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4
votes
3answers
153 views

Is there a phenomenon where physicists are only interested in the standard deviation of the quantity to be measured?

or a phenomenon where we can only measure the standard deviation ($\sigma_w$) of a variable $w$ and not the mean $\overline{w}$
5
votes
2answers
478 views

Why is quantum mechanics based on probability theory? [duplicate]

What makes us formulate quantum mechanics based on probability theory? Isn't the real quantum world based on unknown laws to us? Is it possible that results of an experiment will be measurable in ...
-1
votes
1answer
377 views

What is probability to find electron at certain distance from nucleus

Given for example, Hydrogen electron in ground state. What is probability to find that electron at certain distance (not interval of distances) from center of nucleus, for example at radial coordinate ...
2
votes
1answer
718 views

Probability for harmonic oscillator outside the classical region

I'm having some trouble finding an expression for the probability to find the particle outside the classical area in the harmonic oscillator. I have a wavefunction defined as: $\psi \left( x,\,t ...
3
votes
3answers
427 views

Classical/Quantum Coin Toss

I am having a brainfreeze moment and have confused myself, help appreciated! Classical Coin: Heads OR tails. Quantum Coin: Superposition Heads AND Tails. Classical Mechanics: Deterministic (in ...
0
votes
1answer
242 views

spontaneous disintegration of an unstable particle

Suppose one wants to describe an unstable particle that spontaneously disintegrates with a life time say "tau". In that case the total probability of finding the particle is not constant. But should ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Physical interpretation of normalization of wave fuctions

Does normalization of wave function mean that we are getting our state vector to unit length? If that's the case what does it mean physically? Also is the underlying vector space finite dimensional? ...
1
vote
2answers
290 views

Fermi-Dirac Statistics

In Fermi-Dirac statistics the probability of being in a certain energy state is $$f(E) = \left[1 + \exp\left(\frac{E-E_F}{k T}\right)\right]^{-1}$$ In the area that I'm looking at the texts always ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Is this hypo-theoretical model of future prediction feasible? [closed]

First let me state that I am not, nor ever have I been, a physics student. I am working on an idea for a book I'm writing. This is a thought experiment that posits the existence of a computer system ...
8
votes
2answers
140 views

How to design a deliberately biased coin?

For demonstrating basic probability concepts, it would be nice to have a coin-like object that lands heads/tails not in 50/50% ratio, but biased in a way that can be revealed in a short experiment. ...
4
votes
2answers
339 views

How do you come up with a POVM?

This is a made-up example, just to understand a concept. If changing the probability values aids your explanation, that's fine by me. Say you have a physical quantity $E$ that can take values 1, 2, 3 ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Statistical sum of physical quantities in a quantum system

Let $C = A + B$ (statistical sum, so $\mathbb{E}[C] = \mathbb{E}[A] + \mathbb{E}[B]$), and let $p(A = a) = 1$. Are the following true? $\mathbb{E}[C^2] = a^2 + 2a\mathbb{E}[B] + \mathbb{E}[B^2]$ ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Independent systems and Lagrangians

Definition 1: The notion of independent systems has a precise meaning in probabilities. It states that the (joint) probability or finding the system ($S_1S_2$) in the configuration ($C_1C_2$) is ...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

Probability of position in linear shm?

The problem that got me thinking goes like this:- Find $dp/dx$ where $p$ is the probability of finding a body at a random instant of time undergoing linear shm according to $x=a\sin(\omega t)$. ...
7
votes
3answers
676 views

Determinism, classical probabilities, and/or quantum mechanics?

[I]f you want a universe with certain very generic properties, you seem forced to one of three choices: (1) determinism, (2) classical probabilities, or (3) quantum mechanics. [My emphasis.] ...
4
votes
4answers
217 views

Does entropy alter the probability of independent events?

