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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2
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2answers
36 views

How can an electron's magnetic moment precess around the direction of an external magnetic field?

I am reading this article: The Nature of the Electron by Don Lincoln in The Physics Teacher, Volume 54 (2016), pg. 203, and I ran across the part where he talks about measuring the magnetic moment of ...
7
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1answer
58 views

Does spontaneous emission count as a measurement?

It is my understanding that in the density matrix formalism for open quantum systems the environment-induced measurements/collapses/projections are accounted for by the Lindblad superoperator (from ...
-6
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1answer
61 views

Is superposition state of SHO ever observed? [on hold]

Feynman says, "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." So, is superposition state of Simple ...
4
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1answer
128 views

Our choice of base surely cannot effect possible outcomes of a measurement?

Common sense says that, of course, the outcome of a measurement on a quantum system cannot be affected by what base we choose to represent it in. However, while studying QM text, it seems like they ...
-1
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2answers
107 views

Do conservation laws contradict quantum mechanics? [closed]

Take for example the double-slit experiment interpreted in the Copenhagen sense. The particle leaves as an object with mass, yet passes through the slits as a massless wave, only to collapse again as ...
0
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2answers
71 views

Variation of schrodinger cat replaced by quantum computer

In the "classical" imaginary Schrodinger's cat experiment, which seems to be no longer serious, or at least irrelevant, by many (some?) people, everything is explained away by decoherence. Now, let ...
4
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4answers
231 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 ...
-1
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1answer
46 views

Implications of weak measurement on entanglement

What are the implications of weak-measurement on entangled particles, and how does that resolve the problem of non-superluminal quantum "communication"? If I understand correctly, entangled particles ...
1
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0answers
32 views

Schrödinger's cat experiment in the context of decoherence

I am trying to visualize in more detail the Schrödinger's cat experiment in the context of decoherence. Please let me know if the description below makes sense or is somehow flawed. If the ...
0
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0answers
18 views

Precession or projection?

A spin of 1/2 in a magnetic field is known to rotate around the direction of the field. But then it is also stated that it must be projected spin up or down. Is this simultaneous or happens after ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Measurements in quantum mechanics

Why does measurement change things? I read that measurement changes things because we have to bounce photons off an object to 'see' it and that changes its position, momentum etc... But on the other ...
4
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1answer
295 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 ...
1
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2answers
78 views

Is the momentum of a particle both uncertain and, independently, also random?

Is momentum of a particle "random" because it is uncertain, or is it uncertain in addition to being random? Is the uncertainty principle and quantum randomness different names the same physical ...
7
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2answers
470 views

How can we know the state of a quantum system?

One of the postulates of QM states that given a system in a state $|\psi\rangle$ and given an observable $A$ whose eigenstates are $|\phi_i\rangle$, then the state of the system can be expressed as a ...
4
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5answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
193 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" ...
4
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3answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
33 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
394 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? ...
4
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1answer
58 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 ...
0
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2answers
59 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
46 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) + ...
-1
votes
2answers
75 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 ...
0
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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?
3
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1answer
72 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 ...
1
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1answer
54 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 ...
9
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1answer
220 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 ...
18
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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 ...
0
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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
6k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
153 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 ...
1
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0answers
52 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? ...
3
votes
1answer
103 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)\, ...
4
votes
2answers
72 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 ...
0
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3answers
52 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 ...
14
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4answers
1k 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 ...
4
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5answers
720 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 ...
2
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2answers
136 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
16k 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 ...
17
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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 ...
2
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4answers
218 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 ...
0
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2answers
85 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 ...
5
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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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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0answers
57 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 ...
1
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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)?
2
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1answer
60 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 ...
5
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3answers
429 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 ...
9
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3answers
505 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. ...
0
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1answer
111 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 ...