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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How do probabilities emerge in the many-worlds interpretation?

My understanding is that at each quantized unit of time that a split occurs, every possible recombination of particles occurs in the 'objective' universe. If this is the case, what relevance to ...
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5answers
247 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
219 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
179 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
265 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
174 views

Why does the Copenhagen interpretation assert randomness if this cannot be tested?

Why does the Copenhagen interpretation of QM assert that random events occur if such a claim cannot ever be proven or disproven? A related question: How to tell if QM is really random? Edit On ...
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2answers
168 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
204 views

Many world interpretation on test

Is there any experiment conducted to prove Many world interpretation of Quantum mechanics? If it can't be proved why we should take MWI seriously? Recently I read some papers of Max Tegmark who is an ...
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2answers
1k 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
197 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
248 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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3answers
188 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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6answers
213 views

Meaning of probability in a multiverse/a many-world interpretation?

Consider me tossing a coin and I got tail as a result on observing it. Then, what would be the result of the 'parallel me' in another universe? If the 'parallel me' gets head as a result then, ...
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3answers
528 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
149 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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3answers
137 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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2answers
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
83 views

What is the significance of Planck's constant in De Broglie–Bohm theory or Pilot-wave theory?

In standard QM, Planck's constant seems to be a constant that describes the smallest quanta of energy in some way. Does De Broglie–Bohm theory have an alternate interpretation of that constant and ...
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1answer
60 views

Interpretations of Stern-Gerlach experiment

In many textbooks (J.J. Sakurai for instance) S-G experiment is explained through the idea of a collapse of a state of a system. So here, in this discrete case, we can see quantum behavior more ...
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1answer
71 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
206 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
189 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
274 views

What is the difference between realism in locality, and counterfactual definiteness?

I understand the EPR-experiment and the Bell inequalities. I can see how dropping 'locality' solves the issue, and how dropping 'realism' solves the issue (e.g. there are really no hidden variables ...
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1answer
200 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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2answers
351 views

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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2answers
303 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
298 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
134 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
361 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
226 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
191 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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2answers
646 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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2answers
73 views

Does information paradox in the Many Worlds interpretation cause a problem? [closed]

I'm taking a philosophy of time travel class. In one of the lectures, the teacher was discussing problems with the Many Worlds interpretation. He talked about how since anything that can possibly ...
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1answer
165 views

Do consciousnesses get “scattered” across the many worlds of the MWI?

According the many worlds-interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics, following a decision with possible outcomes $A$ and $B$, with respective probabilities $p_A=P(A)$ and $p_B=P(B)$, a proportion ...
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1answer
95 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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2answers
94 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 ...
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1answer
89 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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3answers
318 views

Why is the tunnel effect of solid matter not observable in macroscopic objects?

Assume I place a tea cup on a table (say, about a centimetre thick). Quantum mechanics tells us that the wave function for the nuclei and electrons of the cup is not zero below the table (while being ...
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1answer
186 views

Question regarding the Bohm interpretation [closed]

I tried to understand the Bohm interpretation and this is what picture appeared to me. Please tell me if I understood something incorrectly. All particles have definite positions and follow ...
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1answer
136 views

Are there any objective wavefunction collapse theories which are local and forbid superluminal signalling?

Are there any objective wavefunction collapse theories which are local and forbid superluminal signalling? GRW is nonrelativistic and nonlocal.
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2answers
317 views

Quantum physics before the observer and relic interferences

It is known that the concept of an observer plays important role in quantum mechanics. In interpretations with collapse only the observer can trigger the wavefunction collapse. From this naturally ...
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1answer
146 views

Do interaction-free measurements require a physical collapse or splitting in order to be truly interaction free?

Interaction-free quantum experiments like Renninger's experiment or the Elitzur-Vaidman bomb tester are often taken to be examples of interaction-free measurements of a system. Unfortunately, such ...
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0answers
36 views

How can a spinor represent an “epistemic” state?

I have read a lot of stuff on the seemingly endless debate on ontology/epistemology of the quantum state $\psi$. But I always wonder: how can a spinor be considered epistemic when $\psi$ really ...
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0answers
38 views

Born-like measuring rule in classical experiments

this 2011 paper "Born's rule from measurements of classical signals by threshold detectors which are properly calibrated" by Khrennikov investigates the theoretical possibility of Born-like ...
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1answer
33 views

Bypassing complementarity with cumulative weak measurements?

Consider the standard double slit experiment with one photon at a time. Now, replace the photographic plate (or fine resolution single photon detector screen) with a converging lens, and move the ...
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0answers
39 views

Information loss from entanglement and cosmological horizons?

Suppose we have a qubit P in an unknown quantum state. Unknown as in we didn't prepare it, and don't know how it was prepared either. Without measuring the qubit in any way, we encode it into two ...
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1answer
53 views

Does the difference between contextuality, nonlocality and retrocausality depend on where we draw the boundaries? [closed]

Suppose we have a quantum system and a measuring apparatus in a superposition of detector settings. Different detector settings would measure "complementary" properties of the quantum system. The act ...
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0answers
50 views

Would it be possible to Loschmidt reverse Wigner's friend using future technology?

Would it be possible to Loschmidt reverse Wigner's friend using future technology? Why or why not? Can a human be isolated in a decoherence shielded box? Can we have fine control over every single ...
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1answer
117 views

Argument for proving that the universe must be indeterministic [duplicate]

Can there exist an argument that could be used for proving that the universe is indeterministic? If this one seems to be too strict (rigorous), I would also be interested to know a 1-sentence ...
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0answers
56 views

Many Worlds or Infinite Worlds?

Looking at the latest paper to deal with the topic: where it purports to show that QM can be recovered from the interactions of a multitude of Newtonian worlds, we have the following statements: ...