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

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Meaning of expectation value of product of non-commuting operators

Let $\hat{A}$ and $\hat{B}$ be Hermitian observables with spectra labeled by $a$ and $b$. Then we can write \begin{equation} \hat{A} = \sum_a a\, \hat{P}_a \end{equation} \begin{equation} \hat{B} = ...
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Problem with tracing over the environment and obtaining reduced density operator [on hold]

I'm reading an article by Bas Henson given here. On page 25 he deals with the double slit experiment Given the wavefunction which is his equation 1.75, he claims he has traced over the environment ...
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Regarding IMU derivation of position/orientation

If you are familiar with IMUs (Inertial Measurement Unit) , you know that before the double integration to arrive at estimating the position, one has to subtract the gravity from the measured ...
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2answers
63 views

Does Quantum Collapse occur? [on hold]

Collapses, Quantum Jumps, and the Born interpretation. In my mind they are all the same. But some serious physicists (Schlosshauer, for example) claim there is no evidence for the existence of ...
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How to understand the motion of a particle in Quantum Mechanics?

In Classical Mechanics when we talk about the motion of a particle it is the same as talking about the idea of trajectory. The fact is that in Classical Mechanics, a particle has a definite position ...
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75 views

Is it possible to plot a quantum particle's position with respect to time?

If I shoot an electron through a substance, is it theoretically possible to plot its path through said substance? Has this been experimentally done?
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4answers
259 views

Is the uncertainty principle a statement about limits on our predictive rather than our measurement abilities?

Here's what I know. The Uncertainty Principle states that $$\sigma_x \cdot \sigma_p \geq {{\hbar} \over 2}$$ However, I also know that this principle refers to measurements performed over many ...
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1answer
35 views

How to construct the operator and the physical experiment needed to perform an arbitrary 'measurement in a basis'?

I have taken an introductory level course in QM and have covered some advanced topics by myself and don't really understand what it means to 'measure in a particular basis'. A projective measurement ...
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59 views

Do quantum wave functions curve spacetime before they are measured

Do wave functions cause spacetime curvature before they are measured, or would curvature only happen upon measurement? I guess the question becomes, do quantum wavefunctions carry energy while they ...
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72 views

What does it mean to observe? [duplicate]

This is a layman's question. The only thing I know about quantum physics is from casual reading and documentaries. I can imagine electrons being probabilistic waves. Their position is an infinite ...
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1answer
81 views

A particle in a 1D box: what is the meaning of velocity?

In the box $x = 0$ to $x = L$, $V = 0$, and for $x < 0$ and $x > L$, $V = \infty$ (infinite potential well). The eigenvalues of the Hamiltonian are: $$E_n = \frac{n^2 h^2}{8L^2} \, .$$ Since ...
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1answer
44 views

Do the eigenstates of the Pauli operators correspond to the six directions of the 3D world?

I understand that the six eigenstates of the three Pauli operators $X, Y, Z$ correspond to the six poles of the Bloch sphere. By fixing an orthonormal basis of our physical word, does "measuring Pauli ...
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2answers
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Quantum Entanglement - How To Interpret [duplicate]

I have thought about quantum entanglement for some time, and I still don't quite understand the reasoning behind the conclusion that entangled particles somehow can communicate their state to each ...
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0answers
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Can the Born rule be derived? [duplicate]

$\renewcommand{ket}[1]{|#1\rangle}$ If we have a particle and we know the initial state $|\psi\rangle$ of everything that is relevant, and we know the full Hamiltonian $H$, then we should be able to ...
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3answers
55 views

How does one describe a state with a density matrix after measuring position?

My question is about position measurement in non relativistic quantum mechanics. I've been taught that when you measure the value of an observable for some state of a system described by ...
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46 views

Weak measurement and weak value

The concept of weak measurements (and weak values) have become popular in Quantum information community, as I can see quite a few papers in arXiv. Since I am from Mathematical background (and the ...
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Can I measure distance with sound through soil?

