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

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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 ...
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Entanglement, real or just math?

I'm new here, actually this is my first question so I'll just get to it. In quantum entanglement when something acts on one particle the other one reacts also, just in reverse (more or less). From ...
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Looking for a simple example of generating unequal probabilities in QM

I am trying to understand the problem of branch counting in Everettian interpretations of QM, so I thought I would try to analyze a simple example of starting with equal branch amplitudes that evolve ...
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+100

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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Electrons - What is Waving?

If an electron is a wave, what is waving? So many answers on the internet say "the probability that a particle will be at a particular location"... so... the electron is a physical manifestation of ...
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6answers
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Born's rule and Schordinger'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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Are Forces Involved Non-Local?

Below is a copy of a answer given to this Phys.SE question asked previously: Does every material thing just consist in forces? In short, assume that we have two labs A and B, in each one there is ...
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Uncertainty principle and measurement

I would like to really understand how the uncertainty principle in QM works, from a practical point of view. So this is my narrative of how an experiment goes, and I'm quickly in trouble: we prepare ...
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1answer
127 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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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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4answers
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What does “spread of momentum” actually mean?

I was reading Feynman's lecture in which Feynman invoked his own way of explaining the uncertainty principle using single-slit experiment. There I found: To get a rough idea of the spread of ...
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Quantum measurement problem with eigenvectors (Dirac notation) [closed]

Ok so I've got two state vectors related to two other state vectors. $$|\alpha_1\rangle= (1/5)(3|\gamma_1\rangle+4|\gamma_2\rangle)$$ $$|\alpha_2\rangle= (1/5)(4|\gamma_1\rangle-3|\gamma_2\rangle)$$ ...
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What makes quantum decoherence different from dissipation?

From my understanding quantum decoherence and dissipation are completely different ways of modelling information loss to the environment. Dissipation can be modeled using the Caldeira-Leggett model ...
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Quantum fortune teller

A diffraction pattern in a double slit experiment only occurs if randomness is preserved for which way the photon goes and once certainty is determined by actual measuring the pattern is lost. Can ...
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2answers
80 views

Heisenberg uncertainty and probabilistic nature of QM

I am trying to understand whether the HUP and the probabilistic nature of QM are orthogonal or not. By that I mean that the HUP fundamentally derives from operators not commuting, which is the ...
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2answers
226 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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1answer
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Time reversal on superposition: I think [duplicate]

Imagine I have a box, and in it, I have a photon in a superposition of state |1> and |0>. I look into the box and register that the photon is in state |1>. Now, if I have ALL information in the ...
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2answers
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Unitarity and measurement

I used to believe that the wavefunction collapse came from the interaction of the system we want to measure {S} with the measurement apparatus {M} : {S} undergoing a non unitary transformation, but ...
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Eigenstate vs collapsed wave function

An eigenstate, or determinate state, is a state where the measurement of some observable always yields the same result. This means that the standard deviation of the observable is zero. If a ...
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Books on Quantum Measurement

I have been trying to understand clearly the concept of non locality, hidden variables, quantum measurement etc through research papers. I also read Quantum Theory and measurment by Wheeler and Zurek ...
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75 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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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
167 views

How does many-worlds interpretation make measurement unitary?

Does many-worlds interpretation of QM make the process of measurement (wavefunction collapse) be an unitary transform? If so, how does it do this? If we have an "object" qubit in state ...
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2answers
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How do probabilities emerge in the many-worlds interpretation?

My understanding is that at each quantized unit of time that a split occurs, every possible recombination of particles occurs in the 'objective' universe. If this is the case, what relevance to ...
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The uncertainty principle and spin

I realize that this may be a very basic question, but I've been unable to find the answer elsewhere so thanks in advance for the help. Suppose an electron's spin is measured about an axis, and then ...
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6answers
534 views

Explanation for the EPR-like paradox

I am trying to understand the process of Quantum Entanglement for use in Quantum computers. The problem I have is this: Suppose some nuclear process emits an electron-positron pair. Now after ...
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2answers
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Eigenstates into which a system can be projected after a measurement

I'm currently reading Dirac's Principles of Quantum Mechanics, on page 36, he says: Another assumption we make connected to the physical interpretation of the theory is that, if a certain real ...
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finetuned quantum experiments by Murch lab, do any have dynamics outside of basic QM formalism/ axioms?

a series of very finetuned quantum experiments have been reported by the Murch lab eg in 2 articles in Nature & analysis there,[1][2][3] some leading to dramatic accounts in the media.[4] do ...
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Would a pair of independent quantum coin tosses be perfectly anti-correlated?

