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

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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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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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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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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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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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176 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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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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115 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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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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51 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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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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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
108 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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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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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
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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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116 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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1answer
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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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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190 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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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
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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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90 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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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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78 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 ...
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3answers
319 views

Is the wave function of a particle re-created after a measurement stops?

Yeah, I haven't quite understood, or been told, what happens to, for example an electron and it's wavefunction, when you stop to measure it? I mean, an electron has a wave function describing it's ...
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Wave function collapse in system with many coordinates

Consider general state of a system with spin-$1/2$ $$ \psi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\left[\phi_{+1/2}(x) \left( \begin{array}{cc} 1 \\ 0 \\ \end{array} \right) + \phi_{-1/2}(x) \left( \begin{array}{cc} 0 ...
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What exactly constitutes a measurement? [duplicate]

As far as I understand it, quantum mechanics only predicts the probabilities of finding a system in some state of some observable when we make a measurement. So, what exactly constitutes a ...
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184 views

Does the uncertainty principle make simulation of systems impossible?

Is it possible to fully define a system, then be incapable of simulating or calculating its future states due to the Uncertainty Principle? If it can be done, how?
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4answers
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Is uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement?

I have searched for an answer to this question on physics SE but I have not seen a question in which it is addressed properly. Please let me know if there is an answer already. My question briefly ...
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How does linearity of a measurement imply that the commutator of all measured observables are $c$-numbers?

I really don't understand with the linearity conditions I have where this comes from.
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Does an electron move from one excitation state to another, or jump?

I'm wondering, when an electron changes state, does it move from one state to another over some (very small) time period? Or does it change from one state to another in no time? If the former, what ...
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135 views

What happens to entangled particles when momentum is measured?

In Wikipedia it is mentioned that position and momentum can be entangled as well as spin and polarization etc. I assume etc. is charge etc. I understand how if you measure spin up on one of a pair you ...
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Weird Behaviour of the act of measurement to a quantum system

I and my friend were disputing about some weird behaviour of the act of measuring some observables quantities e.g. Energy, position. But I still don't think what he said is strictly true. He said" ...
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Measurement and wavefunction collapse. problematic time in quantum mechanics

Q: When does the wavefunction collapse? A: When a measurement is made. But when exactly is this? I have a question about the time at which a measurement can be considered to have occurred: what ...
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How does interaction of a system with the environment lead to the damping of interference terms?

A general way to describe a system $S$ that is entangled with an environment $E$ is $\rho_{S}=Tr(\rho_{SE})=\sum\limits_{m,n}c_mc^*_n |s_m\rangle \langle s_n| \langle e_n|e_m\rangle$ with ...
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More Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) Clarification

If you look at the commutation relation of the position and momentum operators (in 1D position space), you get: $$[\hat{x}, \hat{p}_x] = [x,-i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x}] = i \hbar$$ All this ...
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Collision of 2 neutrons

If two neutrons collide in 3D space and we want to determine the final velocities of both nuetrons (3 components for each neutrons), we can use the conservation of momentum equations and the ...
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1answer
265 views

Why doesn't gravity act as a measurement?

I think this must be a very basic question but I couldn't find the answers anywhere. I was starting reading about Quantum Mechanics and these questions came in mind: As I understand the quantum ...
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2answers
511 views

Quantum mechanics potential barrier problem [duplicate]

While reviewing some quantum mechanics, I cam across a very interesting situation. For a potential barrier, if a particle has an energy $E$ less than the potential barrier $V_0$, it is possible to ...
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2answers
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Expectation Values in Quantum Mechanics

Why is the expectation value what it is? Why don't you apply the operator, then multiply that by it's conjugate?
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A Simple Explanation for the Schrödinger Equation and Model of Atom? [closed]

I tried reading the Wikipedia article to no avail - I simply cannot understand the Schrödinger Equation (what does each of the variables mean, especially the wave function), and the Schrödinger Model ...
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Can an AC magnetic field be measured by a hall probe?

Many hall sensors on the market have a datasheet that explain the proportional relationship between the analog voltage that is outputted and the relative gauss/tesla reading (for example: 2.5mV = ...