Can you measure distance (cca. with precision 0.1m-1m) with sound through soil. I know this is really crazy think to do, but I have this idea quite for a while. Basically I will set speakers on fix ...
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1answer
43 views

ideally accurate measurement

In the address below http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measurement_in_quantum_mechanics it's written: For pedagogic reasons, the measurement [in quantum mechanics] is usually assumed to be ideally ...
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1answer
55 views

Momentum uncertainty of free particle

I've read several Q&A's regarding free particles and the associated wave packet in this website, but found the answer to my question nowhere. It's OK to attribute a Gaussian wave packet to the ...
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5answers
116 views

Does measurement change the evolution of wave function?

Basically any measurement is on wave function $|\psi\rangle$ is done by operator $X$ such that $X|\psi\rangle$ results observable $x$ with some probability. But what happens to $|\psi\rangle$? Does ...
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1answer
63 views

Quantum computing can be done via measurement alone, why is this significant?

I read in the Afterword section of Nielsen and Chuang's book Quantum Computation and Quantum Information that A second area of progress has been in understanding of what physical resources are ...
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1answer
39 views

How is measurement on system in a Hilbert space seen?

I am a bit confused about different kinds of measurements on a system in state $W$ where $W$ is the density operator in Hilbert space $H$. A general measurement can be given by POVM's, let ...
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4answers
328 views

Heisenberg uncertainty principle clarification

I found these two examples in a books which demonstrate Heiseberg's uncertainty relation: 1) It shows that when we try to locate a moving electron,we transferred momentum via the photon that we ...
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34 views

Quantum superposition of macroscopic objects [duplicate]

An extract from this article: Extrapolated to the scales of our everyday life quantum theory leads to situations such as the famous example of Schroedinger's cat: the cat is neither dead nor ...
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2answers
108 views

The relation between classical from quantum vs measurement problem

What is the relation between classical from quantum vs measurement problem. On the one hand they seem to be related on the other they seem to be of different nature. We always see our screens in ...
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1answer
142 views

Transition from one state to another in Quantum Mechanics

When we measure an electron's position we know that the wave function $\psi$ peaks at the measured position and the wave function as a function of momentum is a harmonic function. When it makes the ...
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2answers
111 views

Post mortem measurement of particle-wave duality

I was wondering what the outcome of this experiment would be: You shoot single photons at a double slit. On their way there you preform a measurement in $x$ so you get the time ($t_0$) the particle ...
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135 views

Doesn't Schrodinger's Cat depend on whether there's a quantum/classical boundary?

Everyone knows how Schrodinger's Cat is set up, so the question becomes whether there's a quantum/classical boundary and what that boundary is. Some people say everything is quantum while some may ...
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1answer
197 views

What is the difference between general measurement and projective measurement?

Nielsen and Chuang mention in Quantum Computation and Information that there are two kinds of measurement : general and projective ( and also POVM but that's not what I'm worried about ). General ...
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1answer
66 views

The double slit experiment - methods used to observe single photons prior to striking the target

I can accept that when single photons are used in the double slit experiment that a diffraction pattern results at the target due to their wave property. What I am puzzled about is exactly what ...
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2answers
78 views

How to account for the movement of stars during measurement of parallax

In my GCSE physics class today I was doing revision for my upcoming GCSEs, and we came to parallax measurements, as before my teacher explained that two measurements are taken six months apart as the ...
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1answer
189 views

How to physically prepare a qubit in a certain state?

I earlier asked the question about definition of a qubit. From it I understood that its the experimental setup that actually defines the qubit. But I don't get it's physical realization. How a qubit ...
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0answers
68 views

Why isn't everthing in a superposition state? [duplicate]

I know that a superposition is a state in which there are 50% and 50% (other % also) chances of two things to happen so why am I not in a superposition state? Example, I am at rest and i now choose to ...
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1answer
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Entanglement and the uncertainty principle

Suppose you have two maximally entangled particles. You measure the spin about the x axis of the first and the spin about the y axis of the second. But both spins cannot be known simultaneously, so ...
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Compatible Observables and Measurement

Suppose $A$ and $B$ are compatible observables (i.e. $[A,B] = 0$). We take the eigenkets of $A$ to be $|a_1 \rangle \ldots |a_N \rangle$. Further, we suppose that the first $k$ eignekets of $A$ are ...
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142 views

Why superpositions? [closed]

I've seen a lot of stuff on superpositions, namely the double slit experiment. And every video I watch, it tells me the same thing: It's amazing that when these particles are being observed they ...
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3answers
165 views

What is the meaning of “ Ψ is not a measurable quantity in itself”?

