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

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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
50 views

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
52 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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0answers
54 views

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
27 views

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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0answers
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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
56 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
276 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 ...
2
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3answers
191 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
159 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 $T$. ...
5
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1answer
253 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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2answers
202 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
511 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 $\pm\tfrac12\hbar$. ...
2
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2answers
137 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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7answers
712 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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1answer
66 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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0answers
31 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
90 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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2answers
980 views

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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3answers
129 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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2answers
37 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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2answers
151 views

Can we describe mathematics 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
72 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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2answers
61 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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1answer
52 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 ...
2
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4answers
297 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, ...
0
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0answers
50 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
127 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
130 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
235 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 ...
10
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2answers
311 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
21 views

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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0answers
47 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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0answers
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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 ...
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9answers
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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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2answers
198 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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4answers
937 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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2answers
504 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
144 views

Non-locality and Bell's theory

Non-Locality – (just ) one more question? I have read comments that Bell’s theory proves quantum mechanics is non-local, and also comments that it does not. I have read a comment by a very eminent ...
0
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1answer
331 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
239 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 ...
2
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0answers
125 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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1answer
90 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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5answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
138 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 ...
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0answers
122 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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10answers
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Why can't the outcome of a QM measurement be calculated a-priori?

Quantum Mechanics is very successful in determining the overall statistical distribution of many measurements of the same process. On the other hand, it is completely clueless in determining the ...
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2answers
309 views

Mixed state after measurement

I'm looking at Section 2.4.1 of Nielsen and Chuang's Quantum Computation and Quantum Information were they derive the density operator versions of the evolution and measurement postulates of quantum ...
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1answer
52 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
95 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 ...