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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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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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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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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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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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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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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216 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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178 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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208 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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525 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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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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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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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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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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68 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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204 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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180 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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234 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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195 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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324 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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300 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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291 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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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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343 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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220 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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184 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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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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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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152 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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93 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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90 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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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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306 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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184 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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132 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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312 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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140 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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103 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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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: ...
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What is a measurement in MWI

I was reviewing the MWI, and couldn't figure what a measurement is in the MWI? Everett claims that split happens when you measure, but what is it for MWI (not for general QM)? Yes, I know about ...
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Books on foundations of QM [duplicate]

I am seeking for books on foundations of Quantum Mechanics with subjects like the EPR experiment, Bell's theorem, the problem of measurement, entanglement, decoherence, nonlocality, interpretations, ...
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Is relational QM experimentally distinguishable from standard QM?

Some people advocate for relational quantum mechanics, which is an interpretation (or at least Wikipedia calls it an interpretation) of QM where quantum states are thought of as representing a ...
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Are only 2 bits of information transmitted in quantum teleportation?

Prompted by the recent success in Delft, I've been reading a number of papers and articles about quantum teleportation. I'm comfortable with my understanding of most aspects but haven't found much ...
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Why are cosmic conspiracies considered undesirable in quantum interpretations?

Quantum interpretations like superdeterminism, nonlocal hidden variables, etc. are regularly dismissed by the vast majority of physicists because they require "cosmic conspiracies" which can ...