This tag is for questions relating to what, if anything, the quantum mechanical formalism and experimental results say about the way the world works.

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How do we know particles exist? Aren't they just waves?

In the book "A Briefer History of Time" Stephen Hawking wrote: The unpredictable, random element comes in only when we try to interpret the wave in terms of the positions and velocities of ...
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9answers
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“Reality” of EM waves vs. wavefunction of individual photons - why not treat the wave function as equally “Real”?

In thinking how to ask this question (somewhat) succinctly, I keep coming back to a Microwave Oven. A Microwave Oven has a grid of holes over the window specifically designed to be smaller in ...
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2answers
102 views

multiverse fabric of reality

Source-"fabric of reality"- author d. deutsch - his contention, as I understand it, is that quantum interference is caused by "almost, but not identical quite quantum entities" , e.g. electrons, from ...
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1answer
102 views

Immortality within the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics [closed]

I understand the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics as follows: Any time an event happens, all of the possible outcomes take place ("split the universe") If I then think about a ...
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1answer
66 views

Are there nonlinear models of quantum mechanics which forbid superluminal signaling?

What would a nonlinear model of quantum mechanics which forbids superluminal signaling look like? Of course, a nonlinear $\psi$-ontic theory with entangled states could have superluminal effects upon ...
4
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2answers
143 views

Does Bell's theorem rule out the possiblity that measurements are completely determined by events in the past light cone?

I'm studying Bell's theorem and the CHSH inequality for some time. Now it's clear to me that one cannot reproduce the correlations predicted by quantum mechanics by assuming that particles carry ...
5
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5answers
742 views

Is the wave function objective or subjective?

Here is a question I am curious about. Is the wave function objective or subjective, or is such a question meaningless? Conventionally, subjectivity is as follows: if a quantity is subjective then ...
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2answers
68 views

Books on Quantum Measurement

I have been trying to understand clearly the concept of non locality, hidden variables, quantum measurement etc through research papers. I also read Quantum Theory and measurment by Wheeler and Zurek ...
2
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0answers
180 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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6answers
612 views

Could this mean that Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment is false?

Since it is uncertain on whether or not the cat could be dead or alive, it is concluded that it depends on the observer to make it either dead or alive. But lets look at a clock. It doesn't take ...
5
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2answers
777 views

Bohmian loophole in PBR-like theorems

I'm reviving and expanding this question, because of the new paper today, by Aaronson et al. The more general question is: How does quantum-potential Bohmian mechanics relate to no-go theorems for ...
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0answers
39 views

How can a spinor represent an “epistemic” state?

I have read a lot of stuff on the seemingly endless debate on ontology/epistemology of the quantum state $\psi$. But I always wonder: how can a spinor be considered epistemic when $\psi$ really ...
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0answers
20 views

Does quantum complementarity inherently require ensembles?

If there are two complementary observables, $P$ and $Q$, it does superficially appear as if the only kind of empirical evidence we can get for complementarity has to come from statistical data from an ...
4
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1answer
203 views

Does Hardy's paradox represent a proof against Bohm's interpretation of the quantum mechanics?

This is a thought-experiment, see "Quantum Mechanics, Local Realistic Theories, and Lorentz-Invariant Realistic Theories", Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 68, No. 20, page 2981, year 1992, that rules out local ...
92
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3answers
15k views

How come some people are claiming that the Big Bang never happened?

A news story is going viral on social media networks claiming that two physicists have found a way to eliminate the Big Bang singularity, or in layman's terms (as claimed by many sensationalist news ...
2
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3answers
438 views

Can existing quantum computers be considered evidence for parallel universes?

In this video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJpIclDmi2M ) Max Tegmark , a MIT cosmologist says that if we build a quantum computing successfully it will be a evidence that Parallel Universes ...
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0answers
52 views

finetuned quantum experiments by Murch lab, do any have dynamics outside of basic QM formalism/ axioms?

a series of very finetuned quantum experiments have been reported by the Murch lab eg in 2 articles in Nature & analysis there,[1][2][3] some leading to dramatic accounts in the media.[4] do ...
4
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3answers
754 views

What happens after the collapse of a wavefunction?

