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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Basic Interpretation of Compostion of Observables and their Measurement

Given two (or more) observables $A, B$ which commute one can construct a third observable $C= A \circ B$. If $\psi$ is a common eigenvector of $A, B$ with eigenvalues $\lambda_1, \lambda_2$ then it is ...
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0answers
61 views

How many worlds does the world split into in the Many Worlds Interpretation? [duplicate]

I've been reading up on the Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, and there is one thing (among many) that I really don't understand. How many worlds are 'created' by an 'observation' or ...
2
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2answers
507 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 ...
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2answers
766 views

EPR-type experiments and faster-than-light communication using interference effects as signaling mechanism

I understand that faster-than-light communication is impossible when making single measurements, because the outcome of each measurement is random. However, shouldn't measurement on one side collapse ...
13
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13answers
3k views

Arguments for and against Many Worlds?

I would like to hear the best arguments for and against the Many Worlds interpretation of QM.
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0answers
178 views

Is the Copenhagen interpretation still valid?

"The secret lives of photons revealed" - physicsworld.com. It seems that this experiment violates the Copenhagen interpretation. Is it still valid? Can you please give me more insight on this ...
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1answer
136 views

Is Dirac's description of a photon in a split beam still seen as correct today?

This comes from the Interference of Photons section in the book The Principles of Quantum Mechanics by P Dirac: We shall discuss the description which quantum mechanics provides of the ...
3
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3answers
973 views

Can superdeterminism resolve contextuality, entanglement and Shor's algorithm in quantum mechanics?

Superdeterminism is the idea that the apparent freedom for the choice of experimental apparatuses and their settings are nothing but an illusion. Contextuality is the dependence of the properties of a ...
5
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1answer
490 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, ...
2
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0answers
118 views

Uncertainty Principle and Bohmian mechanics

The Uncertainty Principle is a relationship between measurements of pairs of attributes, position and momentum, as well as energy and time. Perfect precision of one attribute's measurement leads to a ...
1
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1answer
292 views

What is the preferred basis objection to the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics?

I've seen the preferred basis problem referred to in many places, but have not seen a clear explanation of what the problem is. For example, this question asks whether the problem has been solved, but ...
2
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1answer
198 views

Many-worlds interpretation vs 'just' randomness?

I have this question about MWI I always wanted to ask but never dared to! It could be that I just don't know enough physics to understand the answer, or the question! Anyway, here goes: What is it ...
6
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5answers
550 views

How isolated must a system be for it's wave function to be considered not collapsed?

As an undergrad I was often confused over people's bafflement with Schodinger's cat thought experiment. It seemed obvious to me that the term "observation" referred to the Geiger counter, not the ...
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2answers
242 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 ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Why is Gleason's Theorem not enough to obtain Born Rule in Many Worlds Interpretation?

The Many Worlds interpretation suffer from at least 2 "wounds", the preferred basis issue and perhaps the most notorious probability issue. How do you make sense of probability in a model where ...
6
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3answers
405 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 ...
6
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3answers
218 views

How can the quantum state of the universe decohere

Decoherence explains how a classical state appears once quantum information in a quantum state leaks out. But presumably that environment has its own quantum state which then leaks out to a larger ...
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1answer
79 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 ...
0
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1answer
112 views

Uncertainty and wave-trains

My textbook and the following extract from feynman's lectures present the same idea regarding wavetrains and uncertainty in their wavelengths. Why is it that a wavetrain confined to some space has an ...
3
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2answers
2k views

How should I interpret the expectation value $\langle x p\rangle$ in quantum mechanics?

$xp$ is not a hermitian operator and hence doesn't represent an observable. Then, how can we interpret the expression $$ \langle x p \rangle \text{,} $$ the expectation value of position times ...
6
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2answers
144 views

Can an observer be the observed?

As a supplement to this question as to whether particles can be observers, supposing that the answer is yes. One could suppose a setup where particle A is observing particle B, but what to stop us ...
5
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2answers
491 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 ...
3
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3answers
370 views

Are quantum mechanics and determinism actually irreconcilable? [closed]

As a preface, I am not a physicist. I'm simply interested in abstract physics and fundamental principles of the universe and such. As such, if you can provide an answer for the layman (as ...
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4answers
459 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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3answers
688 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.] ...
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1answer
274 views

Does the measurement on a subatomic particle give its mass value?

No doubt I am wondering about the Young's double slit phenomena. If we observe or measure the properties of a subatomic particle, we are able to know its mass, velocity and it comes to existence. So ...
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5answers
308 views

How do we know that there isn't a classical solution to the measurement problem/Quantum Mechanical uncertainty?

It was mentioned to me that it can be shown that there is no classical explanation for the uncertainty in Quantum Mechanics -- i.e. that there are no hidden workings that we have just not yet seen, ...
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4answers
496 views

How do we show that no hidden variable theories can replace QM?

