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 counts as a measurement?

In quantum mechanics, an elementary particle does not have a well defined position until a measurement is performed on it (right?). Such a "measurement" is any sort of interaction with other ...
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1answer
73 views

Spekkens Toy Model, Internal Comonoids

I have been thinking about Spekkens Toy model in terms of interfaces. The Spekkens paper concerns a physics based on only being able to receive answers to half the number of questions necessary to ...
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3answers
648 views

Wigner's friend and intersubjectivity in quantum mechanics

Suppose there's a radioactive material and a 1/2 quantum probability of detecting it by a Geiger counter. This puts the system in a superposition. Also suppose you are in the same room, and the walls ...
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2answers
324 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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1answer
178 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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3answers
430 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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2answers
171 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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1answer
181 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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1answer
132 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
353 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
159 views

Does Hardy's paradox represent a proof against Bohm's interpretation of the quantum mechanics?

This is a thought-experiment, see "Quantum Mechanics, Local Realistic Theories, and Lorentz-Invariant Realistic Theories", Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 68, No. 20, page 2981, year 1992, that rules out local ...
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0answers
99 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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95 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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3answers
791 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
469 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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2answers
187 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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5answers
790 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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6answers
476 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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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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1answer
107 views

What specifically is incorrect about the Dirac Sea interpretation?

So taking the square root of $E^2 = (m_oc^2)^2 + p^2c^2$ yields two solutions. The Dirac Sea treats the negative solution as an infinite space of electrons with negative energy. All the observable ...
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1answer
212 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 ...
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2answers
124 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
249 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
642 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
227 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
136 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
120 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
191 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
396 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
248 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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4answers
371 views

Is there any quantum interpretation which isn't “crazy” at all? [closed]

Is there any quantum interpretation which isn't "crazy" at all? Exponentially many parallel worlds in MWI, superdeterministic conspiracies, and/or nonlocality in hidden variables, idealism and the ...
3
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3answers
647 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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1answer
264 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
113 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
156 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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5answers
336 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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6answers
542 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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0answers
356 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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4answers
211 views

What counts as an observer and memory states in quantum interpretations?

The Everett interpretation has memory robots. Copenhagen requires observer memory states. Consistent histories has its IGUSes. Decoherence has its existential interpretation. All of them refer to ...
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3answers
220 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
258 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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3answers
141 views

Can existing quantum computers be considered evidence for parallel universes?

In this video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJpIclDmi2M ) Max Tegmark , a MIT cosmologist says that if we build a quantum computing successfully it will be a evidence that Parallel Universes ...
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4answers
1k 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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6answers
576 views

On the foundations of quantum physics

Quantum physics has to be validated by experiments. But experiments are to be interpreted in the context of quantum physics. Isn'it like a snake biting its own tail? For example, using a scanning ...
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3answers
188 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
793 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
396 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
286 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 ...