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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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 ...
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0answers
23 views

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
50 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
37 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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2answers
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
233 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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1answer
155 views

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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1answer
106 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 ...
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1answer
105 views

Understanding the delayed choice quantum eraser from a quantum information stand point

A continuation of Understanding the quantum eraser from a quantum information stand point What quantum circuit would correspond to delayed choice? In particular, the decision of whether to not to ...
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4answers
103 views

Heisenberg's uncertainity principle

In the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, $$\Delta x \cdot \Delta p \geq \frac{h}{4\pi}$$ The values of $\Delta x$ and $\Delta p$ are the standard deviations which we get from the probability ...
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0answers
35 views

Which is the best place to learn about Measurement theory in Quantum Mechanics?

I have read Leslie Ballentine's book on quantum mechanics. I want to learn measurement theory. I am aware of the book Foundation and interpretations of Quantum Mechanics by Auletta. But I want ...
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2answers
276 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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2answers
101 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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2answers
35 views

Quantum mechanics of electron beam and measurement

I'm trying to understand the following phenomenon quantum mechanically: Problem statement If I'm shooting an electron beam (using a vacuum tube for example) and I have a measuring device at a ...
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1answer
56 views

Does a particle “exist” between emission and detection?

In considering a simple Young's double slit setup: The classical idea that a particle must exist with defined position and momentum between the source and detection plate leads to philosophical ...
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3answers
91 views

Double slit experiment without observer

If we used an instrument to record the double slit experiment but never looked at the footage so to speak, what would the mathematics show us?
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3answers
507 views

'Observer in double slit experiment' publications available?

I've just found Dr Quantum video sample where double split experiment is presented conducted out by researchers. Are there any papers published in peer reviewed journals on that experiment to read in ...
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2answers
251 views

Double slit experiment paradox

Two observers – A & B - conduct a single double slit experiment and watch the same detector screen for the appearance of an interference pattern. A separate detector records which slit each ...
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8answers
2k views

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?
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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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1answer
35 views

Observers in a Double Slit Experiment

Does it matter what the observer is in the double slit experiment? Could it be anything from an ant to a dog? Has it ever been tried with a non-human observer?
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2answers
700 views

Double slit experiment with animals as observers

I was searching about the double slit experiment, reading and watching videos, etc. If I understood correctly, when they measure the photon it behaves like a particle. On the Youtube video Tom ...
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1answer
114 views

Hydrogen atom in superposition of energy eigenstates

Suppose a single hydrogen atom is in a superposition of energy eigenstates: $$ \psi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\psi_{100} + \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\psi_{200} \,.$$ Then energy will be $E = ...
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2answers
356 views

Has this experiment really demonstrated wave-function collapse?

My question is: why did the following experiment claim that it had demonstrated the wave-function collapse? Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using ...
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0answers
59 views

How does one intrepret probabilites in the many-worlds interpretation?

Let's say I flip a coin, and don't look. From the copenhagen interpretation, the state of the coin is: $\frac1{\sqrt2}(i|\text{heads} \rangle - |\text{tails}\rangle)$ If I observe the coin, there is ...
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1answer
93 views

How to understand the measurement on entangled state in the following cases? [closed]

Assuming an EPR pair AB, event MA is a measurement on A. My questions are: (1) At MB and MB' (depending on where B is located), if we try to describe the state of B (but not measure B yet), ...
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2answers
60 views

Operator and apparatus in quantum mechanics? [closed]

If $L$ is an Hermitian matrix associated with an apparatus acting on state $\Psi$, how does the state vector $\Psi$ collapse or change according to matrix arithmetic?
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0answers
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Experimental test of the non-statisticality theorem?

Context: The paper On the reality of the quantum state (Nature Physics 8, 475–478 (2012) or arXiv:1111.3328) shows under suitable assumptions that the quantum state cannot be interpreted as a ...
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2answers
67 views

Varying the Predictability in a Double Slit Experiment

I know that the Englert-Greenberger-Yasin Duality Relation states that as the predictability of finding a photon at a slit in a double slit experiment increases, the visibility of the interference ...
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4answers
101 views

Why the word “measurement” all the time?

