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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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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1answer
124 views

Are different interpretations of quantum mechanics empirically distinguishable?

Are the different interpretations of Quantum mechanics just different viewpoints of same physical reality? or the experiments can distinguish them? i mean are they empirically distinguishable or not? ...
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1answer
89 views

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
177 views

Event-by-Event Simulation of Quantum Phenomena

I just recently stumbled over http://rugth30.phys.rug.nl/dlm/ and http://www.sbfisica.org.br/bjp/files/v38_26.pdf As the title suggests these are presentations of mathematical models capable of ...
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91 views

Free Will Theorem question

The Kochen-Specker Theorem says, if I understand it correctly, that the results of spin measurements cannot be predetermined independent of measurement. They get to this conclusion by describing 33 ...
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2answers
157 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) ...
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3answers
771 views

Is it possible that QM is just GR?

The more I learn about General Relativity, the more it seems like it isn't fully understood. It seems that before it's full consequences were exhaustively understood, not 10 years after its discovery, ...
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3answers
463 views

If the multiverse and many-worlds don't exist, how should we interpret probabilities?

If the multiverse of eternal inflation and the many-worlds of quantum mechanics don't exist, how should we interpret the meaning of probabilities? If there is only one copy of the universe out there, ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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177 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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1answer
263 views

If nothing is “objectively real” prior to “measurement”, what exactly is a “measurement”?

If nothing is "objectively real" prior to "measurement", what exactly is a "measurement"? Is there any "objective" criteria to demarcate a process as being a "measurement" or not? If "measurements" ...
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5answers
731 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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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 ...
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6answers
466 views

Is quantum entanglement an objective or subjective property?

Imagine the following gedankenexperiment. Observer Alice is right here on Earth. Observer Bob is at say Alpha Centauri. A pair of maximally entangled qubits is formed with one qubit handed over to ...
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1answer
143 views

(thought) experiment re: Bell's Theorem and Schrodinger's cat

I apologize if this question is naive. I am wondering about what would happen with the following experiment. Start with a standard Bell's Theorem setup: We have two quibits entangled in a particular ...
3
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2answers
121 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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2answers
247 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 ...
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2answers
592 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 ...
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2answers
225 views

Can the Heisenberg interpretation or path integrals apply to open quantum systems?

It has been claimed by some people that Schrödinger's picture is more misleading compared to the Heisenberg principle or path integrals, and that we would be better off abandoning the ...
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2answers
120 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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1answer
106 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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2answers
304 views

Determinism loophole?

I was thinking about the question I posted yesterday, and I thought of a better way to ask it. I'm trying to figure out why QM necessitates "pure randomness". Assume you have a photon that has a ...
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2answers
184 views

Does quantum randomness predicate an infinite number of realities?

I am a layman when it comes to physics and especially quantum mechanics. I have seen many documentaries on the subject, and often in these productions there is a physicist featured explaining the ...
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2answers
374 views

Weak measurements rule out Many Worlds Interpretation?

I came across a paper that claims to prove that the Many Worlds interpretation is invalid by applying weak measurements. The paper can be found here: ...
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2answers
246 views

Interpretation of $e|\psi|^2$ as electron density

In solid state physics the electron density is often equated to $e|\psi|^2$. However, the Sakurai says (Chapter 2.4, Interpretation of the Wave Function, p. 101) that adopting such a view leads "to ...
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1answer
322 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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1answer
243 views

Question about Wigner's friend

The Wigner's friend thought experiment can be used to understand non-realism in quantum mechanics. For anyone not familiar, the thought experiment involves two researchers observing an experiment at ...
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1answer
110 views

Does quantum fingerprinting really argue for the exponential size of wavefunctions?

Does quantum fingerprinting really argue for the exponential size of wavefunctions? Quantum fingerprinting is the idea that an exponentially long classical string can be encoded in a linear number of ...
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0answers
144 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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89 views

Are frequency and likelihood the same across the multiverse?

My probability text distinguishes between two interpretations of probability values: the frequency of occurrence "as percentage of success in a moderately large number of similar situations" (coin ...
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3answers
396 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
347 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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6answers
501 views

Do we really know which slit the photon passed through in Afshar's experiment?

The plain old double slit experiment displays interference when we don't measure which slit the photon passed through, and no interference when it is measured. Let's turn our attention to the case ...
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3answers
217 views

Are there any QM effects where charged particles are not intimately involved?

Are there any QM effects that have been/could be measured from interactions involving non-charged particles? Elementary QM is all about the electron energy levels in the atom, photon - atom ...
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3answers
256 views

What's the worst thing about the tomographic approach to QM?

I saw a paper on arXiv that referenced this approach to an ontology of QM: Phys.Lett. A213 (1996) 1, S. Mancini, V. I. Man'ko, P.Tombesi Symplectic tomography as classical approach to quantum ...
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4answers
972 views

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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3answers
178 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
768 views

Can silicon droplets bouncing on a vibrating surface be a model for Quantum Mechanics?

In this video on youtube it is claimed that silicon droplets bouncing on a vibrating surface show behaviour in analogy to particle/wave duality in Quantum Mechanics. Is this true? Did they ...
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5answers
380 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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4answers
282 views

How can new interpretations of QM help?

There is some current work on interpretations of quantum mechanics. How do you think can interesting results in that area help physics? Can it change quantum physics or make it easier? Which ...
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4answers
287 views

Why should the observed probability distributions in quantum mechanics always align with the pointer basis of decoherence?

It has always been claimed decoherence solves the problem of the preferred-basis for observed probability distributions, but why should this be the case? If there is only one world, and there are ...
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4answers
437 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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2answers
468 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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4answers
204 views

Why do we consider the evolution (usually in time) of a wave function?

Why do we consider evolution of a wave function and why is the evolution parameter taken as time, in QM. If we look at a simple wave function $\psi(x,t) = e^{kx - \omega t}$, $x$ is a point in ...
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2answers
241 views

Is there a manifestly Lorentz invariant formulation of the many worlds interpretation?

First, I give an absurd example. A conscious observer lives on Earth at time t. A light-year away, at a space-like separation, a nuclear bomb chain reaction goes off. A nuclear bomb chain reaction is ...
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2answers
109 views

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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4answers
246 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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1answer
355 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
144 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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2answers
217 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 ...