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 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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258 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
495 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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400 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
176 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
738 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
551 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
296 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
857 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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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
296 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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437 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 ...
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259 views

Is there anything wrong with the cybernetic interpretation of quantum mechanics by Ross Rhodes?

The interpretation is outlined here It certainly gives a good logical explanation of most quantum oddities.
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769 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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1answer
244 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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2answers
282 views

Do scientists literally believe the Schröedinger's cat though experiment?

I've heard the Schrödinger's cat "paradox" (although there's nothing particularly paradoxical about it, just counterintuitive), but I've never been clear on whether or not it's meant to be taken with ...
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4answers
697 views

Do multiple electrons exist during superposition?

Wikipedia says: Quantum superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics that holds that a physical system—such as an electron—exists partly in all its particular, theoretically ...
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1answer
88 views

Is the time of collapse of the wave function empirical?

Is the time of the collapse of the wave function empirical? Suppose there is a very long von Neumann chain of observations of a quantum system. Suppose also practically irreversible decoherence ...
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0answers
169 views

Consistent histories and Bohm mechanics, many worlds in disguise?

This was posted on here in someone's Phys.SE answer: No, in the many worlds interpretation, every parallel universe is real, but in consistent histories, once you choose your projection operators, ...
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317 views

How would a realist interpretation of the Mermin-Peres square look like?

How would a realist interpretation of the Mermin-Peres square with counterfactual definiteness and the existence of states prior to measurements look like?
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3answers
518 views

Is the classical world an illusion?

In the paper Zeh, H. D. The Wave Function: It or Bit? In Science and Ultimate Reality, eds. J.D. Barrow, P.C.W. Davies, and C.L. Harper Jr. (Cambridge University Press, 2004), pp. 103-120. ...
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1answer
264 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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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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1answer
166 views

Who are “we”, and what counts as a “question” in consistent histories?

If the preferred basis in quantum mechanics and/or choice of consistent histories in consistent histories is arbitrary, and can only be determined by the "questions we ask", just who exactly is this ...
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1answer
429 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 ...
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1answer
681 views

Bohmian loophole in PBR-like theorems

I'm reviving and expanding this question, because of the new paper today, by Aaronson et al. The more general question is: How does quantum-potential Bohmian mechanics relate to no-go theorems for ...
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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193 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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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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1k views

How does Bell's theorem rule out the possibility of local hidden variables?

It seems to be common consensus that the world is non-deterministic and this is proved by Bell's theorem. But even though Bell's experiments proved that the theory of quantum mechanics work, How does ...
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1answer
447 views

Residues in QFT propagator

It is a well known fact that the location of the pole of a propagator (in QFT) can be interpreted as the physical mass. Is there an interpretation for the residue of the propagator? Note: I´m ...
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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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2answers
148 views

A foundational question about entanglement

The recent Nature article http://www.nature.com/news/data-teleportation-the-quantum-space-race-1.11958 prompts me to ask this question, which is of the same tenor as that asked at the recent Perimeter ...
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1answer
551 views

What is the spatial mode of light or the spatial mode of a massive particle?

I'm extremely confused by what physicists mean by the spatial mode of light. I am also equally if not more confused by what the spatial mode of a massive particle is. Can anyone help me out by ...
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1answer
231 views

Temporal part of Quantum Wavefunction

I was hoping that someone could give me the more fundamental reason that we take as the temporal part of a quantum wavefunction the function $e^{-i\omega t}$ and not $e^{+i\omega t}$? Clearly ...
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Canonical Commutation Relations

Is it logically sound to accept the canonical commutation relation (CCR) $$[x,p]~=~i\hbar$$ as a postulate of quantum mechanics? Or is it more correct to derive it given some form for $p$ in the ...
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4answers
981 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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0answers
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How to explain Tsirelson's inequality using extended probabilities?

How to explain Tsirelson's inequality using extended probabilities? Some people have tried explaining the Bell inequalities using extended probabilities. For instance, a pair of entangled photons ...
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596 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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5answers
381 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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6answers
1k views

What constitutes an observation/measurement in QM?

Fundamental notions of QM have to do with observation, a major example being The Uncertainty Principle. What is the technical definition of an observation/measurement? If I look at a QM system, it ...
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1answer
424 views

Many-worlds: Where does the energy come from?

With regard to the theory that each time a wave function collapses the universe splits so that each possible outcome really exists - where does all the energy required to create all the new universes ...
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4answers
1k views

Is the statistical interpretation of Quantum Mechanics dead?

I'm sure this question is a bit gauche for this site, but I'm just a mathematician trying to piece together some physical intuition. *Question:*Is the statistical interpretation of Quantum ...
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Does the nonlocality of the preferred basis mean QM is nonlocal?

Take the Mach-Zehnder interferometer as an example. A photon passes through a beam splitter, is reflected off mirrors, and interferes with itself at another half-silvered mirror. No measurements or ...
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124 views

Is quasiclassicality in consistent histories the preferred basis problem in disguise?

Is quasiclassicality in consistent histories the preferred basis problem in disguise? Out of the numerous possible consistent realms in consistent histories — with no canonical choice — ...
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Maxim Raykin's “solution to the measurement problem” using infinitely many derivatives

Recently I was made aware of the following arXiv preprint by Maxim Raykin: Analytical Quantum Dynamics in Infinite Phase Space. As far as I understand it, Raykin's idea is to reinterpret quantum ...
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344 views

Are probabilities really tangible physical real numbers?

Probabilities are usually considered to be a real number between 0 and 1. A real number has an infinite decimal expansion. Are probabilities really real numbers? Is the infinite decimal expansion ...
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4answers
367 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 ...
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774 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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In Copenhagen, can this idea preserve locality for Bell inequalities?

Generate an entangled pair of qubits. Send to Alice and Bob far away from each other. Both measure along basis in one of two possible orientations. The result is sent to Charlie at some later time, ...