If I have a quantum system which I prepare in a certain state, this state then evolves unitarily via a Hamiltonian. Suppose an observer provokes a collapse of the wave function by a certain ...
3
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0answers
127 views

Is it possible to travel between worlds in the many worlds interpretation of quantum theory? [closed]

In the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics, all possible outcomes of a measurement occur, and each possible outcome corresponds to a distinct "world" or universe. Is it possible to ...
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2answers
160 views

Many-worlds interpretation

Regarding many-worlds interpretation as an alternative explanation to Copenhagen. If we take the generation or possibility of alternative universes as an explanation for the collapse of wavefunction ...
1
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1answer
154 views

What is the significance of Planck's constant in De Broglie–Bohm theory or Pilot-wave theory?

In standard QM, Planck's constant seems to be a constant that describes the smallest quanta of energy in some way. Does De Broglie–Bohm theory have an alternate interpretation of that constant and ...
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0answers
42 views

Born-like measuring rule in classical experiments

this 2011 paper "Born's rule from measurements of classical signals by threshold detectors which are properly calibrated" by Khrennikov investigates the theoretical possibility of Born-like ...
4
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1answer
146 views

What specifically is incorrect about the Dirac Sea interpretation?

So taking the square root of $E^2 = (m_oc^2)^2 + p^2c^2$ yields two solutions. The Dirac Sea treats the negative solution as an infinite space of electrons with negative energy. All the observable ...
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1answer
45 views

Bypassing complementarity with cumulative weak measurements?

Consider the standard double slit experiment with one photon at a time. Now, replace the photographic plate (or fine resolution single photon detector screen) with a converging lens, and move the ...
6
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3answers
357 views

How would a realist interpretation of the Mermin-Peres square look like?

How would a realist interpretation of the Mermin-Peres square with counterfactual definiteness and the existence of states prior to measurements look like?
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1answer
197 views

Question regarding the Bohm interpretation [closed]

I tried to understand the Bohm interpretation and this is what picture appeared to me. Please tell me if I understood something incorrectly. All particles have definite positions and follow ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Is the collapse of the wave function inherently time asymmetric?

Schroedinger's equation, as we all know, is time symmetric. In quantum field theory, we have to come up with a more sophisticated CPT reversal, but the essential point remains unchanged. However, the ...
2
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2answers
141 views

What does density operator being same for two sytems tells us?

Yesterday I asked a question. I got it that if a density operator is given as $$\rho=\sum_{i=1}^{i=k}p_i|\psi_i\rangle \langle\psi_i| \tag{1}$$ then it means that the system is one of the states ...
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0answers
45 views

Clarification about time in quantum Bayesianism

What is the nature of time in quantum Bayesianism? At one point, Chris Fuchs claims that time evolution, the past and the laws of physics are subjective inferences. But he also claims quantum ...
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0answers
42 views

Information loss from entanglement and cosmological horizons?

Suppose we have a qubit P in an unknown quantum state. Unknown as in we didn't prepare it, and don't know how it was prepared either. Without measuring the qubit in any way, we encode it into two ...
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1answer
91 views

Interpretations of Stern-Gerlach experiment

In many textbooks (J.J. Sakurai for instance) S-G experiment is explained through the idea of a collapse of a state of a system. So here, in this discrete case, we can see quantum behavior more ...
4
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2answers
176 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) ...
21
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6answers
961 views

Simple example showing why measurement & interaction are different

Does someone know of a clear (pedagogical) example where one can really see(with the math) where interaction and measurement are not synonymous in quantum mechanics? I know that every measurement ...
21
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4answers
523 views

Is every quantum measurement reducible to measurements of position and time?