So I have taken an introductory level quantum physics and am currently taking an introductory level probability class. Then this simple scenario came up: Given a fair coin that has been tossed 100 ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

Probabilistic vs Statistical interpretation of Double Slit experiment

Why is it assumed that the results seen in the double slit experiment are probabilistic and not just a statistical result of some unknown variable or set of variables within the system.
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Probability amplitude in Layman's Terms

I am basically a Computer Programmer, but Physics has always fascinated and often baffled me. I have tried to understand probability density in Quantum Mechanics for many many years. What I ...
1
vote
3answers
683 views

Operators explaination and momentum operator in QM

I know and understand why equation below holds. But i am new to operator thing in QM and would need some explaination on this. $$\langle x \rangle = \int\limits_{-\infty}^\infty |\Psi|^2 x \, ...
5
votes
1answer
487 views

't Hooft for laypersons

I have looked at some of 't Hooft's recent papers and, unfortunately, they are well beyond my current level of comprehension. The same holds for the discussions that took place on this website. (See, ...
7
votes
3answers
287 views

Is “entanglement” unique to quantum systems?

My text shows (sections 0.2 and 0.3) that the joint "state space" of a system composed of two subsystems with $k$ and $l$ "bits of information", respectively, requires $kl$ bits to fully describe it. ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Equivalence of simple formulations of qubit entanglement

I'm reading some very elementary treatments of quantum computation and am unsure about the correspondence among "definitions" of qubit entanglement. One definition states that (1) the bits of a ...
6
votes
3answers
400 views

Could quantum mechanics work without the Born rule?

Slightly inspired by this question about the historical origins of the Born rule, I wondered whether quantum mechanics could still work without the Born rule. I realize it's one of the most ...
0
votes
3answers
567 views

Normalisation factor $\psi_0$ for wave function $\psi = \psi_0 \sin(kx-\omega t)$

I know that if I integrate probabilitlity $|\psi|^2$ over a whole volume $V$ I am supposed to get 1. This equation describes this. $$\int \limits^{}_{V} \left|\psi \right|^2 \, \textrm{d} V = 1\\$$ ...
6
votes
2answers
804 views

Amplitude of Probability amplitude. Which one is it?

QM begins with a Born's rule which states that probability $P$ is equal to a modulus square of probability amplitude $\psi$: $$P = \left|\psi\right|^2.$$ If I write down a wave function like this ...
2
votes
0answers
258 views

Probability and probability amplitude [duplicate]

What made scientists believe that we should calculate probability $P$ as the $P = \left|\psi\right|^2$ in quantum mechanics? Was it the double slit experiment? How? Is there anywhere in the ...
2
votes
2answers
201 views

Why does the amplitude of a ripple tells us that it is a particle?

The quote below is from Matt Strassler's blog: a particle is a ripple with many crests and troughs; its amplitude, relative to its overall length, is what tells you that it is a single ...
4
votes
3answers
343 views

Probability and probability amplitude

The equation: $$P = |A|^2$$ appears in many books and lectures, where $P$ is a "probability" and $A$ is an "amplitude" or "probability amplitude". What led physicists to believe that the square of ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Is there an equivalent of a Galton box for a converging probability?

This is a question about probability. The Galton box (or quincunx) uses the physical process of shot moving down a pin-board, to demonstrate central limit theorem, eg: So I am interested in events ...
3
votes
2answers
240 views

Are probability-preserving variations of QT with respect to the Born rule mathematically possible?

Is it possible to create (m)any theoretically workable framework(s) - that do(es) produce probabilities - by taking QM and replacing the Born(-like) rule(s) with something that is not equivalent to it ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Parallel universe and Infinite monkey theorem [closed]

Is the Infinite monkey theorem helpful for determining the existence of the very same our universe somewhere else?
2
votes
2answers
204 views

Computing microstate probabilities based on Boltzmann distribution for chemical systems - Is it rigorous?

One approach to predicting the folded structure of a polymer (DNA, RNA, protein) is to compute the probability that any particular part of the polymer $x_i$ is "paired" with another part of the ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Basic question about probability and measurements

Say I have a Galton box, i.e. a ball dropping on a row of solid bodies. Now I want to calculate the probability distribution of the movement of the ball based on the properties of the body (case A). ...
4
votes
0answers
223 views

Electron hopping among molecules - Marcus equation

I'm running out of professors to talk to, and I need to clarify a couple of things for the sake of making a realistic model of electron travel through a mesh. This is about calculations of electron ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

Probability in Quantum Mechanics

Do you need to take a probability/statistics course for Quantum Mechanics, or is the probability in quantum mechanics so rudimentary that you can just learn it along the way? I'm in doubt as to ...
7
votes
5answers
575 views

Born rule and unitary evolution

Is the Born rule a fundamental postulate of quantum mechanics, or can it be inferred from unitary evolution?
2
votes
0answers
86 views

How to explain Tsirelson's inequality using extended probabilities?

