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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79 views

Successor to Copenhagen Interpretation as Orthodox Interpreation of Quantum Mechanics

First, I read the questions FAQ for this and I hope this does not violate the rules. I am not asking for personal opinion, but for observations of hard evidence of trends on this subject. When I ...
0
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1answer
89 views

Which non-Copenhagen interpretations of Quantum Mechanics have actually produced something useful?

The question has most of it in the name. "Useful" may be interpreted as: measurably different from Copenhagen interpretation and true potentially measurably different and potentially true (i.e. not ...
4
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1answer
105 views

Help needed to understand “On the reality of the quantum state”

I am having trouble to understand the reasoning in the following paper, On the reality of the quantum state. MF Pusey, J Barret and T Rudolph. Nature Phys. 8, 475–478 (2012); arXiv:1111.3328. ...
3
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0answers
47 views

Decoherence and interpretations

With quantum decoherence, are there still any "gaps" in our knowledge of quantum mechanics that hint (either in terms of the physics, philosophy, or otherwise) at the need for further interpretation? ...
3
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2answers
124 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 ...
4
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3answers
970 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 ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Many-worlds interpretation (MWI) and conservation of energy [duplicate]

I am not an expert of many-worlds interpretation (MWI), and what I say may be stated incorrectly. In that case i welcome corrections. If the MWI is true and it explains quantum theory and it splits ...
0
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1answer
121 views

What stands behind the quantum nonlocality appearing in entanglements, and why Bell's inequalities are violated?

I noticed the question whether Bell's inequalities are based on a false premise, (Could Bell's Theorem be based on a false premise?) but I bring another argumentation of the question. Also I ...
62
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6answers
26k views

Is the universe fundamentally deterministic?

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question. I realise that this maybe a borderline philosophical question at this point in time, therefore feel free to close this question if you ...
1
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2answers
101 views

Meaning of “realism” in quantum mechanics

When physicists doing work in quantum measurement, decoherence, Bells' inequalities etc. use the term "realism" what exactly do they mean? I'm looking for answers targeted towards, say, someone whose ...
3
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1answer
56 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 ...
5
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1answer
189 views

Does it make sense to speak of amplitudes of finite closed boundaries in QFT?

A example of amplitude in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics or specifically in QFT is the amplitude of a field configuration on a space-like hyper-surface of space-time to "lead" to another field ...
2
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2answers
193 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 ...
2
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1answer
134 views

References on De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory

Are there any good books related to the not much popular De Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory and its application in hydrodynamics, walking droplets concepts?
6
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2answers
356 views

Has this experiment really demonstrated wave-function collapse?

My question is: why did the following experiment claim that it had demonstrated the wave-function collapse? Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using ...
0
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0answers
59 views

How does one intrepret probabilites in the many-worlds interpretation?

Let's say I flip a coin, and don't look. From the copenhagen interpretation, the state of the coin is: $\frac1{\sqrt2}(i|\text{heads} \rangle - |\text{tails}\rangle)$ If I observe the coin, there is ...
2
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2answers
122 views

Can multiple timelines exist according to theoretical physics? [closed]

Multiple timelines is not a reality yet (as of 2016's science and technology), but exists only in Marvel/DC universe. It is something that is used to explain the paradox of time-travel. If you go back ...
0
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2answers
185 views

Many-world interpretation: simple physics explanation? [closed]

We went a little off topic in physics class today and my teacher was explaining how quantum physics explains the idea of parallel universes. She believes in a idea called many world interpretation ...
2
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3answers
131 views

Does valid interpretations of quantum mechanics always reduce to trivial arguments about the equations? [closed]

This is the editted 'short' version of the question :) Interpretation is very important in physics, but physics is governed by equations. With bare equations, physics would be just mathematics. ...
2
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0answers
77 views

What would be the abilities of a wave function collapsing oracle? [closed]

Although the Bell's theorem dismiss local hidden variables as an explanation of the quantum variability, there is nothing to prevent an observer to see the occurrence of a wave function collapse as ...
19
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2answers
667 views

What is the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum field theory?

I am most interested in interpretational differences due to the fact that quantum field theory is relativistic while quantum mechanics is not. By "Copenhagen interpretation" I mean a minimal ...
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0answers
36 views

Interaction picture perturbation [closed]

I habe given a hamiltonian $H_0$ (time independent) and an external potential $V$ (time dependent). Now I have to calculate the interaction picture perturbation. How do I do that? I am not quite sure ...
-1
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1answer
58 views

Probabilistic realism

On consideration of Bell's inequalities and this Why is quantum entanglement considered to be an active link between particles?. Either localism or realism has to be given up. Can't we have a ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Does quantum mechanics separate ontology from gnoseology? [closed]

I mean this answer here. Laws present to us what we know (what we may know). But what we know cannot define what is real; it only defines our actions & assumptions. We may know only probabilities ...
9
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3answers
274 views

Can someone clarify whether the recent experiment closing all remaining loopholes to Bell's Theorem really shut the door on local realism for good?

I saw this recent article on Phys.org that purports to close all remaining loopholes that previous experiments on violations of Bell's inequality left open. My question is, does this really close the ...
5
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2answers
395 views

Is the many-worlds interpretation (MWI) of QM inconsistent with quantum field theory

I had recently posted a question on the Philosophy stack exchange about "true" randomness, and a lot of the discussion centered around Quantum Mechanics. One of the responders claimed: MWI has the ...
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2answers
71 views

Light interference single particle 4 slits experiment - what are interpretations apart from many-worlds interpretation?

