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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Many Worlds or Infinite Worlds?

Looking at the latest paper to deal with the topic: where it purports to show that QM can be recovered from the interactions of a multitude of Newtonian worlds, we have the following statements: ...
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I don't get the concept of “God plays with dice” - In what scenario is it proven that he does? [duplicate]

Does God Play With Dice? by Stephen Hawking I am no physicists, but I don't get the concept of God playing with dice. Logic shows me that the entire universe is calculated very precisely according ...
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How would the transactional interpretation “bootstrap”

I have an interest in quantum physics and have been trying to educate myself here, other places on line and by reading "The Quantum Universe". During this process I became quite drawn to the ...
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Bell's inequality

For a project, I'm planning to study Bell's inequality, which as far as I can gather is taken to rule out hidden variable theories of QM. I'm looking for recommendations of decent sources which derive ...
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2answers
1k views

If the moon is not there when no one is looking, how does the moon know how to stay in orbit between observations?

Quantum Copenhagenists will tell you if there is a stop sign, it only manifests itself by the act of observation. When no one is looking, there is nothing there. This is like the cognitive process of ...
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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
299 views

A question on quantum computing and de Broglie's pilot wave theory

I don't know much about quantum computing except what I have read about on wiki and popsci. I have been reading about the de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory and how they describe quantum mechanics in ...
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3answers
202 views

Does processing for a quantum computer take place in other universes?

Apologies in advance if my question seems misinformed. I am a software developer, and neither quantum mechanics nor physics are my specialties. From ...
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3answers
201 views

What is the best article presenting counterarguments to a many-world interpretation? [duplicate]

I'd like to see a clear overview of why the many-world interpretation (WWI) of quantum is wrong, written by someone who believes that. This would be aimed at a technically aware audience, yet as an ...
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1answer
406 views

If there is no collapse of the wave-function does this mean that the many worlds interpretation of QM must be wrong?

If as some people suggest, there is no collapse of the wave function (is there a standard name for this position), then must one rule out the many-worlds interpretation of QM?
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Is the movement of electrons truly random?

The result of rolling dice is considered pseudo-random because it depends on an almost endless list of factors (how you roll it, the terrain it lands on, etc.), but it is not TRULY random. Is the ...
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What criteria distinguishes causality from retrocausality?

The brilliant philosopher David Hume remarked that if two events are always found to be correlated to each other with one event happening prior to the other, we call the earlier event the cause and ...
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A question on quantum computing? [duplicate]

I dont know much about quantum computing except what i have read about on wiki and popsci. I have been reading about the de broglie-bohm pilot wave theory and how they describe quantum mechanics in ...
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2answers
158 views

Copenhagen interpretation

Reading some science history, Werner Heisenberg and Bohr created the Copenhagen interpretation, but what I didn't get is how can we connect this interpretation to Schroedinger's cat and the double ...
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4answers
528 views

Quantum mechanics threshold

First of all I beg your forgiveness as I am not a physicist and the question I am going to ask may sound silly. I am aware that beyond a certain threshold in the hierarchy of building blocks of ...
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2answers
153 views

What is a measurement in MWI

I was reviewing the MWI, and couldn't figure what a measurement is in the MWI? Everett claims that split happens when you measure, but what is it for MWI (not for general QM)? Yes, I know about ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics the most widely accepted one?

I've been digging a lot into quantum physics in the last few weeks. I didn't care much about the maths, just about what empirically happens to get a conceptual idea about quantum phenomena. The most ...
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3answers
241 views

Does quantum collapse involve a loss of information? Does it require energy as suggested by the Landauer Limit?

I read in the context of quantum computing or of the minimal energy required for computation that there has to be a minimum possible amount of energy required to change one bit of information, called ...
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3answers
224 views

The need for a 'particle description' of electrons

Is there any phenomenon where the 'wave description' of the electron's motion is not applicable? The reason for this question is to find out if there are any situations were quantum wave theories ...
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1answer
71 views

Hugh Everett's MWI [closed]

According to Hugh Everett's many worlds interpretation, all the possibilities of one action can happen at the same time in other parallel universes, so how come we can't see these worlds? now I bumped ...
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51 views

Is relational QM experimentally distinguishable from standard QM?

Some people advocate for relational quantum mechanics, which is an interpretation (or at least Wikipedia calls it an interpretation) of QM where quantum states are thought of as representing a ...
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378 views

Does the extended probability ensemble interpretation of quantum mechanics make any sense?

Gell-Mann and Hartle came up with the extended probability ensemble interpretation over here. Basically, they extended probability theory to include real numbers which may be negative or greater than ...
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3answers
206 views

According to wave function collapse you only have one outcome, so what happens to the other superpositions?

If the superpositions of a wave function are not needed because only one of the superpositions is allowed, what happens to the eigenvalues of the "null" superpositions? Is the energy transferred ...
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353 views

Does a wavefunction interact with itself?

Considering the double slit experiment with a charged particle, after the particle passes through the slits, do the two portions of the wavefunctions feel the electromagnetic attraction of the other ...
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999 views

Does the Hilbert space of the universe have to be infinite dimensional to make sense of quantum mechanics?

Does the Hilbert space of the universe have to be infinite dimensional to make sense of quantum mechanics? Otherwise, decoherence can never become exact. Does interpreting quantum mechanics require ...
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2answers
135 views

Can the Lorentz force stabilize the Hydrogen atom?

