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
123 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
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2answers
172 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
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2answers
558 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
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1answer
105 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
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2answers
109 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
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2answers
432 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 $x=a\sin(\omega t)$. ...
8
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3answers
1k 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.] ...
5
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4answers
254 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 ...
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2answers
185 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.
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6answers
7k 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 ...
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3answers
976 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
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1answer
535 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, ...
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3answers
446 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. ...
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0answers
87 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
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3answers
559 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
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3answers
1k 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
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2answers
1k 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
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0answers
323 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
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2answers
249 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 ...
5
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3answers
455 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
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1answer
205 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
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2answers
272 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 ...
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1answer
299 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
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2answers
260 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
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1answer
147 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
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0answers
261 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
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1answer
268 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 ...
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5answers
996 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
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0answers
117 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 ...
4
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3answers
970 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
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4answers
601 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
116 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
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1answer
395 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 ...
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0answers
58 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
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1answer
316 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
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2answers
319 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 ...
9
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1answer
517 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 $ab$, ...
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3answers
655 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
185 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
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2answers
199 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
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2answers
165 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
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2answers
330 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 ...
7
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4answers
387 views

Are probabilities really tangible physical real numbers?

Probabilities are usually considered to be a real number between 0 and 1. A real number has an infinite decimal expansion. Are probabilities really real numbers? Is the infinite decimal expansion ...
3
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1answer
1k views

About Born's rule

I wanted to gain a better understanding of the Born rule to make my class on quantum mechanic feel less ad hoc. To do so I attempted to show that the version (1) given in my book is equivalent to the ...
3
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2answers
2k views

How do I figure out the probability of finding a particle between two barriers?

Given a delta function $\alpha\delta(x+a)$ and an infinite energy potential barrier at $[0,\infty)$, calculate the scattered state, calculate the probability of reflection as a function of ...
3
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1answer
909 views

Why doesn't the Klein-Gordon equation allow for conservation of probability?

I read somewhere that the Klein-Gordon equation doesn't allow for conservation of probability. Can someone prove this mathematically?
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1answer
825 views

Probability, quantum physics, and why (can't it/does it) apply to macroscale events?

Quantum physics dictates that there are probabilities that determine the outcome of an event, ie: the probability of a quark passing through a wall is X, due to the size of the quark in comparison to ...
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2answers
306 views

Average Neighbouring Impurity Separation in a Random 1D chain [closed]

I have a finite and discrete 1D chain (edit: linear chain, i.e. a straight line) of atoms, with unit separation, with a set number of impurities randomly distributed in the place of these atoms in ...
3
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3answers
712 views

Probability vs. degree of belief in facts of nature (“Plausibility”)

I just came across a line in a paper: "Assume the probability that a Lagrangian parameter lies between $a$ and $a + da$ is $dP(a) = $ [...]." This reminded me again of my single biggest qualm I have ...
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1answer
104 views

Computing an average escape distance for a particle

Somewhere in a two dimensional convex bulk of particles (pic related) on a random position a reaction takes place and a particle is sent out in a random direction with a constant velocity $v$. What ...