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

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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
94 views

Visualisation of electron

first things first, I'm not by any means a physicist nor a student of physics. I study graphic design. Theme of my bachelor thesis is visualisation of physical and mathematical phenomenons, long story ...
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2answers
59 views

Collapse of the wave function and Heisenberg uncertainty

I have been studying quantum mechanics for a few weeks, in particular wave mechanics, as created by Schrodinger, and his equation. As a high school student, I haven't found an answer to this question ...
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3answers
603 views

Decoherence and collapse

It is said that the decoherence does not solve the problem of measurement and/or the emergence of classicality, can somebody explain it with simple analogies or in a manner accessible to a ...
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1answer
47 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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2answers
127 views

Quasiparticles in Bohmian mechanics

My questions are about de Broglie-Bohm "pilot wave" interpretation of quantum mechanics (a.k.a. Bohmian mechanics). Do quasiparticles have any meaning in Bohmian mechanics, or not? Specifically, is ...
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3answers
143 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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9answers
2k views

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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3answers
74 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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3answers
102 views

Can we find the definite path of electron?

Light can crisscross in all directions. Source: Can photons pass through each other? In a given volume, we can have light throughout, such that there is no space with no light in it (with the ...
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3answers
150 views

Why does the Copenhagen interpretation assert randomness if this cannot be tested?

Why does the Copenhagen interpretation of QM assert that random events occur if such a claim cannot ever be proven or disproven? A related question: How to tell if QM is really random? Edit On ...
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1answer
209 views

Can the time direction of wave function collapse be reversed? [duplicate]

The laws of physics are invariant under CPT transformations reversing time, inverting space and flipping charges. Almost so. The collapse of the wave function is the odd man out. Can the time ...
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2answers
95 views

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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4answers
608 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 it's wavefunction, when you stop to measure it? I mean, an electron has a wave function describing it's ...
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3answers
147 views

How do we physically apply the operators of quantum mechanics on a particle?

What do we have to perform physically that is equivalent to applying those quantum mechanical operators on a state $|\psi\rangle$? Edit: I have removed the part I was asking regarding measurement ...
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1answer
182 views

Why is QM maximally predictive?

Let's suppose I'm in the lab and I claim that I can predict more than QM can, specifically, I can predict exactly at which moment in time a particle decays. You don't believe me (naturally) so I set ...
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7answers
1k views

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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0answers
33 views

In Quantum Physics would a camera count an observer that causes wave collapse? [duplicate]

Would the observation from a camera have the same effect on wave function as the observation from a living being?
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1answer
179 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 $T$. ...
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2answers
156 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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0answers
49 views

Quantum decoherence and Schrodinger'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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3answers
219 views

Is there an objective, external reality according to quantum physics?

In quantum physics, a particle can be in a superposition of two states until it is measured. In other words, the aforementioned particle doesn't have a definite state until it is "looked at" ...
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0answers
64 views

Quantum Mechanics and Direction of time [duplicate]

It has always fascinated me that time is symmetrical in classical physics while, in life, we all experience the flow of time in only one direction. There is no preference as to the direction of time ...
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0answers
41 views

The electron: why can't it have both momentum and position [duplicate]

Total amateur here. I've been watching video lectures on Quantum Mechanics and it's said that there is no way to know both position and momentum of an electron at the same time. But is it because when ...
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0answers
60 views

Interesting (new to me) things in the exposition of Landau's book on QM

In section I.1 (The uncertainty principle), a principle I already know, the author suggests a "relaxing" picture (Unusual): "We have defined "apparatus" as a physical object which is governed, ...
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3answers
168 views

What is the best article presenting counterarguments to a many-world interpretation? [duplicate]

I'd like to see a clear overview of why the many-world interpretation (WWI) of quantum is wrong, written by someone who believes that. This would be aimed at a technically aware audience, yet as an ...
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3answers
85 views

Is the uncertainity principle a practical reality, a theoretical law or a measurement problem?

I understand we cannot state with arbitrary precision the position and momentum of a micro-particle as we superpose infinite waves to create a wave packet at the exact position of the particle and ...
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2answers
181 views

Can we describe Quantum Mechanics 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
63 views

Two quantum observers

It is considered that a quantum mechanics parameter is undefined until it is measured.But what happens if two independent observers measure the same quantum parameter? Do they get the same value or ...
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1answer
314 views

If there is no collapse of the wave-function does this mean that the many worlds interpretation of QM must be wrong?

If as some people suggest, there is no collapse of the wave function (is there a standard name for this position), then must one rule out the many-worlds interpretation of QM?
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2answers
207 views

Measuring non-commuting observable at once

Given an Hilbert space $H$ (finite dimensional for sake of clarity), and two non-commuting operators $$A = \sum_a a |a\rangle\langle a|$$ and $$B=\sum_a b |b\rangle\langle b|,$$ is it possible to find ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
211 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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2answers
117 views

What is a measurement in MWI

I was reviewing the MWI, and couldn't figure what a measurement is in the MWI? Everett claims that split happens when you measure, but what is it for MWI (not for general QM)? Yes, I know about ...
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2answers
168 views

QM interpretations

I don't fully appreciate what the discovery of the decoherence phenomenon adds to the Copenaghen interpretation of QM. I will be more precise: the Copenaghen interpretation, if I am not wrong, is ...
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3answers
122 views

Discrete movement vs wave function collapse

I remember once, as a child, thinking that objects do not really "move," but that at a very small scale they would have to "disappear" and then "appear" again at their newly shifted position, just the ...
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2answers
79 views

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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3answers
56 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
68 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
62 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
33 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
21 views

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
63 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
305 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
295 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 ...
3
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4answers
575 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 $\pm\tfrac12\hbar$. ...
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7answers
784 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
85 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
39 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
123 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 ...