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

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Does the unpredictability in the “micro world” means that everything is if we can look at it close enough imperfect?

Does the unpredictability in the "micro world" means that everything is if we can look at it close enough imperfect? I mean, there is a saying "You will never stand in the same river again" or ...
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1answer
265 views

Does the measurement on a subatomic particle give its mass value?

No doubt I am wondering about the Young's double slit phenomena. If we observe or measure the properties of a subatomic particle, we are able to know its mass, velocity and it comes to existence. So ...
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2answers
501 views

Is the uncertainty principle just saying something about what an observer can know or is it a fundamental property of nature?

I ask this question because I have read two different quotes on the uncertainty principle that don't seem to match very well. There are similar questions around here but I would like an explanation ...
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2answers
1k views

What does the quantum state of a system tell us about itself?

In quantum mechanics, quantum state refers to the state of a quantum system. A quantum state is given as a vector in a vector space, called the state vector. The state vector theoretically ...
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1answer
85 views

Is the time of collapse of the wave function empirical?

Is the time of the collapse of the wave function empirical? Suppose there is a very long von Neumann chain of observations of a quantum system. Suppose also practically irreversible decoherence ...
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1answer
248 views

If nothing is “objectively real” prior to “measurement”, what exactly is a “measurement”?

If nothing is "objectively real" prior to "measurement", what exactly is a "measurement"? Is there any "objective" criteria to demarcate a process as being a "measurement" or not? If "measurements" ...
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1answer
159 views

Who are “we”, and what counts as a “question” in consistent histories?

If the preferred basis in quantum mechanics and/or choice of consistent histories in consistent histories is arbitrary, and can only be determined by the "questions we ask", just who exactly is this ...
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1answer
2k views

Application of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

I've the following application of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. If a beam of particles in localised in the $x$-direction by a long slit, what is the uncertainty in position? Firstly, I ...
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4answers
502 views

Why, for a spin-½ particle, are the possible outcomes of measuring spin projection along any direction the same?

If one measures the projection of spin of a spin half particle along the $x$ axis one will always get $\pm\tfrac12\hbar$. Measuring it along the $y$ axis one will always get $\pm\tfrac12\hbar$. ...
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3answers
556 views

What is the experiment where subatomic particles appear to foresee the future?

I've seen a documentary, whose name I don't remember but I'm curious because it suggests that subatomic particles are able to "foresee the future". I'll try to describe it here: Some particles are ...
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2answers
480 views

Can we determine whether or not a particle is entangled?

Suppose Shaniqua and Tyrone have four pairs, a, b, c, and d, of entangled particles. They take their particles and go very far apart. If Tyrone can determine whether or not a particle is still ...
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1answer
201 views

In QM, does random data “come from anywhere”? Also, what are the properties of the data?

I have only taken a basic quantum mechanics course (this book, so you know where I'm coming from), but I've been wondering about something. If we set up a quantum system in a known state and take a ...
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0answers
84 views

How to explain Tsirelson's inequality using extended probabilities?

How to explain Tsirelson's inequality using extended probabilities? Some people have tried explaining the Bell inequalities using extended probabilities. For instance, a pair of entangled photons ...
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1answer
111 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
312 views

Does every measurement correspond to an eigenstate of an observable?

In the postulates of quantum mechanics, physical observables are described by Hermitian matrices on the state space of a system. In another of my questions, the measurements of Rydberg-Ritz spectral ...
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6answers
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What constitutes an observation/measurement in QM?

Fundamental notions of QM have to do with observation, a major example being The Uncertainty Principle. What is the technical definition of an observation/measurement? If I look at a QM system, it ...
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1answer
267 views

Controlling the outcome of a quantum measurement through translational entanglement

According to the paper: A. S. Parkins and H. J. Kimble, Phys. Rev. A 61, 52104 (2000). http://pra.aps.org/abstract/PRA/v61/i5/e052104 You can entangle position and momenta of two atoms by using ...
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0answers
45 views

Free Energy and quantum measurement

Free Energy must be expended to reset the state of an measurement apparatus. Is this statement valid in all situations? Is there a Definitive mathematical exposition?
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2answers
202 views

Measurement of the energy of an atom using a cold substance

An atom was prepared in a superposition of ground state and excited states.I propose to measure the state by coupling the system to a cold enough substance. By cold enough I mean $$kT\ll E_1,$$ where ...
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4answers
852 views

What is the meaning of uncertainty in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

The Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states the following: $$\Delta p \cdot \Delta x \ge \frac{h}{4\pi}.$$ While studying for my high school physics exams, I fooled myself into believing that I ...
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1answer
238 views

Work done by introducing a spin in supersposition into a Magnetic Field

A spin is created in a superposition of up and down states. A magnet is moved very slowly, towards the spin. What is the work done by the magnet. It may be helpful to imagine that the magnet is ...
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3answers
517 views

Decoherence and collapse

It is said that the decoherence does not solve the problem of measurement and/or the emergence of classicality, can somebody explain it with simple analogies or in a manner accessible to a ...
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1answer
856 views

About Born's rule

I wanted to gain a better understanding of the Born rule to make my class on quantum mechanic feel less ad hoc. To do so I attempted to show that the version (1) given in my book is equivalent to the ...
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2answers
768 views

Is the expectation value always an eigenvalue?

Does the expectation value of an observable must be equal to an eigenvalue of the corresponding operator? I already know that 0 is not an eigenvalue, but is there any other examples?
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1answer
151 views

Spike when wavefunction collapses

So, when wavefunction collapses, there is a spike occuring. Does this mean that there are parts with the continuous probability of 0? (For example, x position from -9 to -3 has probability of 0, while ...
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3answers
179 views

In Copenhagen, can this idea preserve locality for Bell inequalities?

