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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Einselection locality in decoherence theory

Consider two polarity-wise entangled photons A and B in an EPR experiment. The process of measuring the polarization of photon A by Alice is described by the decoherence of the 2-photons system ...
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2answers
83 views

Quantum mechanics interpretation clarification

My question is based upon this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PC0zHIf2Gkw From 9:00-10:00 Max Tegmark says an isolated galaxy with an observer inside will not evolve according to ...
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0answers
101 views

What is the justification for continuing to model space-time as a manifold in string theory?

Background The question I have arises from taking seriously the idea that, in a physical theory, one should first define all physical quantities via (thought) experiment. Justification and ...
7
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1answer
249 views

Motivation for Wigner phase space distribution

Most sources say that Wigner distribution acts like a joint phase-space distribution in quantum mechanics and this is justified by the formula $$\int_{\mathbb{R}^6}w(x,p)a(x,p)dxdp= \langle \psi|\...
0
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1answer
124 views

How can all information be localized if local realism is dead?

I'm confused about whether quantum mechanics is local or not. The authors of a recent, much publicized experiment argue that their results "imply statistically significant rejection of the local-...
5
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3answers
168 views

Successor to Copenhagen Interpretation as Orthodox Interpreation of Quantum Mechanics

First, I read the questions FAQ for this and I hope this does not violate the rules. I am not asking for personal opinion, but for observations of hard evidence of trends on this subject. When I ...
3
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3answers
136 views

Does the canonical commutation relation relate to the fact that momentum is the generator of spatial translations?

In classical mechanics momentum is the generator of spatial translations. This remains true in quantum mechanics. The way we define the momentum operator in one-dimension, for example, already shows ...
2
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3answers
221 views

What's so confusing about quantum physics? [closed]

Okay, just right off the bat, I want to make it clear that this is a stupid question. Check out this graph, from SMBC: Ignore the 'political discourse' part and replace it with 'talking about ...
10
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3answers
517 views

What is the physical meaning of weak expectation values?

In the two-state formalism of Yakir Aharonov, the weak expectation value of an operator $A$ is $\frac{\langle \chi | A | \psi \rangle}{\langle \chi | \psi \rangle}$. This can have bizarre properties. ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Is there a video of a double-slit experiment using walking oil droplets (aka dotwaves)?

I've heard there have been experiments with walking droplets in a double-slit setup, and I've seen videos of many of the other quantum phenomenons walking droplets can emulate, but I can't find one of ...
1
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1answer
48 views

Hydrogen atom nodes and Bohmian trajectories

Wouldn't the fact that the solutions to the hydrogen atom orbital shape have nodes prove that the Bohmian interpretation is incorrect, since in that interpretation, the electrons would have a fixed ...
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5answers
223 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 ...
1
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1answer
100 views

Controlling the universe through the “Many-worlds” interpretation [closed]

I was reading upon a comic when I found some interesting content concerning the "Many-worlds" interpretation and how it could be used in quite an extreme manner. Imagine we had a "END" machine. When ...
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2answers
179 views

What stands behind the quantum nonlocality appearing in entanglements, and why Bell's inequalities are violated?

I noticed the question whether Bell's inequalities are based on a false premise, (Could Bell's Theorem be based on a false premise?) but I bring another argumentation of the question. Also I ...
3
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3answers
161 views

Where are the worlds in many-worlds interpretation?

What does it mean in MWI for other universes to exist? Are they in some sector of spacetime beyond our cosmic horizon or is it more complicated? I'm not asking this on Philosophy SE because people ...
2
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2answers
74 views

Many worlds and “extreme” worlds

I assume there are worlds in the MWI where extremely improbable things (improbable according to our world) have happened repeatedly. Broken eggs reform themselves repeatedly etc... Will scientists in ...
3
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4answers
175 views

Many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics

From my layman's perspective, it feels like the many worlds interpretation is invoked out of the inability to explain why one observation occurs out of many possibilities. Given no explanation why one ...
5
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1answer
125 views

Help needed to understand “On the reality of the quantum state”

I am having trouble to understand the reasoning in the following paper, On the reality of the quantum state. MF Pusey, J Barret and T Rudolph. Nature Phys. 8, 475–478 (2012); arXiv:1111.3328. ...
4
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0answers
90 views

Decoherence and interpretations

With quantum decoherence, are there still any "gaps" in our knowledge of quantum mechanics that hint (either in terms of the physics, philosophy, or otherwise) at the need for further interpretation? ...
3
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2answers
154 views

How does the Physics work for the Quantum Suicide thought experiment?

On page 5 of this paper written by Max Tegmark, Tegmark discusses a thought experiment called 'Quantum Suicide'. As far as I understand it, this experiment was created to show the experimental ...
4
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3answers
1k 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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1answer
63 views

Many-worlds interpretation (MWI) and conservation of energy [duplicate]

I am not an expert of many-worlds interpretation (MWI), and what I say may be stated incorrectly. In that case i welcome corrections. If the MWI is true and it explains quantum theory and it splits ...
64
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6answers
28k views

Is the universe fundamentally deterministic?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question. I realise that this maybe a borderline philosophical question at this point in time, therefore feel free to close this question if you ...
3
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1answer
74 views

Does a particle “exist” between emission and detection?

In considering a simple Young's double slit setup: The classical idea that a particle must exist with defined position and momentum between the source and detection plate leads to philosophical angst,...
2
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2answers
216 views

Under what circumstances is observing a superposition possible?

According to Ian Stewart's 2013 Symmetry: A Very Short Introduction (pp. 119-120), Experiment and theory suggest that superposed states should not be observable as such; only individual ...
2
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1answer
149 views

References on De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory

Are there any good books related to the not much popular De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory and its application in hydrodynamics, walking droplets concepts?
6
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2answers
396 views

Has this experiment really demonstrated wave-function collapse?

