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

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A question about quantum measurement and associating a linear self adjoint operator to it

I have a question about the concept of measurement and observable in quantum mechanics. I'd like to fist explain my understanding of it and then ask the question. First we have a system and its ...
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3answers
163 views

Measurements and simultaneity [duplicate]

Picture a situation where we have two observers, $A$ and $B$, and a system in a certain quantum state. If $B$ makes a measurement of some observable, say energy for example, the state will collapse to ...
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2answers
367 views

How do you come up with a POVM?

This is a made-up example, just to understand a concept. If changing the probability values aids your explanation, that's fine by me. Say you have a physical quantity $E$ that can take values 1, 2, 3 ...
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1answer
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Is it possible to determine the state or values of something without measuring it

To give context to this question, I am currently looking into non-locality / hidden variables / Bell's Theorem, EPR / etc. I've noticed the assertion that the values / state of something when ...
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2answers
277 views

Can we measure “wavefunction” of quantum particles?

We know that there is uncertainty principle, so question: can we ever measure wavefunction of particles? I do not think this is possible, but I am not sure. I guess that everything is probabilistic. ...
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4answers
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Is every quantum measurement reducible to measurements of position and time?

I am currently studying Path Integrals and was unable to resolve the following problem. In the famous book Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, written by Feynman and Hibbs, it says (at the beginning ...
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Does quantum mechanics depend solely on electromagnetic waves? [duplicate]

I am beginning to learn quantum mechanics. Since determining the position of an object involves probing by electromagnetic waves and since i have read a simple derivation of Heisenberg's uncertainty ...
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1answer
515 views

How do we know superposition exists?

How do we know superposition exists? Has it been observed, or has it been deduced, and how certain are we? The Copenhagen Interpretation seems to imply that superposition collapses into one state ...
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5answers
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How do we know that there isn't a classical solution to the measurement problem/Quantum Mechanical uncertainty?

It was mentioned to me that it can be shown that there is no classical explanation for the uncertainty in Quantum Mechanics -- i.e. that there are no hidden workings that we have just not yet seen, ...
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5answers
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Observer effect, do this mean literally someone or just any interaction with other matter?

I am a layman and was wondering, the quantum observer effect. The regular notion to laymen seems to be literally "if you look at it", but as I am coming to understand the world I live in better I feel ...
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4answers
366 views

Are photons deterministic?

I propose the following scenario: At $t=0$, a photon is emitted from a star. At $t=n$, said photon is received and interpreted by some detector. My question is whether or not it is accurate to say ...
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2answers
133 views

Does performing a measurement on a system change its internal energy?

I'm studying Quantum Mechanics in my spare time from a general point of view (no technical details) so some fundamental question came into my mind: How is it possible to detect a single photon ...
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4answers
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Does the observer or the camera collapse the wave function in the double slit experiment?

Ok so if we setup a camera before the slit we will find a single photon and will follow through accordingly, likewise by having a camera setup after the slit, we can retroactivly collapse the wave ...
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2answers
165 views

About Heisenberg uncertainty principle [duplicate]

What would happen if someone invented a way to measure both position and momentum precisely? If it is impossible why?
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7answers
748 views

Why is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle not an experimental error since it is the error created by photons striking on elementary particles?

Why is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle not an experimental error since it is the error created by photons striking on elementary particles?
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3answers
735 views

Can the path of a charged particle under the influence of a magnetic field be considered piecewise linear?

Ordinarily we consider the path of a charged particle under the influence of a magnetic field to be curved. However, in order for the trajectory of the particle to change, it must emit a photon. ...
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2answers
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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
281 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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535 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
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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
88 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
258 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
163 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
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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
550 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
607 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
512 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
202 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
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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 ...
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2answers
321 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
1k views

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
271 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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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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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
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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
239 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
562 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
888 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
880 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
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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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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
853 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
674 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
336 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
229 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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252 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
171 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 ...