For questions about probability, probability theory, probability distributions, expected values and related matters. Purely mathematical questions should be asked on Math.SE.

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1answer
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Mach-Zehnder probabilities

Where can I find the computations of probabilities for Mach-Zehnder experiments, say at the undergraduate level? For example I'm thinking of the type of experiments described at the beginning of David ...
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0answers
18 views

Derivation of generation of time between two subsequent particle enters into computational domain

I have problem with understanding derivation of one equation in following problem. You have 1D computational domain (it is not 1D but because it is symmetrical and we are watching only radial ...
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54 views

How did Max Born come up with his rule? [duplicate]

In his rule, he stated that the probability is norm-squared of wave function, $|\psi|^2$. And as far as I knew, no one else at that time had "right" interpretation of the wave function. Even ...
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Is there a Bayesian theory of deterministic signal? Prequel and motivation for my previous question

This is a prequel to my question: What's the probability distribution of a deterministic signal or how to marginalize a dynamical system? Clearly my question looks at the same time fairly ...
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What's the probability distribution of a deterministic signal or how to marginalize dynamical systems?

In many signal processing calculations, the (prior) probability distribution of the theoretical signal (not the signal + noise) is required. In random signal theory, this distribution is typically a ...
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1answer
19 views

Relation between probability density and transmission probability of a wavefunction?

Problems I did on current densities in elementary quantum mecanics course gives the answer contains transmission coeffecients, I am wondering is there any relation among them.
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39 views

Conservation of energy and realm of possibility

The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Based on this principle, you can safely conclude that any effect resulting from a cause must somehow keep all ...
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2answers
74 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 ...
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2answers
109 views

If a quantum state is pure why are its observables still probabilistic?

As I understand it, a pure quantum state is one that can be represented as a ket $\lvert\psi\rangle$ in a Hilbert space, and it contains all the information about the state of the system. As such, we ...
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36 views

Relevance of pure mathematics vs statistics to physics [closed]

For someone currently studying physics, with an interest in experimental physics, would pure mathematics or statistics be more relevant?
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4answers
2k views

What is a wave function in simple language?

In my textbook it is given that 'The wave function describes the position and state of the electron and its square gives the probability density of electrons.' Can someone give me a very ...
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0answers
27 views

How can absorbtion of a photon in an atom take place? [duplicate]

I will come back to a question posed here and the comment given by John Rennie: If the photon energy doesn't match an allowed transition energy it won't be absorbed and won't excite any transition. ...
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1answer
46 views

Multiple measurements and the any worlds interpretation

My question has some similarities to but also differs significantly from this question which was described in many of its answers as not being a quantum mechanical measurement and was I think, ...
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Counting the accesible microestates compatible with the macrostate conditions

Let be a system consisting of $N$ magnetic dipoles with magnetic dipole $\vec{\mu}$ in a magnetic field $\vec{B}$. I want to count the micro states accessible to the macro estate defined by $E=-\mu B$ ...
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Does it make sense to add overlapping probabilities > 1?

I read about a variation of Bell's inequality, expressed as $$P_\text{same}(A, B) + P_\text{same}(A, C) + P_\text{same}(B, C) ≥ 1$$ It is later shown that the inequality is violated using QM. ...
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1answer
51 views

Why does this formula for the partition function not include the multiplicity?

I am having problems understanding the formulas used for describing the partition functions and the probability distributions for canonical ensembles. In the first case I have two formulas for the ...
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1answer
45 views

How to calculate probability of complex wave functions? [closed]

An election has an equation as such: $$Ψ(x) = e^{iαx^2}.$$ How am I supposed to find the probability of finding the electron over a certain range? Is Fourier Transform involved in this?
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2answers
45 views

Quantum Mechanics: Can the probability of finding a particle in the whole space be smaller or higher at certain times?

In the book Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (by David Griffith) there is an Example 2.1: Suppose a particle starts out in a linear combination of just two stationary states: ...
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1answer
60 views

Probability of finding vacuum?

