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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Superposition and simultaneous observation

Trying to understand superposition. Ok, so double slit experiment. The multiple paths the particle simultaneously travels interfere with each other but as it is absorbed, it chooses one "actual" ...
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308 views

Are the authors saying that the observer effect plays no role in Bohr's thought experiment of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?

Here is an excerpt from Eisberg & Resnick's Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles. Here is introducing Bohr's though experiment to establish a physical origin for the ...
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1answer
31 views

Measuring compatible observables in quantum mechanics

Suppose a particle that is under a quantum oscillator potential and is, initially, in the state $\Psi(x,0)=\frac{1}{\sqrt3}\phi_1(x)+\sqrt{\frac23}\phi_2(x)$, where $\phi_1(x)$ and $\phi_2(x)$ are ...
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4answers
388 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
56 views

Born-like measuring rule in classical experiments

this 2011 paper "Born's rule from measurements of classical signals by threshold detectors which are properly calibrated" by Khrennikov investigates the theoretical possibility of Born-like ...
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2answers
56 views

Linear Combinations of Energy Eigenfunctions in 1D

Given that a particle is in a state defined by the wavefunction: $$\Psi (x,t) = \psi_0(x)e^{-iE_0t/\hbar}+\psi_1(x)e^{-iE_1t/\hbar}$$ where $\psi_0(x)$ and $\psi_1(x)$ are the energy eigenfunctions of ...
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1answer
42 views

Wavefunction Collapse

I believe my Lecturer and the textbook have contradicted one another. My lecturer gave the example that if the spatial part of the wavefunction of a particle is given by $\psi(x) = c_1\psi_1(x) + ...
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2answers
74 views

If I repeated a quantum measurement, would it be the same? [closed]

I was thinking about the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics and that if I measured the position of an electron twice in succession, the outcomes would depend on a probability. However, what if ...
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0answers
27 views

Detecting position of electrons [duplicate]

To detect particles like electrons, why would the accuracy of the position determined be affected by the wavelength of EM wave used?
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4answers
207 views

How does one describe a state with a density matrix after measuring position?

My question is about position measurement in non relativistic quantum mechanics. I've been taught that when you measure the value of an observable for some state of a system described by ...
3
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1answer
70 views

What is a weak value really?

There have been a lot of recent experiments performing weak measurements. Some of the conclusions seem to be quite surprising (e.g. this paper) and there is still debate if the weak measurement is ...
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1answer
50 views

Quantum non-locality with commuting measurements?

We consider the Bell scenario, in which Alice and Bob share an entangled pure quantum state $\mid \Psi \rangle_{AB}$. Alice gets an input in the set $\{1,2\ldots X\}$ and Bob gets an input in the set ...
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1answer
213 views

Did Leggett and Caldeira solve the measurement problem?

In 1983 Leggett and Caldeira published a paper (see also here) that shows the evolution of the density matrix in a dissipative system. Follow-up work by Zurek and others shows the relevance to ...
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4answers
2k views

Uncertainty in Uncertainty?

I was reading about how the Planck's Constant can be measured with LEDs, which made me think about this question. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that: $$\Delta x \Delta p \ge ...
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1answer
28 views

Given any two quantum states and the information that the system is in one of these two states

Given any two quantum states and the information that the system is in one of these two states, one cannot reliably devise a single measurement which could determine with certainty which state the ...
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9answers
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Hidden observers in Double Slit experiments - Do they matter?

I'm still struggling a bit with some ideas around double slit experiments. One that keeps cropping up for me is the role of observers. Imagine a classic double slit experiment with a hidden observer ...
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4answers
123 views

“Randomness” versus “uncertainty”

Highly rated PhysicsSE contributor @CuriousOne regularly makes the following claim about quantum mechanics (e.g. here): There is no randomness in quantum mechanics, there is only uncertainty. I ...
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0answers
49 views

How does the two slit experiment work?

Whilst going through 'A brief history of time', I faced difficulty in understanding the two slit experiment. How can an individual electron cause fringes on screen? I was unable to understand it? ...
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1answer
97 views

Quantum mechanics - measuring position

I am watching Susskind's Stanford Lectures on quantum mechanics. The eigenvectors (eigenfunctions) of the position operator are of the form $\delta(x-k)$. But $$\int\delta^{*}(x-k)\delta(x-k)\, ...
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1answer
274 views

Transition from one state to another in Quantum Mechanics

When we measure an electron's position we know that the wave function $\psi$ peaks at the measured position and the wave function as a function of momentum is a harmonic function. When it makes the ...
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2answers
70 views

How does really the “wave function collapse” work? [closed]

It's usually said that "the direct observation of a process makes the wave function of the system to collapse". How does really that process happen? What exactly means for a wave function to ...
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3answers
48 views

Finding the random uncertainty of a set of values [closed]

Ok, for the switch-on voltage of a red LED I have the readings as follows, all in volts: $$ 1.45, 1.46, 1.46, 1.44, 1.45 $$ The mean of these readings, in volts, is $1.45$ (I rounded up to $2$ decimal ...
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4answers
998 views

Is it possible to determine the slit a photon went through in the double slit experiment by measuring its flight time?

