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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
0answers
52 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

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 ...
8
votes
4answers
950 views

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 ...
39
votes
9answers
2k views

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): ...
2
votes
4answers
442 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
259 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
116 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
216 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
133 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

Can we describe Quantum Mechanics using filters and matrices? [closed]

Can mathematical filters or ultrafilters be used to predict quantum physics 'events' as accurately as using matrices like Schrodinger did? Is there a way to explain some of the predictive power of ...
1
vote
1answer
53 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?
1
vote
1answer
118 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
186 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
13
votes
4answers
293 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
255 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? ...
0
votes
0answers
23 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
155 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
47 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
79 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
89 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.
1
vote
3answers
145 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
281 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
68 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
105 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
158 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
324 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
276 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
286 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
557 views

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, ...
1
vote
1answer
189 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 $T$. ...
2
votes
5answers
269 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
116 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
216 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
158 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) ...
2
votes
0answers
108 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
206 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.
1
vote
1answer
101 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
125 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
105 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. ...
0
votes
0answers
90 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
644 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
223 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?
4
votes
4answers
415 views

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 ...