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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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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0answers
129 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 ...
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2answers
155 views

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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1answer
339 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 ...
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1answer
209 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 ...
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1answer
80 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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1answer
125 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 ...
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3answers
225 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
314 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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2answers
560 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
147 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 ...
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1answer
249 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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2answers
582 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
205 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
420 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 ...
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2answers
991 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 ...
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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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4answers
467 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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1answer
159 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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1answer
185 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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5answers
21k 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 ...
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7answers
630 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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3answers
766 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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0answers
81 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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1answer
143 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 ...
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0answers
77 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} ...
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1answer
171 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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5answers
317 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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2answers
219 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 ...
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2answers
127 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
208 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
148 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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2answers
216 views

What does the Copenhagen interpretation say about the position of a particle before measurement?

Suppose there is a particle in space. When we measure the position of that particle, we get a particular value with a probability that can be calculated from the wave function. But, according to the ...
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3answers
769 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. ...
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1answer
174 views

Why should multiple versions of a weak measurement preclude it from being a measurement of intrinsic properties of some system

I've been trying to understand Stephen Parrott's criticisms of weak measurement, outlined most concisely here: http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.0295 One of his major criticisms is that weak measurement is ...
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2answers
168 views

Cardinality of the Universes Set

No expert by any means, but sometimes, in different contexts the term multiverse used. In quantum mechanics, some say that it is possible that there are actually many universes where all the possible ...
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2answers
882 views

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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2answers
280 views

What are hidden variables exactly?

What are hidden variables in quantum mechanics? I am aware there are many types but what exactly do they mean or even "do" exactly? Do they mean that the quantum indeterminacy becomes hidden but ...
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3answers
252 views

Is a quantum system mandatory for generating true random sequence?

Is a quantum system necessary if we want to generate true random sequence? The mathematical framework used for classical mechanics doesn't involve any random value. But the mathematical framework of ...
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1answer
493 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
390 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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0answers
174 views

Is there any way to prove/disprove we are in a computer simulation? [closed]

Is there any way to prove/disprove we are in a computer simulation in some transcendental reality? Even if we are "really" not in a simulation, can we ever prove so? Even if some messages/evidence ...
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5answers
713 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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4answers
529 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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2answers
293 views

Ontology of the quantum field

I'll use QED as an example, but my question is relevant to any quantum field theory. When we have a particle in QED, where is its charge contained in the field? Is the field itself charged? If so, ...
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2answers
817 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 ...
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2answers
379 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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1answer
288 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 ...