In the double-slit experiment, quantum mechanics states that if you try to determine which slit the photon goes through, you won't have a resulting wave pattern. But, knowing the time it took for the ...
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5answers
718 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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2answers
135 views

Meaning of “realism” in quantum mechanics

When physicists doing work in quantum measurement, decoherence, Bells' inequalities etc. use the term "realism" what exactly do they mean? I'm looking for answers targeted towards, say, someone whose ...
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5answers
15k views

Can an electron be in two places at the same time?

So I've been reading a bit and watching some videos about the double slit experiment, and therefore the wave particle duality; I've also read this "implies" that a particle can be in two places at the ...
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2answers
1k 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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4answers
217 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
83 views

Is this mention of the double-slit phenomenon broadly correct?

I'm reading a book of philosophy (Less Than Nothing by Slavoj Žižek) and a chapter in it (called The Ontology of Quantum Mechanics) frequently references the double-slit phenomenon. At one point it ...
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5answers
1k views

Is the wave function of a particle re-created after a measurement stops?

Yeah, I haven't quite understood, or been told, what happens to, for example an electron and its wavefunction, when you stop to measure it. I mean, an electron has a wave function describing its ...
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1answer
27 views

Distinguish statistical uncertaincy from noise disturbance relation in slit gedankenexperiment

I am just reading the "Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" from L. Ballentine. In section 3.2. he discusses the difference between the observer effect and the statistical ...
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0answers
56 views

Position Measurement of Quantum Harmonic Oscillator, to a Position Eigenstate

I read that if one takes a quantum harmonic oscillator system, not externally driven, and performs a position measurement (measurement in position basis) that reduces the oscillator to an eigenstate ...
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1answer
68 views

Is the probability current an observable?

Is the probability current in Quantum Mechanics an observable? If so, how can it me measured (directly or indirectly)?
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1answer
58 views

Reason behind the uncertainty principle [duplicate]

I know that Heisenberg Uncertainty principles states that the momentum and position of a quantum object can not be determined at the same time. This is very strange to me. I want the basic reason ...
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3answers
403 views

Reason for Uncertainty principle

$$\Delta x \Delta p_x \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} $$ I understand what does Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states i.e. it's definition and it has been proven experimentally. But, can anyone please ...
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3answers
494 views

What is the physical meaning of weak expectation values?

In the two-state formalism of Yakir Aharonov, 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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1answer
104 views

What does it mean that an electron's position is described by probability?

I just read an answer to a Phys.SE question about why electrons don't collide with protons where an answering user said: In quantum mechanics, an electron doesn't have a definite position or ...
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5answers
183 views

Does measurement change the evolution of wave function?

Basically any measurement is on wave function $|\psi\rangle$ is done by operator $X$ such that $X|\psi\rangle$ results observable $x$ with some probability. But what happens to $|\psi\rangle$? Does ...
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5answers
616 views

How does a Wavefunction collapse?

I have been wondering and researching... How does a wavefunction collapse into one state?More specifically, what conditions cause a wavefunction for a quantum particle to collapse? Does this have to ...
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0answers
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Continuous spectra and quantum decoherence

Suppose that some quantum wave function $\psi = \int a_i \,i\rangle \,\,di$ where pseudo-spanning ket "vectors" of $\psi$, $i \rangle$, are continuous. (thus the use of integral.) By normalization, ...
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3answers
237 views

Uncertainty principle and multiple observers

My understanding is that an observer can measure the precise location of a particle so long as the corresponding uncertainty in momentum measurement is not an issue and vice-versa. Say there is ...
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2answers
271 views

Does Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle describe real uncertainty or measured uncertainty?

Some derivations of Hesenberg's Uncertainty principle are based on the momentum of light or particles used in measuring an object's position and momentum. Does this lower limit on uncertainty describe ...
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1answer
165 views

Quantum Measurement of Entangled Time-Varying Systems

Suppose System A has a dynamic, continuous variable $O_A(t)$, which we wish to measure via a quantum probe. Assume system A has a self-Hmiltonian, $H_{SA}$ so that the evolving wave function of ...
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4answers
1k views

What does it mean “not to have a definite trajectory”?

In a comment to my question someone stated the following: "photons do not travel at some definite number of oscillations per second. In fact, they do not "travel" at all, no more than electrons ...
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Measurement without collapse

Does anybody have a reference for Cini's model of Quantum Measurement theory. I have a background of Quantum Mechanics (Ballentine level). Also I don't have access to Cini's paper.
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2answers
59 views

Why do $\hat{X}$ and $\hat{P}$ have to correspond to position and momentum?

As far as I understand, in QM we treat observables as operators, and the eigenvalues of these operators are the possible values we can measure of the observables. It is usually simpler to work in the ...
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2answers
1k views

Is the expectation value always an eigenvalue?

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

What exactly does the expectation value of $x$ mean in quantum mechanics?

When I learn quantum mechanics (by reading Griffith's book Introduction to quantum mechanics 2ed edition (Page 15)), I was confused by the concept of the expectation value of $x$, i.e. $\langle ...
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6k 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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1answer
142 views

Understanding the quantum eraser from a quantum information stand point

Is there a way to understand the quantum eraser experiment in terms of quantum information? In particular, is there a quantum circuit that would function as a quantum eraser experiment? The issue I'm ...