This tag is for questions about the quantum mechanical measurement problem, such as e.g. the wavefunction collapse/decoherence. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for non-quantum measurements.

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Compatibility of effects implies compatibility of POVM's?

Let $A = \{A_1 ,\ldots , A_n\}$ and $B = \{B_1 \ldots , B_n\}$ be two POVM's. Suppose every pair $(A_1, B_1)$ is jointly measurable as a couple of effects. Does this imply the joint-measurability of $...
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1answer
88 views

Hugh Everett's MWI [closed]

According to Hugh Everett's many worlds interpretation, all the possibilities of one action can happen at the same time in other parallel universes, so how come we can't see these worlds? now I bumped ...
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1answer
132 views

Mainstream view on the measurement problem

What is the modern mainstream way to deal with the measurement problem? For this question, the measurement problem is the problem of formalizing wave function collapse when the observer is part of the ...
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68 views

Quantum Mechanics and Direction of time [duplicate]

It has always fascinated me that time is symmetrical in classical physics while, in life, we all experience the flow of time in only one direction. There is no preference as to the direction of time ...
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4answers
236 views

What exactly is meant by “observed” when talking about the wave-particle duality?

When talking about the wave-particle duality, teachers and books say that when you send a single photon through a slit, it makes a wave pattern. But if you send that particle through the slit and "you ...
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Can I steal your electron?

The following paragraph has been extracted from the Wikipedia (Atomic orbitals): Simple pictures showing orbital shapes are intended to describe the angular forms of regions in space where the ...
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49 views

Books on foundations of QM [duplicate]

I am seeking for books on foundations of Quantum Mechanics with subjects like the EPR experiment, Bell's theorem, the problem of measurement, entanglement, decoherence, nonlocality, interpretations, ...
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4answers
222 views

Does Free Will Theorem imply that quantum mechanics plays crucial role in our brain’s functioning (consciousness)?

Does Free Will Theorem imply that quantum mechanics plays crucial role in our brain’s functioning (consciousness)? Is opposite statement of Free Will Theorem right: If elementary particles have a ...
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2answers
224 views

Superpositions and expectation values in quantum mechanics

When the wavefunction of a particle is not an eigenfunction of an operator, the property to which the operator corresponds does not have a definite value, Why? Also consider a linear combination of ...
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1answer
181 views

Postulate of Quantum Mechanics on Wavefunction collapse [closed]

There is a postulate in quantum mechanics about wavefunction collapse. Can anyone provide me some intuitive perspective into it along with the concept of projection (I mean mathematical treatment).
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1answer
92 views

How can we “know” that system interacted with another system or environment in quantum mechanics/decoherence?

I might be raising measurement problem in quantum physics in different words, but I will ask the question. Quantum decoherence has been proposed by proponents as a theory that eliminates all weird ...
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0answers
137 views

Uncertainty principle implies the non-deterministic universe? [duplicate]

Does the uncertainty principle imply the non-deterministic universe, or just the fact that our model of the universe, the one based on observation, can be at most non-deterministic, since we will not ...
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3answers
272 views

When you measure position of an electron in a energy pure state, what happens to the energy?

When you measure the position of an electron that is in a pure energy state, what happens the energy becomes non-deterministic. That is future measurements of energy can only be predicted with respect ...
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3answers
97 views

Why diaphragm in diffraction experiment using electrons is quantum object?

In the book Quantum Mechanics - Volume 1 written by Albert Messiah, page no. 142-143, author says: ...But the diaphragm is a quantum object, just like the electron. Its momentum is not defined to ...
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2answers
381 views

QM: why is reflection of a photon not a measurement?

Many experiments with entangled photons are sending them through different glass fiber cables (e.g. in opposite directions for spatial separation). The photons will inevitably be reflected many times ...
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0answers
62 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 ...
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4answers
995 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 ...
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9answers
3k 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): ...
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4answers
859 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, ...
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
281 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 ...
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1answer
384 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 ...
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0answers
783 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 ...
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0answers
167 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 ...
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2answers
314 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 kets....
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2answers
225 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 ...
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1answer
87 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?
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1answer
223 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 \Psi}{\...
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1answer
332 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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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4answers
312 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 ...
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4answers
399 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? ...
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1answer
237 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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106 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 ...
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1answer
109 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.
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4answers
256 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 ...
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4answers
838 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
256 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. ...
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1answer
249 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 ...
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2answers
690 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 ...
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3answers
355 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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, ...
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1answer
268 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 $T$. ...
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5answers
616 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 ...
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128 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 ...
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3answers
264 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, ...
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181 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) ...
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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 ...