I want to know that why the wavefunction Ψ as a complex quantity (i.e $A+iB$ form) in quantum mechanics and somewhere I have studied that Ψ is not a measurable quantity in itself that's why we ...
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105 views

Physical meaning of quantum interpretations [closed]

Do interpretations of quantum mechanics have physical meaning? An argument for no would be the fact that no matter the interpretation, one gets the same measurements. They also do not follow logical ...
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452 views

Double slit experiment with animals as observers

I was searching about the double slit experiment, reading and watching videos, etc. If I understood correctly, when they measure the photon it behaves like a particle. On the Youtube video Tom ...
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1answer
67 views

Quantum state of a system after measurements with non-commutative operators

a) Assume two operators $A$ and $B$. 1) Assume $$[A,B]=0 $$ and $$ ψ= \sum c_n u_n ~~~~\text a~ wavefunction~ describing~ the~ state~ of~ the~ system $$ with $$Aψ=a_n u_n $$ $$Bψ=b_n u_n$$ If we ...
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355 views

Is a photon always in a state of superposition while traveling through space?

In the double-slit experiment, we emit a photon that is in a state of superposition (wave form) which travels through both slits to interfere with itself. When we measure which slit it went through, ...
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2answers
98 views

Classical notion of trajectory [closed]

Why the classical notion of trajectory is meaningless in quantum mechanics? I am asking here about notion of trajectory from classical mechanics and why in quantum mechanics we cannot use it or is ...
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51 views

Why position and momenta are fluctuating quantities?

In a coordinate basis we have $$\langle \Psi \mid \Psi \rangle = \int \prod_{i=1}^N d^3q_i |\Psi(\textbf{q}_1,\dots,\textbf{q}_N)|^2=1$$ This means that for any quantum state $\mid \Psi ...
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1answer
51 views

Are measurement results only orthogonal?

Are all measurement operators on a quantum mechanical system defined by a Hilbert space, such that all possible post-measurement states are orthogonal? For example measuring a qubit in some ...
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248 views

Has this experiment really demonstrated wave-function collapse?

My question is: why did the following experiment claim that it had demonstrated the wave-function collapse? Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using ...
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1answer
45 views

In a Stern-Gerlach measurement, does passing particles through the B field influence their spin state?

This question is similar to this post and was influenced by this discussion as well. Assume a Stern-Gerlach apparatus oriented along the z-axis acts as a measurement on the basis of the z-component ...
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4answers
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Entanglement, real or just math?

I'm new here, actually this is my first question so I'll just get to it. In quantum entanglement when something acts on one particle the other one reacts also, just in reverse (more or less). From ...
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1answer
185 views

Are the authors saying that the observer effect plays no role in Bohr's thought experiment of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?

Here is an excerpt from Eisberg & Resnick's Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles. Here is introducing Bohr's though experiment to establish a physical origin for the ...
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1answer
159 views

Are Forces Involved Non-Local?

Below is a copy of a answer given to this Phys.SE question asked previously: Does every material thing just consist in forces? In short, assume that we have two labs A and B, in each one there is ...
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Quantum measurement problem with eigenvectors (Dirac notation) [closed]

Ok so I've got two state vectors related to two other state vectors. $$|\alpha_1\rangle= (1/5)(3|\gamma_1\rangle+4|\gamma_2\rangle)$$ $$|\alpha_2\rangle= (1/5)(4|\gamma_1\rangle-3|\gamma_2\rangle)$$ ...