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

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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
274 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
46 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
213 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
961 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
240 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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4answers
650 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 ...
2
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1answer
932 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
940 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
159 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
188 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
910 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 ...
6
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3answers
742 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
345 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
237 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
266 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
172 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
430 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
520 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
223 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
214 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
300 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
252 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
712 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
649 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
300 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
485 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
628 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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3answers
853 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 ...
3
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2answers
327 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 ...
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1answer
72 views

Are a measured object always part of the theory?

Is there a notion of measurement, which doesn't correspond to a yes/no question or with the idea of the comparison of two real world objects, which produces a real number? And does at least one of ...
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1answer
211 views

Does measurement, quantum in particular, always increase the total entropy?

Measurement of a quantum observable (in an appropriate, old-fashioned sense) necessarily involves coupling to a system with a macroscopically large number of degrees of freedom. Entanglement with this ...
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4answers
345 views

Double slit experiment and indirect measurements

In the classic Young double slit experiment, with slits labeled as "A" and "B" and the detector screen "C", we put a detector with 100% accuracy (no particle can pass through the slit without the ...
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1answer
189 views

What does the appearance of a classical particle fundamentally reduce to?

I've been reading an article that describes what seems to be a classical particle as a regularity in the global wavefunction over a quantum configuration space: When you actually see an electron ...
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3answers
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Electrons - What is Waving?

If an electron is a wave, what is waving? So many answers on the internet say "the probability that a particle will be at a particular location"... so... the electron is a physical manifestation of ...
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4answers
177 views

Is a macroscopic pair where I observe one of them quantum entanglement?

Of what little I know/understand about quantum entanglement can somebody confirm if the following experiment is a good analogy to quantum entanglement of pair of particles? PS: please don't laugh as ...
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1answer
60 views

Unknown quantum state with promise of classical data

I am trying to solve a problem in the measurement and identification of quantum states with a promise as to what states it could be. Here is the problem. Imagine a system that produces qubits in ...
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5answers
574 views

How isolated must a system be for it's wave function to be considered not collapsed?

As an undergrad I was often confused over people's bafflement with Schodinger's cat thought experiment. It seemed obvious to me that the term "observation" referred to the Geiger counter, not the ...
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1answer
2k views

Compatible Observables

My QM book says that when two observables are compatible, then the order in which we carry out measurements is irrelevant. When you carry out a measurement corresponding to an operator $A$, the ...
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3answers
235 views

POVMs that do not require enlargement of the Hilbert space

The usual justification for regarding POVMs as fundamental measurements is via Neumark's theorem, i.e., by showing that they can always be realized by a projective measurement in a larger Hilbert ...
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4answers
660 views

How can indeterminacy in quantum mechanics be derived from lack of ability to observe a cause?

I don't get this part of quantum mechanics. I get the part that you can't observe particles and not affect their behavior because you are shooting photons to them while you are observing them, but ...
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0answers
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Identifying fragments when there is a superposition of fragments in quantum Darwinism

In Zurek's theory of quantum Darwinism, information about the pointer states of a system imprint themselves upon fragments of the environment carrying records about the state of the system. ...
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6answers
501 views

Do we really know which slit the photon passed through in Afshar's experiment?

The plain old double slit experiment displays interference when we don't measure which slit the photon passed through, and no interference when it is measured. Let's turn our attention to the case ...
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1answer
132 views

Do interaction-free measurements require a physical collapse or splitting in order to be truly interaction free?

Interaction-free quantum experiments like Renninger's experiment or the Elitzur-Vaidman bomb tester are often taken to be examples of interaction-free measurements of a system. Unfortunately, such ...
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8answers
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What exactly is the 'observer' in physics and/or quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: nature of an observer For instance, in the double slit experiment, what is exactly defined as an observer? I remember from somewhere, light is also an observer?