Background Suppose we attach a button to an electronic flip flop such that an LED will toggle when we press the button with 50% probability, where the source of the randomness is a quantum event, ...
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1answer
61 views

If I want to determine a particle's momentum or position, do I get this information from the wave function?

I am confused about how one measures the dynamical variables (eg position) of a particle. I thought the wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ was the probability amplitude and $|\Psi(x,t)|^2$ represents the ...
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So far, what has been proven about the definition of an observer? [duplicate]

I've seen people reason that nearly any particle could be an observer, causing electrons in the double-slit experiment to have definite locations. The idea of what exactly the universe/quantum physics ...
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3answers
673 views

What happens after the collapse of a wavefunction?

If I have a quantum system which I prepare in a certain state, this state then evolves unitarily via a Hamiltonian. Suppose an observer provokes a collapse of the wave function by a certain ...
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8answers
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What is an observer in quantum mechanics?

My question is not about (pseudo) philosophical debate; it concerns mathematical operations and experimental facts. What is an observer? What are the conditions required to be qualified of observer, ...
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Why is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated the way it is?

I spent a long time being confused by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in my quantum chemistry class. It is frequently stated that the "position and momentum of a particle cannot be ...
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Is there enough information in a given quantum state to determine the state beforehand?

If I knew all the information about a state, and I knew the laws of physics in their complete totality, could I "reverse engineer" it to find, with 100% certainty, the state before it?
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How to infer the wave function $\psi$ of a EM wave?

There was a claim I read somewhere that said the wave function $\psi$ of a EM wave is measurable via $\vec E$ and $\vec H$ Can someone show how this works?
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How does De Broglie–Bohm theory or pilot wave theory explain the results of the Stern–Gerlach experiment?

The Copehagen interpretation of QM explains the Stern–Gerlach experiment by asserting that a particle is in a superposition of states and doesn't have a definite spin until measured. However, the de ...
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Uncertainty Principle - measuring momentum on one entangled particle, position on the other

If two entangled particles are sent far apart and then at exactly the same time the position of one, and the momentum of the other, is measured, won't this mean that, because the corresponding values ...
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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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Tight bounds between maximum weight and precision

Scales are rated according to their precision and maximum load -- attributes which seem to be universally close to one another (within about 3x10^4 grams). Eg, a scale that can measure up to a ...
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3answers
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What does the quantum state of a system tell us about itself?

In quantum mechanics, quantum state refers to the state of a quantum system. A quantum state is given as a vector in a vector space, called the state vector. The state vector theoretically ...
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Is the collapse of the wave function inherently time asymmetric?

Schroedinger's equation, as we all know, is time symmetric. In quantum field theory, we have to come up with a more sophisticated CPT reversal, but the essential point remains unchanged. However, the ...
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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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How did we come to know that electrons actually 'move' in an atom?

Rutherford's experiments confirmed the existence of light-weight electron clouds in a mostly empty atom, and that they occupy some space around the nucleus. What made us conclude that they can move? ...
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Why isn't transformation, caused by measurement, unitary?

It is said, that when measured, a quantum system undergoes "wave function collapse", which is a non-unitary transformation. Why? The wave function is $\Psi = \alpha \left|0\right\rangle + \beta ...
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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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Schrodinger's dead cat when the evidence is destroyed

In the classic (and morbid) Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment, we imagine putting a cat into a box with a vial of poison which will be triggered by a quantum detectors. We set up a radioactive ...
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795 views

Simple example showing why measurement & interaction are different

Does someone know of a clear (pedagogical) example where one can really see(with the math) where interaction and measurement are not synonymous in quantum mechanics? I know that every measurement ...
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Is every quantum measurement reducible to measurements of position and time?

I am currently studying Path Integrals and was unable to resolve the following problem. In the famous book Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, written by Feynman and Hibbs, it says (at the beginning ...
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Do electrons have a location before they are observed/measured? [closed]

Is this in all interpretations of QM? What about interpretations that are realist (MWI, penrose, ect)?