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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724 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 ...
4
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3answers
736 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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3answers
962 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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5answers
1k 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.
3
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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 ...
3
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2answers
121 views

When does the world split in MWI

I've been reading Eliezer Yudkowsky's blog post regarding decoherence and many worlds, and although he is not a physics but a strong proponent of MWI, I can basically see why he feels that MWI is a "...
3
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4answers
170 views

Many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics

From my layman's perspective, it feels like the many worlds interpretation is invoked out of the inability to explain why one observation occurs out of many possibilities. Given no explanation why one ...
3
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3answers
130 views

Does the canonical commutation relation relate to the fact that momentum is the generator of spatial translations?

In classical mechanics momentum is the generator of spatial translations. This remains true in quantum mechanics. The way we define the momentum operator in one-dimension, for example, already shows ...
3
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4answers
859 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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6answers
1k 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 ...
3
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4answers
321 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 ...
3
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4answers
675 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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2answers
255 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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4answers
160 views

What limits causality in the many-worlds interpretation (MWI)?

It's widely held that it's either very difficult or impossible to affect the outcomes of experiments in other branches of the many-worlds. The reason given is usually something along the lines that ...
3
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4answers
235 views

What really is a particle?

In Classical Mechanics we consider particles as things whose internal structure for the purpose of studying some phenomenon might be neglected. In that setting we associate particles to points and ...
3
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3answers
128 views

Physical meaning of quantum interpretations [closed]

Do interpretations of quantum mechanics have physical meaning? An argument for no would be the fact that no matter the interpretation, one gets the same measurements. They also do not follow logical ...
3
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2answers
259 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 "...
3
votes
1answer
700 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
votes
1answer
791 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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2answers
282 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 ...
3
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2answers
463 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: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/9494/1/aa-...
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4answers
421 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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2answers
267 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 Schrö...
3
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1answer
73 views

Does a particle “exist” between emission and detection?

In considering a simple Young's double slit setup: The classical idea that a particle must exist with defined position and momentum between the source and detection plate leads to philosophical angst,...
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2answers
200 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 ...
3
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1answer
185 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 ...
3
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1answer
421 views

Double slit experiment and entanglement [duplicate]

Just wondering, what would happen in this experiment. In the experiment you would first have two entangled particles. Then you fire one of the particles, lets say "Particle A", at a double slit ...
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2answers
285 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
1k 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 ...
3
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2answers
150 views

How does the Physics work for the Quantum Suicide thought experiment?

On page 5 of this paper written by Max Tegmark, Tegmark discusses a thought experiment called 'Quantum Suicide'. As far as I understand it, this experiment was created to show the experimental ...
3
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1answer
256 views

How does many-worlds interpretation make measurement unitary?

Does many-worlds interpretation of QM make the process of measurement (wavefunction collapse) be an unitary transform? If so, how does it do this? If we have an "object" qubit in state $$\left|q_1\...
3
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1answer
85 views

Are there any viable toy models of superdeterministic quantum mechanics?

As far as I know, superdeterminism in quantum mechanics is only considered as a theoretical possibility. Are there any fleshed out superdeterministic toy models so far which isn't nonlocal?
3
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2answers
206 views

Unitarity and measurement

I used to believe that the wavefunction collapse came from the interaction of the system we want to measure {S} with the measurement apparatus {M} : {S} undergoing a non unitary transformation, but {S+...
3
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1answer
421 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 ...
3
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1answer
153 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 ...
3
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1answer
83 views

Is the trajectory of a quantum particle a well defined concept and how does this depend on the interpretation of quantum mechanics?

A common statement about quantum physics is that the "trajectory" of a particle is no longer a well defined concept because of the uncertainty relations for position and momentum. If one interprets ...
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0answers
214 views

Is it possible to travel between worlds in the many worlds interpretation of quantum theory? [closed]

In the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics, all possible outcomes of a measurement occur, and each possible outcome corresponds to a distinct "world" or universe. Is it possible to ...
3
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0answers
784 views

“Consciousness causes collapse”-interpretation or free will excluded by quantum zeno effect? [closed]

This question is if the von Neumann–Wigner interpretation, aka "consciousness cause collapse" (see e.g. John von Neumann's 1932 book The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics) is compatible ...
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0answers
96 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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0answers
87 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 '...
3
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5answers
438 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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0answers
64 views

Are there any connections between James–Stein estimator and quantum mechanics?

Very nice statement from wiki: When three or more unrelated parameters are measured, their total MSE can be reduced by using a combined estimator such as the James–Stein estimator; whereas when ...
3
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0answers
424 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
237 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
159 views

Where are the worlds in many-worlds interpretation?

What does it mean in MWI for other universes to exist? Are they in some sector of spacetime beyond our cosmic horizon or is it more complicated? I'm not asking this on Philosophy SE because people ...
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3answers
247 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
268 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
2k 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 exists,...
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5answers
635 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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2answers
350 views

Does recent paper show Bohmian mechanics is correct?

The following paper was recently featured in a German science magazine (Spektrum der Wissenschaft): "Experimental nonlocal and surreal Bohmian trajectories" (DOI:10.1126/science.1501466) The abstract ...