I'm trying to learn more about the properties of light. In all the youtube videos and related to the two-slit experiment, the explanations always say that "measuring" can change the outcome. Why do ...
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5answers
282 views

Why does the measurement of some observable $A$, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator?

Explain why when we make a measurement of some observable $A$ in QM, the measured value is always an eigenvalue of the operator $A$.
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1answer
52 views

How is the Born rule consistent with unitary evolution?

Consider a system $|\Psi_T \rangle_{t = 0} = |\Psi_E \rangle \otimes |\Psi_S \rangle$ where $|\Psi_S \rangle$ is a system that collapses into an eigenstate upon measurement. $|\Psi_E \rangle$ is the ...
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1answer
51 views

Quantum Backaction Question

Question about quantum back action in hypothetical scenario: We know that, at $t_0$, a certain kind of particle, with spin initially prepared to be “spin right” in the x basis, goes through a ...
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2answers
73 views

Measurement of energy apparently violating the position-momentum Uncertainty Principle in a potential that does not depend on distance?

I am taking a beginning course in QM and I have learnt that the measurement of energy collapses the wavefunction of a particle to one of its energy eigenstates. But some misconceptions regarding this ...
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3answers
150 views

Wave function collapse and Schrodinger's equation without measurement

Will wave function collapse without measurement? Since all matters are described by wave functions, then in principle, I should be able to describe wave function collapse by Schrodinger's equation. ...
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0answers
77 views

What would be the abilities of a wave function collapsing oracle? [closed]

Although the Bell's theorem dismiss local hidden variables as an explanation of the quantum variability, there is nothing to prevent an observer to see the occurrence of a wave function collapse as ...
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5answers
4k 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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1answer
107 views

Wave Function State Reduction As a Result of Quantum Measurement

This is a question about indirect quantum measurement, involving an observable of an object of interest and a probe that is used to measure that observable. In this experiment, an observable of the ...
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1answer
71 views

Is the collapsed wavefunction a solution of Time-dependent Schrodinger equation?

For measurement of any observable associated with the particle, should the wavefunction after collapse be a solution of the time-dependent Schrodinger equation? A general solution of the time ...
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4answers
697 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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1answer
297 views

A particle in a 1D box: what is the meaning of velocity?

In the box $x = 0$ to $x = L$, $V = 0$, and for $x < 0$ and $x > L$, $V = \infty$ (infinite potential well). The eigenvalues of the Hamiltonian are: $$E_n = \frac{n^2 h^2}{8L^2} \, .$$ Since ...
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0answers
77 views

How does one compute the state of a quantum system following imperfect measurement?

Suppose I have a quantum system $S$ ("system") with Hamiltonian $H_S$ and initial density matrix $\rho_S(0)$. I allow $S$ to interact with another system $P$ ("probe"), which has Hamiltonian $H_P$ and ...
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2answers
81 views

Theoretically, how does quantum decoherence induce noise?

The decoherence process has allowed us to explain various (classical and decoherence) sources of measurement noise in quantum systems. I intuitively understand this physical concept of ...
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2answers
47 views

Collapsing a wave function without hitting the detector

If a free particle is placed at the origin (in 1D) with a wave function that consists of a superposition of the particle moving in both the +/- X direction, and a single detector is placed on the ...
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5answers
167 views

Looking for clarification on superposition [closed]

I have always had a hard time accepting the concept of superposition from quantum mechanics. I know that the leading physicists say that the cat is both alive and dead until it is observed and that an ...
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3answers
573 views

Can we measure “wavefunction” of quantum particles?

We know that there is uncertainty principle, so question: can we ever measure wavefunction of particles? I do not think this is possible, but I am not sure. I guess that everything is probabilistic. ...
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2answers
614 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
50 views

Generalized Born Rule for partial measurements

I'm looking for the mathematical formulation of this trait (from an introductory Quantum Computing course): How can I generalize this into higher dimensions? Or other observables? It does not seem ...