My question is: why did the following experiment claim that it had demonstrated the wave-function collapse? Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using ...
0
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0answers
64 views

How does one intrepret probabilites in the many-worlds interpretation?

Let's say I flip a coin, and don't look. From the copenhagen interpretation, the state of the coin is: $\frac1{\sqrt2}(i|\text{heads} \rangle - |\text{tails}\rangle)$ If I observe the coin, there is ...
2
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2answers
202 views

Can multiple timelines exist according to theoretical physics? [closed]

Multiple timelines is not a reality yet (as of 2016's science and technology), but exists only in Marvel/DC universe. It is something that is used to explain the paradox of time-travel. If you go back ...
0
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2answers
218 views

Many-world interpretation: simple physics explanation? [closed]

We went a little off topic in physics class today and my teacher was explaining how quantum physics explains the idea of parallel universes. She believes in a idea called many world interpretation ...
2
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3answers
150 views

Does valid interpretations of quantum mechanics always reduce to trivial arguments about the equations? [closed]

This is the editted 'short' version of the question :) Interpretation is very important in physics, but physics is governed by equations. With bare equations, physics would be just mathematics. ...
2
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0answers
92 views

What would be the abilities of a wave function collapsing oracle? [closed]

Although the Bell's theorem dismiss local hidden variables as an explanation of the quantum variability, there is nothing to prevent an observer to see the occurrence of a wave function collapse as ...
21
votes
2answers
780 views

What is the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum field theory?

I am most interested in interpretational differences due to the fact that quantum field theory is relativistic while quantum mechanics is not. By "Copenhagen interpretation" I mean a minimal ...
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1answer
70 views

Probabilistic realism

On consideration of Bell's inequalities and this Why is quantum entanglement considered to be an active link between particles?. Either localism or realism has to be given up. Can't we have a non-...
0
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1answer
54 views

Does quantum mechanics separate ontology from gnoseology? [closed]

I mean this answer here. Laws present to us what we know (what we may know). But what we know cannot define what is real; it only defines our actions & assumptions. We may know only probabilities ...
11
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3answers
356 views

Can someone clarify whether the recent experiment closing all remaining loopholes to Bell's Theorem really shut the door on local realism for good?

I saw this recent article on Phys.org that purports to close all remaining loopholes that previous experiments on violations of Bell's inequality left open. My question is, does this really close the ...
5
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2answers
465 views

Is the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of QM inconsistent with quantum field theory

I had recently posted a question on the Philosophy stack exchange about "true" randomness, and a lot of the discussion centered around Quantum Mechanics. One of the responders claimed: MWI has the ...
0
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2answers
91 views

Light interference single particle 4 slits experiment - what are interpretations apart from many-worlds interpretation?

Someone knowledgeable about physics advised me to read a book "David Deutsch: The Fabric of Reality, 1997". The book gives experiment like two-slit one, difference is that 2-slits compared to 4-slits ...
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1answer
106 views

Does “sum over all paths” in the path integral imply “sum over all paths” in momentum space when one Fourier-transforms?

How is the Fourier-transformed-field path integral interpreted? Is it still a "sum of all paths" in momentum space? Just that with another action? Consider for instance the (Euclidean) partition ...
1
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1answer
92 views

Many worlds probability of getting cancer [closed]

My understanding of probabilities in many worlds is following: If I would decide to start smoking and we know that 10% of smokers get cancer that means that in 10% of all worlds during my lifetime I ...
20
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3answers
928 views

Classical and quantum probabilities in density matrices

In textbooks, it is sometimes written that a mixed state can be represented as mixture of $N$ (I assume here $N<+\infty$) quantum pure states $|\psi_i\rangle$ with classical probabilities $p_i$: $$...
2
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1answer
194 views

Double slit experiment and pilot waves [closed]

Why do almost all books on quantum start out with the double slit experiment and show how a single particle interferes with itself and say its a wave and particle when Yves Couder has shown on a ...
15
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1answer
652 views

Why is Copenhagen Interpretation the most used & popular interpretation of quantum mechanics? [closed]

It is well known that there are many interpretations of quantum mechanics. I'm wondering if there is a specific reason why the Copenhagen interpretation is the most popular. Why is it that the ...
1
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1answer
91 views

Bohmian trajectories vs. Feynman path integrals, continuous paths?

After reading some of the other posts online, I'm clear on the fact that Bohmian trajectories (of the de Broglie Bohm formulation) and the paths of the Feynman path integral formulation are very ...
4
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2answers
204 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 ...
0
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2answers
123 views

Physical quantities have definite values?

I don't really know if this question has an anwser but I thought it was worth to try asking. My point here is the following: in Quantum Mechanics, to describe the states of a system we use a Hilbert ...
6
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2answers
698 views

What's wrong with this experiment showing that either FTL communication is possible or complementarity doesn't hold?

The assumptions are: Alice and Bob have perfectly synchronized clocks Alice and Bob have successfully exchanged a pair of entangled photons The idea is simply to have Alice and Bob perform the ...
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3answers
226 views

Has the double-slit experiment been performed with animals as the observers?

As the title says, has the double-slit experiment been performed with animals (not humans) as the observers? If yes, which animal was used and what was the result?
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1answer
73 views

Is contemporary physics interpreted in an instrumentalist way? [closed]

I'm a master student in theoretical physics and the reason why I choose this career is far more related to the "philosophical beauty" of physics, than to my personal ability or skills. This, in some ...
3
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4answers
653 views

Is quantum physics truly random or does it just appear that way because of Heisenberg uncertainty principle

The behavior of an electron (and other tiny things) is said to be probabilistic because we can't say where an election will be when we measure it, but only where it will probably be. As I understand ...