Someone knowledgeable about physics advised me to read a book "David Deutsch: The Fabric of Reality, 1997". The book gives experiment like two-slit one, difference is that 2-slits compared to 4-slits ...
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1answer
84 views

Does “sum over all paths” in the path integral imply “sum over all paths” in momentum space when one Fourier-transforms?

How is the Fourier-transformed-field path integral interpreted? Is it still a "sum of all paths" in momentum space? Just that with another action? Consider for instance the (Euclidean) partition ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Many worlds probability of getting cancer [closed]

My understanding of probabilities in many worlds is following: If I would decide to start smoking and we know that 10% of smokers get cancer that means that in 10% of all worlds during my lifetime I ...
17
votes
3answers
802 views

Classical and quantum probabilities in density matrices

In textbooks, it is sometimes written that a mixed state can be represented as mixture of $N$ (I assume here $N<+\infty$) quantum pure states $|\psi_i\rangle$ with classical probabilities $p_i$: ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Double slit experiment and pilot waves [closed]

Why do almost all books on quantum start out with the double slit experiment and show how a single particle interferes with itself and say its a wave and particle when Yves Couder has shown on a ...
15
votes
1answer
624 views

Why is Copenhagen Interpretation the most used & popular interpretation of quantum mechanics? [closed]

It is well known that there are many interpretations of quantum mechanics. I'm wondering if there is a specific reason why the Copenhagen interpretation is the most popular. Why is it that the ...
1
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1answer
66 views

Bohmian trajectories vs. Feynman path integrals, continuous paths?

After reading some of the other posts online, I'm clear on the fact that Bohmian trajectories (of the de Broglie Bohm formulation) and the paths of the Feynman path integral formulation are very ...
4
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2answers
186 views

Does Bell's theorem rule out the possiblity that measurements are completely determined by events in the past light cone?

I'm studying Bell's theorem and the CHSH inequality for some time. Now it's clear to me that one cannot reproduce the correlations predicted by quantum mechanics by assuming that particles carry ...
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2answers
100 views

Physical quantities have definite values?

I don't really know if this question has an anwser but I thought it was worth to try asking. My point here is the following: in Quantum Mechanics, to describe the states of a system we use a Hilbert ...
6
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2answers
620 views

What's wrong with this experiment showing that either FTL communication is possible or complementarity doesn't hold?

The assumptions are: Alice and Bob have perfectly synchronized clocks Alice and Bob have successfully exchanged a pair of entangled photons The idea is simply to have Alice and Bob perform the ...
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3answers
104 views

Has the double-slit experiment been performed with animals as the observers?

As the title says, has the double-slit experiment been performed with animals (not humans) as the observers? If yes, which animal was used and what was the result?
1
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1answer
60 views

Is contemporary physics interpreted in an instrumentalist way? [closed]

I'm a master student in theoretical physics and the reason why I choose this career is far more related to the "philosophical beauty" of physics, than to my personal ability or skills. This, in some ...
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4answers
234 views

Is quantum physics truly random or does it just appear that way because of Heisenberg uncertainty principle

The behavior of an electron (and other tiny things) is said to be probabilistic because we can't say where an election will be when we measure it, but only where it will probably be. As I understand ...
1
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1answer
159 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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6answers
1k views

Are coherent states of light 'classical' or 'quantum'?

Coherent states of light, defined as $$|\alpha\rangle=e^{-\frac{|\alpha|^2}{2}}\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{\alpha^n}{\sqrt{n!}}|n\rangle $$ for a given complex number $\alpha$ and where $|n\rangle$ is a ...
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votes
1answer
81 views

Does the uncertainity principle actually attack determinism? [closed]

It's not really clear to me how does QM attacks determinism. It sure attacks computability, which is a component of newtonian, naive determinism, but it's often claimed to destroy determinism itself ...
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2answers
188 views

Does the following experiment disprove the Copenhagen interpretation?

I have a question concerning the scientific experiment proposed in the following video, (25:00-29:00) titled the "EPR Thought Experiment", which bears resemblance to the quantum eraser experiment. ...
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2answers
68 views

Terminology for “measurable” and “hidden” realms in quantum physics

Please excuse if some of my terminology is vague, the whole point of this question is to clarify terminology. In quantum physics, one frequently encounters situations where there are some kind of two ...
3
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2answers
130 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 ...
3
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4answers
131 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 ...
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2answers
71 views

In quantum mechanics does the truth/accuracy of a measurement really matter?

Once John Wheeler said "the past has no meaning or existence unless it exist as a record in the present". So, in a experiment of delayed choice entanglement swapping, if we used a faulty detector to ...
4
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1answer
104 views

In interpretations of QM where the wave function is real, what does that mean?

In a lot of interpretations of Quantum Mechanics they believe that the wave function is "real". But what does that mean? Are they saying that the wave function of an elementary particle ...
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4answers
198 views

Does the Copenhagen interpretation require Nature to solve NP problems instantaneously? [closed]

Let's say we have a quantum computer with two registers taking in $m$ and $n$ qubits respectively, with $m$, $n$ suitably large. Let $f:\{0,1\}^m \rightarrow \{0,1\}^n$ be a one-way function. Set up ...
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2answers
2k views

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

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 ...