lab friend is kept as a coherent ...
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2answers
92 views

Discrete movement vs wave function collapse

I remember once, as a child, thinking that objects do not really "move," but that at a very small scale they would have to "disappear" and then "appear" again at their newly shifted position, just the ...
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1answer
94 views

What if Correspondence principle in QM happening in classical sense? [closed]

I assume a simple set up (hope to generalize it later)... suppose there is a position pdf (need not be position but any) (probability density function) which is the magnitude of a $\Psi(x)$ predicted ...
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0answers
95 views

Quantum Eraser under Lorentz Boost

Suppose I am conducting the Quantum Eraser experiment. The results of this experiment are easy to understand with the traditional quantum mechanical interpretation of a pair of entangled photons. ...
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82 views

The status of unobservable quantum mechanical predictions

Orthodox quantum mechanics intrinsically requires an observer - since the only connection from the mathematical formalism to physical reality is through the measurement axiom (probability of observing ...