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

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Quantum decoherence and Schrodinger's equation

In non-relativistic quantum mechanics, the equation of evolution of the quantum state is given by Schrodinger's equation and measurement of a state of particle is itself a physical process. Thus, ...
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3answers
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Is there an objective, external reality according to quantum physics?

In quantum physics, a particle can be in a superposition of two states until it is measured. In other words, the aforementioned particle doesn't have a definite state until it is "looked at" ...
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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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The electron: why can't it have both momentum and position [duplicate]

Total amateur here. I've been watching video lectures on Quantum Mechanics and it's said that there is no way to know both position and momentum of an electron at the same time. But is it because when ...
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55 views

Interesting (new to me) things in the exposition of Landau's book on QM

In section I.1 (The uncertainty principle), a principle I already know, the author suggests a "relaxing" picture (Unusual): "We have defined "apparatus" as a physical object which is governed, ...
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3answers
137 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 ...
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3answers
160 views

What is the best article presenting counterarguments to a many-world interpretation? [duplicate]

I'd like to see a clear overview of why the many-world interpretation (WWI) of quantum is wrong, written by someone who believes that. This would be aimed at a technically aware audience, yet as an ...
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3answers
71 views

Is the uncertainity principle a practical reality, a theoretical law or a measurement problem?

I understand we cannot state with arbitrary precision the position and momentum of a micro-particle as we superpose infinite waves to create a wave packet at the exact position of the particle and ...
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2answers
177 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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160 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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1answer
60 views

Two quantum observers

It is considered that a quantum mechanics parameter is undefined until it is measured.But what happens if two independent observers measure the same quantum parameter? Do they get the same value or ...
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1answer
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If there is no collapse of the wave-function does this mean that the many worlds interpretation of QM must be wrong?

If as some people suggest, there is no collapse of the wave function (is there a standard name for this position), then must one rule out the many-worlds interpretation of QM?
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Measuring non-commuting observable at once

Given an Hilbert space $H$ (finite dimensional for sake of clarity), and two non-commuting operators $$A = \sum_a a |a\rangle\langle a|$$ and $$B=\sum_a b |b\rangle\langle b|,$$ is it possible to find ...
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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
144 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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3answers
205 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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1answer
172 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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2answers
205 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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2answers
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What is a measurement in MWI

I was reviewing the MWI, and couldn't figure what a measurement is in the MWI? Everett claims that split happens when you measure, but what is it for MWI (not for general QM)? Yes, I know about ...
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QM interpretations

I don't fully appreciate what the discovery of the decoherence phenomenon adds to the Copenaghen interpretation of QM. I will be more precise: the Copenaghen interpretation, if I am not wrong, is ...
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3answers
120 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 ...
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2answers
76 views

Are there two aspects of Born's rule?

I am having some problem understanding Born's rule. I am getting a little bit confused. Here it goes; Let $f(x,t)$ be a solution of Schrodinger equation. Then Born's rule says that the square modulus ...
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2answers
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In the double slit experiment, what happens when there is more than one observer trying to see which slit the same electron goes through?

From all the demonstrations Iv been able to find of Heisenberg's double slit experiment, whenever an observer tries to "see" which slit an electron passes through it collapses the wave function. My ...
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3answers
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Can we make a camera that fits in one of the bands of the double slit experiment?

So, in Young's double slit experiment, we see where the particle lands on the back wall. What if we were standing at the back wall, looking toward the slits? Could we gain more information not by ...
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1answer
62 views

Measurement of observables with continuous spectrum: State of the system afterwards

Suppose my system, described by a separable Hilbert space $H$, is in the state $\Psi$ when I measure an observable that has only continuous spectrum. What is the state of the system after the ...
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Are universally valid possibilistic theories possible?

This is a spin-off of the following question: Are Thomas Breuer's subjective decoherence and Scott Aaronson's freebits with knightian freedom the same things in essence? Given that Thomas ...
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1answer
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Joint-measure of POVM's

I feel disturbed by this question: Suppose $A$ and $B$ are POVM's with respective $\sigma$-algebras $\mathcal{F}_A$ and $\mathcal{F}_B$ and outcome spaces $\Omega_A$ and $\Omega_B$. Then why can't I ...
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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
62 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
294 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 ...
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1answer
287 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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4answers
551 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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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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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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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
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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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2answers
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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
86 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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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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1answer
56 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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4answers
385 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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56 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
143 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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1answer
145 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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1answer
246 views

Can observers be particles?

Generally Quantum mechanics divides a system what is to be observed and an observer. This is generally taken to be some human being. But why restrict it to such? Why not a particle? Is there a good ...
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313 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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Weak measurement formalism: Weak value can be too big?

A question to experts in the weak measurement formalism: In the famous paper How the Result of a Measurement of a Component of the Spin of a Spin-1/2 Particle Can Turn Out to be 100 by Aharonov, ...
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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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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 ...