I've recently been working on relative equilibria for some systems of particles. (ie. studying equilibrium solutions in a rotating frame. Saturn's rings for example.) This has evolved into some ...
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1answer
106 views

Mainstream view on the measurement problem

What is the modern mainstream way to deal with the measurement problem? For this question, the measurement problem is the problem of formalizing wave function collapse when the observer is part of the ...
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Books on foundations of QM [duplicate]

I am seeking for books on foundations of Quantum Mechanics with subjects like the EPR experiment, Bell's theorem, the problem of measurement, entanglement, decoherence, nonlocality, interpretations, ...
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5answers
418 views

Wave/particle duality

Apologies if this has been asked before (I did check and I believe it wasn't). I have a question about the particle/wave duality of photons (or other particles). Depending on what and how we measure ...
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Quantum observation in the double slit experiment? [duplicate]

As far as quantum observation, when a human observes electrons going through the double whole experiment, have scientist tried having a blind person observe the experiment to see if the electrons ...
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4answers
598 views

Double slit experiment and single particles. Is the wave function just a mathematical model?

I really do want to apologize in advance, I know this question has been 'answered' before. I have this 'problem' of feeling negatively toward much of today's 'mystical' interpretations of physics, ...
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1answer
138 views

Is there an absolute minimum scale to the universe? If so, why?

Based on my rather circumscribed understanding of modern physics, one of the key insights of quantum mechanics over previous scientific theories is the prediction that there exists an absolute limit ...
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4answers
210 views

Are there any non-interpretational arguments in favour of Everett's Many-Worlds?

As far as I understand Everett's Many-Worlds Interpretation, he makes the case for a realist theory of QM at the enormous cost of many-worlds. Are there any arguments in favour of Everett's ...
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2answers
560 views

How could the multiverse theory be disproven?

Theorists (physicists) suggest that there is the term/entity, the Multiverse that contains a huge number of universes not necessarily like our own. I personally find this theory very elegant because ...
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1answer
127 views

Decoherence in Everett quantum mechanics

Take an initial state and its environment, $E$, as follows, $$ |\psi\rangle_i = |0\rangle |E\rangle + \sqrt{2}|1\rangle |E\rangle. $$ Suppose that I've written it already in the basis in which the ...
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Is frequency or Bayesian interpretation used in quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics, we discussed about probability. There are two kinds of interpretations: frequency and Bayesian. Which one is actually used in quantum mechanics? My impression is, it doesn't ...
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1answer
195 views

Is it true that Macrorealism can be shown false?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leggett-Garg_inequality As you can see by the link above, it claims that if the violation of the Leggett–Garg inequality can be demonstrated on the macroscopic scale, it ...
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2answers
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Logic of the 'imaginary wave function collapse' argument in Double Slit experiment

My question is in regards to the stance that the 'wave function collapse' is not an actual physical occurrence. That is, you are not, by observation, changing the particles position from a wave to a ...
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1answer
545 views

Interpretations of quantum mechanics

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 ...
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1answer
263 views

Can observers be particles?

Generally Quantum mechanics divides a system what is to be observed and an observer. This is generally taken to be some human being. But why restrict it to such? Why not a particle? Is there a good ...
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7answers
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Which physically acceptable quantum interpretations do not require the existence of any observer at all?

Some interpretations of quantum mechanics — like the Copenhagen interpretation in particular — require the existence of an observer. The role of the observer is a bit mysterious. After ...
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631 views

Box normalization

Whenever we study free fields, the solutions of these fields (or particles, whatever feels most comfortable) are always given by plane waves. The dispersion-relation $\omega=\omega(k)$ will of course ...
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2answers
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Non-locality and Bell's theory

Non-Locality – (just ) one more question? I have read comments that Bell’s theory proves quantum mechanics is non-local, and also comments that it does not. I have read a comment by a very eminent ...
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322 views

Are quantum decoherence and Everettian approaches to the measurement problem necessarily distinct?

As I understand it, there is a large contingent of physicists who believe that the measurement problem is "solved" by decoherence, without, for example, needing to postulate the existence of "many ...
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217 views

Books about alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics

Recently I've heard that there exist alternative interpretations of quantum mechanics which, while not as widespread as the Copenhagen intepretation (or so it would seem), are equally valid in the ...
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4answers
398 views

Probability and the many-worlds interpretation

If I toss a coin, then according to the many worlds interpretation of QM, in half those worlds I'll get a head. If I then toss again, then in a quarter I will have got two heads. And so on. There will ...
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330 views

What's wrong with this faster-than-light gedankenexperiment?

It is common wisdom - and mathematically proven - that quantum entanglement cannot be used to bypass the relativistic speed limit and transfer information faster than light. So there must be something ...
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3answers
327 views

What happens with a tunneling particle when its momentum is imaginary in QM?

In classical mechanics the motion of a particle is bounded if it is trapped in a potential well. In quantum mechanics this is no longer the case and there is a non zero probability of the particle to ...
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2answers
102 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 ...
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345 views

“Consciousness causes collapse”-interpretation or free will excluded by quantum zeno effect? [closed]

This question is if the von Neumann–Wigner interpretation, aka "consciousness cause collapse" (see e.g. John von Neumann's 1932 book The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics) is compatible ...