Generate an entangled pair of qubits. Send to Alice and Bob far away from each other. Both measure along basis in one of two possible orientations. The result is sent to Charlie at some later time, ...
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4answers
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Why is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated the way it is?

I spent a long time being confused by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in my quantum chemistry class. It is frequently stated that the "position and momentum of a particle cannot be ...
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3answers
779 views

Is it the act of measuring a quantum particle that causes it to lose its uncertainty?

I have designed an experiment. Without going into detail it resolves around the double slit quantum eraser experiments. If we can infer the location of a particle without actually measuring it, does ...
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3answers
613 views

Triple slit experiment

If the experiment is done with single photons and a "detector" at one of the slits the interference pattern breaks down. What happens if three slits are used with single photons and a "detector" at, ...
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2answers
2k views

Is quantum entanglement functionally equivalent to a measurement?

I saw the following talk the other day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEaecUuEqfc&feature=share In it, Dr. Ron Garret posits that entanglement isn't really that "special" of a property. He ...
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3answers
321 views

What is the physical meaning of weak expectation values?

In the two-state formalism of Yakir Aharanov, the weak expectation value of an operator $A$ is $\frac{\langle \chi | A | \psi \rangle}{\langle \chi | \psi \rangle}$. This can have bizarre properties. ...
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3answers
223 views

How to observe a particle with indefinite position?

As I understand it, when physicists talk about something behaving both like a particle and a wave, what they mean is that it has momentum like a particle, but its position is determined ...
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3answers
242 views

At what time exactly does decoherence happen? and retrodating

Take a qubit initialized to $|0\rangle$. Apply a Hadamard transform to it. Measure it with an apparatus along the $|0\rangle,\, |1\rangle$ basis. If zero, spare a living cat. If 1, kill the cat. ...
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1answer
170 views

The System and the Measuring Gadget

In Quantum Mechanics the value of an observable results from the interaction between the "system" with the "Measuring gadget". But when the experimenter[or the technologist concerned] is ...
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2answers
387 views

What is the relationship between distinguishability and probability in Quantum mechanics?

Firstly I am sorry for any awkward English expressions. Recently I'm reading "Feynman Lectures on Physics - Quantum Mechanics" and come to have a single question. In the book Feynman explains, "You ...
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3answers
494 views

Is Schrodinger's Cat a real conceptual problem or just a problem with approximations?

In this thought-experiment a cat is placed in a box set with a bottle poison that will release and kill it depending on whether or not a certain radioactive particle decays. The box is kept closed and ...
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2answers
208 views

What counts as a measurement?

In quantum mechanics, an elementary particle does not have a well defined position until a measurement is performed on it (right?). Such a "measurement" is any sort of interaction with other ...
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1answer
203 views

Any link between decoherence and renormalization?

I have been studying decoherence in quantum mechanics (not in qft, and don't know how it is described there) and renormalization in QFT and statistical field theory, I found at first a similarity ...
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1answer
278 views

Change In Momentum In Uncertainty Principle

The most basic explanation for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is that the momentum and position of a quantum particle is not very distinct when an attempt is made to measure them together. But ...
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1answer
238 views

Quantum Entanglement - Measuring Twice

In the answer here and on the wiki article and many other articles it is mentioned that if one of 2 entangled particles is measured their state collapses according to the Copenhagen interpretation. ...
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2answers
550 views

Is the collapse of the wave function inherently time asymmetric?

Schroedinger's equation, as we all know, is time symmetric. In quantum field theory, we have to come up with a more sophisticated CPT reversal, but the essential point remains unchanged. However, the ...
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0answers
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Information conservation during quantum measurement in $\psi$-epistemic interpretations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Information conservation during quantum measurement I asked a version of the following quesiton previously on Physics.stackexchange, where it didn't get a lot of ...
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3answers
2k views

Can randomness exist?

Considering every cause has an action, how can anything be random? For something to happen, it must have a cause and through that definition it can't be random. Considering this why are many quantum ...
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2answers
593 views

Again about all-win lottery

I suggest the following thought experiment that describes a machine which makes everybody happy. Suppose a lottery is conducted. The winner is awarded a billion dollars plus the title of eternal ...
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5answers
1k views

Isn't the uncertainty principle just non-fundamental limitations in our current technology that could be removed in a more advanced civilization?

From what I understand, the uncertainty principle states that there is a fundamental natural limit to how accurately we can measure velocity and momentum at the same time. It's not a limit on ...
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1answer
252 views

Maximum probability of success for distinguishing between two pure states with one measurement

Suppose you have the states such that $\langle \psi_1| \psi_2 \rangle = \cos(\alpha)$ and you have one measurement to distinguish between the two. It is claimed that the probability of success at ...
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3answers
452 views

Information conservation during quantum measurement

Consider the following experiment. I take a spin-$\frac{1}{2}$ particle and make a $\sigma_x$ measurement (measure the spin in the $x$ direction), then make a $\sigma_y$ measurement, then another ...
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3answers
580 views

Solution to the quantum measurement problem?

What can be a scientific solution to the Q-measurement problem (other than many worlds idea)? Can it be somehow verified through experiment?
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769 views

Bell's theorem and why nonlocality is problematic

I generally hear it assumed that Bell's inequality implies violation of counterfactual definiteness, because locality is considered sacrosanct. I understand of course that measurable violations of ...
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2answers
309 views

Decoherence when no one is looking?

I understand that in the single-electron-at-a-time double slit experiment, if a detector is placed before the slit, the interference pattern vanishes. Suppose I left the detector on, but put a bag ...