How to explain Tsirelson's inequality using extended probabilities? Some people have tried explaining the Bell inequalities using extended probabilities. For instance, a pair of entangled photons ...
3
votes
2answers
528 views

What is the physical interpretation of the density matrix in a double continuous basis $|\alpha\rangle$, $|\beta\rangle$?

(a) Any textbook gives the interpretation of the density matrix in a single continuous basis $|\alpha\rangle$: The diagonal elements $\rho(\alpha, \alpha) = \langle \alpha |\hat{\rho}| \alpha ...
2
votes
4answers
512 views

If wave packets spread, why don't objects disappear?

If you have an electron moving in empty space, it will be represented by a wave packet. But packets can spread over time, that is, their width increases, with it's uncertainty in position increasing. ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

How to solve the tranmission probability in an evolution of a quantum system

I've just learned the evolution of some quantum system for about a week, and our homework sometimes something like this. I don't quite have any idea of solving this kind of problem. Can you help ...
5
votes
1answer
287 views

Boundary conditions from single-valuedness of spherical wavefunctions

This question is a follow-up to David Bar Moshe's answer to my earlier question on the Aharonov-Bohm effect and flux-quantization. What I forgot was that it is not the wavefunction that must be ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Modeling the probability of a photodiode measuring photons targets at a neighbor

In current digital cameras, sensors are arrays of photodiodes which "transform" photons energy to electrons. I am aware that the probability of a photon to generate an electron is modeled by a Poisson ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

Simulating quantum network of harmonic oscillators

Let's say that I have a system of $n$ particles $p_1,\ldots,p_n\in\mathbb{R}^3$ (where $n$ here is on the order of 10,000). Furthermore, suppose we have a graph $G=(V,E)$ describing some network, ...
3
votes
2answers
222 views

Probability wave speed of dispersion and interference

I'm a layperson learning about quantum mechanics and probability waves. My understanding is that the probability wave for the position of a particle disperses throughout all of the universe. I have ...
8
votes
1answer
378 views

How to determine the probabilities for a cuboid die?

Imagine we take a cuboid with sides $a, b$ and $c$ and throw it like a usual die. Is there a way to determine the probabilities of the different outcomes $P_{ab}, P_{bc}$ and $P_{ac}$? With $ab$, ...
1
vote
3answers
460 views

Propagators and Probabilities in the Heisenberg Picture

I'm trying to understand why $$\Bigl|\langle0|\phi(x)\phi(y)|0\rangle\Bigr|^2$$ is the probability for a particle created at $y$ to propagate to $x$ where $\phi$ is the Klein-Gordon field. What's ...
1
vote
1answer
139 views

How to interpret a negative failure rate?

In statistical engineering the "hazard rate" of a distribution is defined as: $$r(x)=\frac{f(x)}{1-F(x)}$$ where $f(x)$ and $F(x)$ are the PDF and CDF. Basically $r(x)$ is the odds that, having ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Diffusion of probability amplitudes

Let's say I have a probability amplitude $\psi:\Sigma\rightarrow\mathbb{C}$ for some domain $\Sigma$ (so, $\psi$ satisfies $\int_\Sigma |\psi|^2=1$). Is there a way to use $\psi$ as initial ...
1
vote
2answers
136 views

Similarity of probability amplitude functions

Let's say I have two probability amplitude functions given by $\psi_1$ and $\psi_2$. That is, $\psi_i:\Sigma\rightarrow\mathbb{C}$ for some domain $\Sigma$ with $\int_\Sigma|\psi_i|^2=1$ for ...
6
votes
2answers
288 views

Mathematical probabilistic interepretation of probability amplitude

As a warning, I come from an "applied math" background with next to no knowledge of physics. That said, here's my question: I'm looking at the possibility of using probability amplitude functions to ...