I've always hit two big stumbling blocks in conceiving of the proof or disproof of hidden variable theories as being even valid idea, let alone an answerable question... I feel I must be ...
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5answers
2k views

Connection between quantum physics and consciousness

Can someone explain the quantum physics-consciousness connection? In the double slit or quantum eraser experiments, the system behaves as a whole, with some apparent time independent traits. Invoking ...
3
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5answers
656 views

Schrodinger's cat experiment

What's wrong in taking the cat as an observer in Schrodinger's experiment? Plz kindly elaborate! And if possible also describe about possible logics if the question bears the answer No.
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0answers
53 views

Interpretation of theoretical Schrodinger's cat experiment [duplicate]

I do appreciate how to interpret the famous theoretical experiment of Schrodinger's cat experiment in the following situation: A Lab has a closed box with a dead or live cat and and a person who ...
-3
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1answer
398 views

Quantum superposition and fate [closed]

First of all, sorry for my knowledge of physics. Maybe my question is too obvious but I want to ask it. I am thinking about fate and if it exist or no. According to my assumption if I take any ...
10
votes
2answers
919 views

Is the preferred basis problem solved?

Once and for all: Is the preferred basis problem in the Everettian Interpretation of QM considered solved by decoherence or not? THere are a few people who claim that it's not, but it seems the vast ...
2
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2answers
198 views

Was TP Singh right to say that a theory of quantum gravity necessitates the Copenhagen Interpretation?

http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/174/1/012024 In the above link we see TP Singh arguing that only Copenhagen will work for a theory of quantum gravity. Some of his key points are "quantum theory ...
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0answers
51 views

Is it possible to detect subjective decoherence? If yes, how?

In his paper from 1994 Thomas Breuer describes a phenomenon of subjective decoherence (p. 43). I wonder whether it can be measured, and if yes, how. I also wonder whether it would allow to create an ...
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2answers
322 views

Interpretation of de Broglie wave

Until what point can the de Broglie wave be thought as a real wave? I mean, is it made of something? What amplitude does it have? Is it a sine wave? How can it be related to the wavefunction of the ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Is it possible to determine the state or values of something without measuring it

To give context to this question, I am currently looking into non-locality / hidden variables / Bell's Theorem, EPR / etc. I've noticed the assertion that the values / state of something when ...
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1answer
150 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 ...
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2answers
207 views

Bell's Theorem graph

My friends and I got into an argument about determinism, and I brought up that quantum events are random. But I couldn't prove it. I found the Wikipedia page on Bell's theorem, which seems to imply ...
7
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1answer
184 views

What experiments have been proposed to discriminate between interpretations of quantum mechanics?

There are a lot of potentially correct interpretations of quantum mechanics. While I've heard descriptions of a lot of them, I've never heard of an experiment being done to test any of them aside from ...
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2answers
368 views

Should it be obvious that independent quantum states are composed by taking the tensor product?

My text introduces multi-quibt quantum states with the example of a state that can be "factored" into two (non-entangled) substates. It then goes on to suggest that it should be obvious1 that the ...
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3answers
777 views

Is contextuality required in quantum mechanics?

I still don't really understand what contextuality means in reference to quantum mechanics. If someone could give a clear definition that would be great. It sounds like it means you can't always ...
7
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7answers
606 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
78 views

What is the difference between Cramer and Vaidman?

Two very interesting new papers on arXiv last night by Lev Vaidman and friends lead me to ask about the differences between Cramer's transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics (TIQM) and the ...
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0answers
76 views

Hamiltonian matrix propertu

A professor made an statement to prove the variational theorem: Because the Hamiltonian (H operator of quantum physics) is diagonal in its own eigenfunction, the terms in $\left \langle \Phi _{m} ...
4
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1answer
164 views

Quantum Mechanics - Hidden Variables

In Steven Weinberg's Lecture on Quantum Mechanics (p. 342), he writes: The correlation between the spins of the two particles can be expressed as the average value of the product of the ...
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2answers
125 views

EPR vs. EPRBB? Why can't we perform the original EPR experiment?

The EPR gedanken experiment was invented by Einstein Podolsky and Rosen in 1935. It involved positions and momenta. In 1957, Bohm revised this gedanken experiment into one involving spins, or ...
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2answers
193 views

If inherent randomness exist in quantum mechanics, what then of eternalism implied by relativity?

I am nothing but a curious layman so don't go too technical on me. First of all, I am well aware that a lot of people consider the question of determinism vs indeterminism to be unsolved and others ...
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1answer
146 views

Does quantum reversibility require many worlds?

The source S sends a photon into the beam splitter below. There is a 50% chance that it will be detected at A and a 50% chance it will be detected at B. ...
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3answers
738 views

Does quantum computing rely on particular interpretations of quantum mechanics?

It is my understanding that quantum computing relies on quantum superposition and entanglement to work--qbits must exist in all states simultaneously before giving a particular result when observed. ...