Consider a real scalar quantum field $\varphi (x)$, interacting with a classical real scalar field $J(x)$ : $$ \mathcal{L} = \frac{1}{2}(\partial \varphi)^2 - \frac{m^2}{2} \varphi^2 + \varphi J$$ ...
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188 views

Itô or Stratonovich calculus: which one is more relevant from the point of view of physics?

Langevin equation provides an example of a physical model which involves a differential equation with a stochastic term. Now, I wonder, how should one treat this? When I studied stochastic processes, ...
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1answer
56 views

Ambiguity in True Quantum Phase-Space Distribution

In this paper, the following is stated: It is well known that the uncertainty principle makes the concept of phase space in quantum mechanics problematic. Because a particle cannot simultaneously ...
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0answers
36 views

Why is the inner product of position eigenstates not normalised? [duplicate]

I have read that $$<{\bf r}|{\bf r}'> = δ({\bf r}-{\bf r}').$$ I don't understand how this is correct, I want to say it is equal to 1 or 0, rather than an unnormalised delta function. Clearly ...
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32 views

Problem on probability expectation value

I have go through a lesson of classical probability and it is the no. of trial divided by the total number. And I have already read the three types of probability distribution such as Binomial ...
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1answer
25 views

What does it mean to find a particle in a range at a given value?

Find the probability of finding the electron in the range $\Delta r = 0.02a_0$ at (a) $r = a_0$ and (b) $r = 2a_0$ for the state $n = 2$, $l = 0$, $m = 0$ in hydrogen. I don't understand the ...
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1answer
68 views

Can the quantum mechanical current density be imaginary?

I am dealing with a situation where I get an imaginary transmission current density. Is this possible? Does it imply a zero transmission probability?
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1answer
64 views

Does light with opposite spins cancel out the probability of an event?

I'm an A level student and as i was reading QED by Richard Feynman, I came across something really interesting, that light can be reflected from all parts of the mirror according to the quantum ...
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Pearson correlation of neural responses with it's linear estimation

I am trying to anderstand the following fact: Suppose I have a linear estimation of a stimulus: $ \hat{s} = \mathbf{w}^T(\mathbf{r} - \mathbf{f}(s_0)) + s_0$ where $\mathbf{w}$ is a vector of ...
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2answers
95 views

Understanding the Mathematics of Wigner function [duplicate]

I fully understand that Wigner function provides the complete information of a state of a quantum system, i.e. quantum phase space, while not violating Uncertainty principle. But can anyone tell me ...
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4answers
211 views

Connection between Hamiltonian version of the least action principle and probability amplitude in the Schrödinger equation

If I'm not mistaken, Schrödinger was influenced to look at wave equations because of de Broglie's assertion about particles having a wavelength. He started with the Hamiltonian equation which is ...
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2answers
66 views

Quantum Mechanics: How to compute how fast must a function go to zero at infinity? [closed]

We say that the wave function must go to zero at infinity faster than $1/x^{0.5}$ in order for it to be normalizable. What about other quantities like the probability current? What is the general rule ...
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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)?
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1answer
92 views

The Theoretical Minimum: Probability/Spin Question

Background In The Theoretical Minimum, it states that any spin state can be represented by a linear combo of the basis vectors $|u\rangle$ and $|d\rangle$ It then goes on to show how this is done ...
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1answer
53 views

Why is the reflection coefficient in quantum mechanical scattering defined this way?

In Griffiths' "Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, second edition" section 2.5.2, p. 73, he states: For the delta-function potential, when considering the scattered states (with $E > 0$), we have ...
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1answer
89 views

Fermi's golden rule and infinite probablity?

I am slightly confused about the application of Fermi's golden rule. Which during standard derivations indicates a probability of transitioning from the state $|i \rangle$ to the state $|f\rangle$ of: ...
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5answers
205 views

Quantum Theory just lazy physics?

