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

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Hugh Everett's MWI [on hold]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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
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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
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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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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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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 ...
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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, ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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501 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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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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“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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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If I drop a leaf twice from the height of a tree in a completely controlled environment, will the trajectory in each case be the same?

Putting my question in other words, can earth form again if a similar initial universe condition is given? The uncertainty principle says that we cannot tell with certainty the position of a particle ...
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The Physical Meaning behind a Commutator [duplicate]

I've just been introduced to the idea of commutators and I'm aware that it's not a trivial thing if two operators $A$ and $B$ commute, i.e. if two Hermitian operators commute then the eigenvalues of ...
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Wigner friend experiment

Let's supposed we take the Wigner's friend experiment from the metaphysical arena and try to implement it as an actual physical experiment Assuming Wigner's lab friend is kept as a coherent ...
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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? ...
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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 ...