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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Can the quantum eraser experiment result indicate a 'computed universe'?

The quantum eraser experiment tells us that a photon shot at two slits is a wave, unless you measure which slit is taken and you do not destroy the measurement result. I've found this very similar to ...
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2answers
521 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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165 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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1answer
473 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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60 views

Are universally valid possibilistic theories possible?

This is a spin-off of the following question: Are Thomas Breuer's subjective decoherence and Scott Aaronson's freebits with knightian freedom the same things in essence? Given that Thomas ...
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164 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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70 views

Quantum mechanics formulations [closed]

There are about 9 different formulations of quantum mechanics. What are the merits and setbacks of each formulation? In the path integral formulation, is the sum over all possible paths idea purely ...
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164 views

Double slit experiment and entanglement

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
144 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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104 views

How can the pre-measurement be fulfilled?

In the decoherence program, the pre-measurement refers to the evolution in which the system and apparatus form a Schmidt state. In Maximilian Schlosshauer's review article(2005), I read "the linearity ...
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121 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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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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5answers
313 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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149 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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88 views

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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0answers
57 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 ...
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0answers
70 views

Complementarity between the laws of physics? [closed]

Is this following proposal plausible, worth considering, or dismissable as lunatic fringe science? What if the universe isn't really what we think it is but some universal quantum computer where we ...
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4answers
195 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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5answers
236 views

Open quantum systems and measuring devices

The Copenhagen interpretation by Niels Bohr insists that quantum systems do not exist independently of the measuring apparatus but only comes into being by the process of measurement itself. It is ...
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3answers
160 views

The need for a 'particle description' of electrons

Is there any phenomenon where the 'wave description' of the electron's motion is not applicable? The reason for this question is to find out if there are any situations were quantum wave theories ...
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2answers
161 views

What are the practical applications of quantum foundations?

Many quantum foundation researchers keep emphasizing that For All Practical Purposes (FAPP), quantum foundations are irrelevant. They even invented an acronym for it! Does that mean that quantum ...
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3answers
249 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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3answers
820 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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2answers
149 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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2answers
809 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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3answers
182 views

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, ...
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3answers
818 views

What are specific arguments against the ensemble interpretation (as promoted by L. Ballentine)?

Leslie Ballentine develops in QM: A Modern Development an interpretation based on the ensemble interpretation, and responds to most criticisms. My question: what criticisms still exist against this ...
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129 views

A question on quantum computing and de Broglie's pilot wave theory

I don't know much about quantum computing except what I have read about on wiki and popsci. I have been reading about the de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory and how they describe quantum mechanics in ...
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145 views

Does processing for a quantum computer take place in other universes?

Apologies in advance if my question seems misinformed. I am a software developer, and neither quantum mechanics nor physics are my specialties. From ...
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1answer
122 views

Question about Weinberg's derivation of a one-particle states under the Poincare group

I'm reading QFT: Vol 1 by Weinberg and I have a (perhaps trivial) question about a statement he makes on page 63. I can follow him to his derivation of equation (2.5.2): \begin{equation} P^\mu ...
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1answer
139 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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3answers
512 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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2answers
144 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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132 views

Does the inability to postselect to a given branch argue against MWI?

It has been argued the exponential size of the wavefunction can be interpreted as many parallel worlds, and this explains how quantum computers can factor large integers and compute discrete ...
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1k views

If the moon is not there when no one is looking, how does the moon know how to stay in orbit between observations?

Quantum Copenhagenists will tell you if there is a stop sign, it only manifests itself by the act of observation. When no one is looking, there is nothing there. This is like the cognitive process of ...
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1answer
62 views

Hugh Everett's MWI [closed]

According to Hugh Everett's many worlds interpretation, all the possibilities of one action can happen at the same time in other parallel universes, so how come we can't see these worlds? now I bumped ...
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4answers
199 views

Are there any non-interpretational arguments in favour of Everett's Many-Worlds?

As far as I understand Everett's Many-Worlds Interpretation, he makes the case for a realist theory of QM at the enormous cost of many-worlds. Are there any arguments in favour of Everett's ...
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1answer
145 views

Is it true that Macrorealism can be shown false?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leggett-Garg_inequality As you can see by the link above, it claims that if the violation of the Leggett–Garg inequality can be demonstrated on the macroscopic scale, it ...
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1answer
172 views

Quantum randomness and brownian motion in biological systems, e.g., fertilization

I am looking for examples of physical indeterminacy impacting the macroscopic world. By physical indeterminacy, I mean physical sources of randomness such as quantum indeterminacy or brownian motion. ...
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1answer
308 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
290 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
775 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
276 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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1answer
115 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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1answer
304 views

EPR paradox and uncertainty principle

In Wikipedia article EPR paradox, The original paper purports to describe what must happen to "two systems I and II, which we permit to interact ...", and, after some time, "we suppose that there ...
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1answer
210 views

On Bell's Inequality (Classical Intuition) and Quantum Mechanical Counter Intuition

This posting is directly related to the issue in The System and the Measuring Gadget. The QM expectation is given by: $$\langle\sigma_{1}.\vec{a}{\;}\sigma_{2}.\vec b\rangle=-\vec a.\vec b$$ In the ...
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1answer
167 views

What role does memory robots play in the many worlds interpretation?

Ron Maimon gave a very interesting answer to a question about the many worlds interpretation here. He mentions the essential role of memory robots in MWI, which is something I have never ever heard ...
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613 views

The quantum state can be interpreted statistically, again

Now there are two papers The quantum state cannot be interpreted statistically http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.3328 (It was discussed here the consecuences of this "no-go theorem") And this one (two of ...
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81 views

Mainstream view on the measurement problem

What is the modern mainstream way to deal with the measurement problem? For this question, the measurement problem is the problem of formalizing wave function collapse when the observer is part of the ...
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80 views

Under what circumstances is observing a superposition possible?

According to Ian Stewart's 2013 Symmetry: A Very Short Introduction (pp. 119-120), Experiment and theory suggest that superposed states should not be observable as such; only individual ...