Is it true that physicists decided that because they couldn't predict with certainty the location of an electron at any given time, that they just created equations using probability instead, still ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the probability of two bullets to get clashed? [closed]

I was surfing on Instagram, and I found this amazing proto whose description is "the probability of such an event to happen is incredibly small, so this is a really curious finding". Well.. I'm ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Bell's Theorem - Why does $\lambda$ have a probability?

I'm reviewing Bell's theorem. In his proof by contradiction, he assumes the world is deterministic and defines a vector $\lambda$ as the set of all hidden variables which play a role in determining ...
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1answer
44 views

Probability of finding electron in a spherical shell

In the book Arthur Beiser - Concepts of modern physics, probability of finding an electron in Hydrogen atom in the spherical shell between $r$ and $r+dr$ is given as \begin{equation} P(r)dr = ...
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1answer
84 views

Layman Question on Probability Amplitudes and Probabilities

Important Note: For "layman" read "next to zero understanding of QM mathematics" I am reading Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum. In Chapter 2 on Quantum States, the following is presented: ...
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2answers
77 views

What does the continuity equation for probability in quantum mechanics mean?

In quantum mechanics, the continuity equation $-{d\rho}/{dt}=\nabla\cdot{J}$ holds for a probability density $\rho$ and probability current $J$. But what does it mean, from a physical point of view? ...
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0answers
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Why are isoprobabilty contours circles for uncorrelated functions and ellipse for correlated functions? Kindly explain.

I would like to know how to understand these and to learn how to go from a scatter plot to the isoprobabity contour plots. Thanks is advance!
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57 views

Has Jaynes' argument for quantum mechanics as a possible theory of inference been debunked?

To my understanding, there is currently no scientific consensus on which interpretation of quantum physics is the correct one, if any. The most famous one, perhaps for historical reasons, is the ...
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40 views

Proving Probability Current and Momentum relationship

I am trying to show that $\mathbf j = \frac{\hbar}{2mi}\left(\Psi^* \mathbf \nabla \Psi - \Psi \mathbf \nabla \Psi^{*} \right) \,, $ simplifies to $\mathbf j = \frac{\mathbf p}{2m} (|\Psi|^2) $. I ...
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1answer
77 views

Expectation Value of Unitary Time Evolution Operator in Quantum Mechanics

Does the expression $\langle \Psi_i|U(t)|\Psi_i\rangle$ have a specific meaning, where $U(T)$ is the unitary time evolution operator of $\Psi$, and $\Psi_i$ is the initial state of $\Psi$? If so, ...
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2answers
66 views

Microstates, Distribution of Particles, and the Probability of an Empty Compartment

If I have a closed system composed of $N$ particles and $p$ compartments, the total number of microstates available to that system is $$ p^N $$ Now say I want to find the probability that any one of ...
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0answers
41 views

Is the conservation of probability in the Schroedinger's equation unique?

The Schroedinger's equation can be viewed as a diffusion equation with imaginary constants $a$ and $b$ satisfying, $$(1) \quad \Psi_t=a \cdot \Delta \Psi-b \cdot V(x,t) \cdot \Psi$$ However if $a$ ...
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1answer
37 views

Probability of nuclear decay of small staring number of atoms

I came across a rather dubious question that a teacher had put in a power point. It said something like,"Given a sample of 100 atoms of isotope x, after one half life of the said isotope, how many ...
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1answer
43 views

Why wavefunction is sometimes multiplied by the radius to get probability density?

When solving 1d particle in a box, the probability density is said to be proportional to $|\psi|$, but when solving 3d orbitals, the probability density is said to be proportional to $|\psi|^2 r^2$. ...
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3answers
252 views

Does quantum mechanics break causality? [duplicate]

If quantum mechanics is probabilistic, there is no reason for a particle to be in one place and not the other, but particles do make up their minds... but how?
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23 views

how to use generating function to solve coupled linear master equations?

I am trying to solve a two dimensional continuous time and discrete state master equation. The master equation is linear and looks as follows, $\frac{\partial P_A(x,y,t)}{\partial t} = k_{11} ...