I am currently studying Path Integrals and was unable to resolve the following problem. In the famous book Quantum Mechanics and Path Integrals, written by Feynman and Hibbs, it says (at the beginning ...
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7answers
740 views

Why Quantum Mechanics as a non-fundamental effective theory?

My question: What (physical or mathematical) reasons (not philosophical) do some physicists ('t Hooft, Penrose, Smolin,...) argue/have in order to think that Quantum Mechanics could be substituted by ...
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0answers
139 views

Is it possible to reproduce the energy spectrum of quantum chaos using classical cellular automata?

Is it possible to reproduce the energy spectrum of quantum chaos using classical cellular automata? It's hardly impressive to reproduce harmonic oscillators.
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1answer
116 views

In Quantum mechanics, what is realism? [closed]

Some interpretations of QM are realist and some are anti-realist. But, it is the idea that something exists before it is measured, correct?
2
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1answer
96 views

Do electrons have a location before they are observed/measured? [closed]

Is this in all interpretations of QM? What about interpretations that are realist (MWI, penrose, ect)?
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1answer
119 views

Atom in a box and collapse of the wave-function

Suppose I have an atom trapped in an optically transparent box. I'm assuming the atom is bouncing off of the walls and not bonding, i.e. the center of mass of the atom experiences a square well. Now ...
2
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5answers
610 views

On the foundations of quantum physics

Quantum physics has to be validated by experiments. But experiments are to be interpreted in the context of quantum physics. Isn'it like a snake biting its own tail? For example, using a scanning ...
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1answer
58 views

Does the difference between contextuality, nonlocality and retrocausality depend on where we draw the boundaries? [closed]

Suppose we have a quantum system and a measuring apparatus in a superposition of detector settings. Different detector settings would measure "complementary" properties of the quantum system. The act ...
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0answers
33 views

In MWI, how to make sense of the nonuniqueness of decomposing mixed states into pure states?

It's well known that in quantum mechanics, a generic mixed state can be decomposed into pure states in infinitely many different ways. While this property is kind of understandable if quantum states ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Are there any viable toy models of superdeterministic quantum mechanics?

As far as I know, superdeterminism in quantum mechanics is only considered as a theoretical possibility. Are there any fleshed out superdeterministic toy models so far which isn't nonlocal?
2
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3answers
123 views

What is the splitting structure of a state in thermal equilibrium in MWI?

What is the splitting structure of a state in thermal equilibrium in the many worlds interpretation? This is a mixed state, but we can perform a purification of it by doubling the system and forming a ...
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0answers
53 views

Would it be possible to Loschmidt reverse Wigner's friend using future technology?

Would it be possible to Loschmidt reverse Wigner's friend using future technology? Why or why not? Can a human be isolated in a decoherence shielded box? Can we have fine control over every single ...
3
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0answers
191 views

Testing Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) with a causality-violating configuration of “superluminal cables”

Suppose we managed to arrange a causality-violating transmission of data with hypothetical “superluminal cables” (SLC; see both links for respective descriptions) and expect, similarly to ideas ...
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1answer
159 views

Has the Copenhagen Interpretation remained accurate?

Almost a century past, has the Copenhagen Interpretation (CI) undergone any modification? In other words, has any of its underlying principles been reformulated since? The notable (usual) examples ...
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2answers
134 views

Is there an idealist rather than realist interpretation of QM?

The many-worlds interpretation of QM is a realist explanation as it makes the wave function of the universe real. That is it makes the probabilities of outcomes real outcomes. One could argue that ...
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5answers
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Consequences of the new theorem in QM?

It seems there is a new theorem that changes the rules of the game in the interpretational debate on QM: http://www.nature.com/news/quantum-theorem-shakes-foundations-1.9392 Does this only leave ...
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3answers
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Why is Wheelers Delayed Choice Experiment Incorrect?

I have come across 'Wheelers Delayed Choice Experiment' which tries to prove that you can work out which Slit a Photon Goes Through in the Double Slit Experiment. But I thought it was impossible to ...