Quantum mechanics describes the microscopic properties of nature in a regime where classical mechanics no longer applies. It explains phenomena such as the wave-particle duality, quantization of energy and the uncertainty principle and is generally used in single body systems. Use the ...

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Recent breakthroughs in quantum computing?

Can anyone explain to me why we have had no major breakthroughs in the theory of quantum computation in the past 15 years? Shor's algorithm set the standard, since then we've had Grover's algorithm ...
2
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3answers
809 views

Causality and Quantum uncertainty [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Why quantum entanglement is considered to be active link between particles? Why can't the outcome of a QM measurement be calculated a-priori? Why do some (the majority ...
7
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3answers
340 views

References on the non-compositeness of the known elementary particles

What paper(s) or theory(s) describe or prove that the elementary particles that we have determined today cannot be made up of smaller more fundamental particles?
4
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1answer
558 views

Canonical momentum operators in curvilinear coordinates

What is the quantum canonical momentum operator corresponding to arbitrary canonical position. For example, in Cartesian coordinates ($x^i$), the canonical momentum operator with respect to each $x^i$ ...
3
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3answers
181 views

Are there measurable effects to scaling the action by a constant?

Classically, we obtain the equations of motion by finding a path which has an action that is stationary with respect to small changes in the path. That is the path for which: $\delta S =0$ Scaling ...
4
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3answers
865 views

Is contextuality required in quantum mechanics?

I still don't really understand what contextuality means in reference to quantum mechanics. If someone could give a clear definition that would be great. It sounds like it means you can't always ...
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5answers
1k views

What combinations of realism, non-locality, and contextuality are ruled out in quantum theory?

Bell's inequality theorem, along with experimental evidence, shows that we cannot have both realism and locality. While I don't fully understand it, Leggett's inequality takes this a step further and ...
3
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1answer
166 views

What are the statistics of three to five bosons?

This should be a very easy question. If you look at the bottom of "Identical Particles" in Wikipedia, you see Table 1, which gives you the two particle statistics for bosons, fermions and ...
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5answers
2k views

Does Heisenberg's uncertainty under time evolution always grow?

Recently there have been some interesting questions on standard QM and especially on uncertainty principle and I enjoyed reviewing these basic concepts. And I came to realize I have an interesting ...
3
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2answers
306 views

Web references for Nelson's “Quantum Fluctuations”?

Edward Nelson's book "Quantum Fluctuations" (Princeton UP, 1985) gives an alternative way to introduce trajectories, quite different to the trajectories of de Broglie-Bohm type approaches. I've read ...
4
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3answers
456 views

Young's experiment or why the light can't be described as a particle [closed]

Who hasn't heard about the double-slit experiment? It figures in any book of quantum physics. But there is something no one can explain to me : I understand why the light cannot be described only as a ...
2
votes
3answers
394 views

3D Minimum uncertainty wavepackets

Based on the 1D case mentioned in Griffiths, I decided to try looking at the features of 3D Gaussian wavefunctions, i.e. (position basis) wavefunctions of the form $\psi(\mathbf{r}) = ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Why is tunneling not a classical idea?

There is no tunneling in the case of infinite potential barrier, but there is when we have a finite well. In the classical analog, in the first case we have a particle bouncing between to infinitely ...
2
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3answers
846 views

Unstable energy levels

Well, reading about "Raman Effect" I saw that when the electron absorb some energy, with frequency $ \omega_{abs} $, that is different from $ \omega_{n} - \omega_{n-1} \neq \omega_{abs1} $, it go to ...
9
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4answers
1k views

By what mechanism do quantum effects become observable in normal life at the macroscopic level?

By what mechanism do quantum effects become observable in normal life at the macroscopic level? For instance, when two molecules "collide" is the momentum a probabilistic event wherein the end state ...
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2answers
431 views

Chaos and quantum physics: How many ways can a bonfire burn?

I'm interested in the extent to which quantum physical effects are seen at a macroscopic level. I might get some of the physics wrong, but I think I'll get it close enough that I can ask the ...
3
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1answer
783 views

Minimum Uncertainty Wavefunction derivation

Can anyone point me to a reference (preferably either something online or something a small liberal arts school would be likely to have in its library) that goes through a derivation of the minimum ...
1
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2answers
268 views

What is the possible potential?

The professor asked us to do this one: "..Determine all potentials $V(r,\theta, \phi)$ for which it is possible for find solutions of the time independent Schrodinger equation which are also ...
22
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7answers
4k views

Why do people still talk about bohmian mechanics/hidden variables [closed]

I was reading the Feynman lectures in physics and after thinking about it for a while it seems particularly unreasonable to talk about hidden variables. Let us say that the electron has some internal ...
2
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1answer
284 views

A particular notation about fermions

I am not sure that this notation is specific to supersymmetry theories but I ran into this while studying that. I see people talking of component fields of a chiral superfield as $\phi$ and ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Why isn't the wave equation $\nabla^2 \psi - 1/c^2 \partial_{tt} \psi = (\frac{mc}{\hbar})^2\psi$

Special relativity was well established by the time the schrodinger equation came out. Using the correspondence of classical energy with frequency and momentum with wave number, this is the equation ...
4
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1answer
3k views

How to solve this Schrödinger equation?

I am taking an intro level quantum mechanics class. Our textbook gives a problem like this: The deuteron is a nucleus of "heavy hydrogen" consisting of one proton and one neutron. As a simple ...
13
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2answers
659 views

Long time deviations from exponential decay in radioactivity

Are there any examples of common substances whose decay is not exponential? We're used to thinking about radioactivity in terms of half-lives. This is a concept that makes sense only for a decay that ...
10
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5answers
862 views

Retrodiction in Quantum Mechanics

To focus this question let us consider first classical mechanics (which is time-symmetric). Given a final condition (and sufficient information) one can calculate the system conditions of an earlier ...
8
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3answers
335 views

References on the physics of anyons

Anyone know some good introductory references on the physics of anyons?
11
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3answers
463 views

Is it possible to define a “it went through two slits” observable?

This concerns the famous two-slit experiment. Electrons or photons or your favorite particle, doesn't matter. As we all know, the attempt to detect which slit the quanta pass through leads to loss ...
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2answers
1k views

What Quark and Anti-quark are electrically neutral Pions made out of?

A positive pion is an up and an anti-down. A negative pion is a down and an anti-up. What's a pion with an electrical charge of 0?
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6answers
10k views

Simple explanation of quantum mechanics

Can you please describe quantum mechanics in simple words? When ever I read this word (quantum computers, quantum mechanics, quantum physics, quantum gravity etc) I feel like fantasy, myth and ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Time as a Hermitian operator in QM?

In non-relativistic QM, on one hand we have the following relations: $$\langle x | P | \psi \rangle ~=~ -i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x} \psi(x),$$ $$\langle p | X | \psi \rangle ~=~ i \hbar ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Why are four-vectors needed in the Dirac equation, when there are 4 linearly independent 2D matrices?

I was taught that for the Dirac-equation to "work", you need matrices of the following form: $Tr(\alpha^i) = 0$. Eigenvalues +1 or -1 2 previous points together: equal number of negative and ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Do photons interact with each other, or with themselves only?

Even if the double slit experiment gives interesting (weird) results, it only concludes that each photon interacts with itself after passing the two slits. I have been thinking about a different ...
8
votes
3answers
839 views

What is the angular momentum spectrum of an sp${}^3$ electron?

So, one thing has been annoying me ever since I learned about orbital hybridization: you explain the shape of molecules by postulating that the orbitals of multi-electron atoms are linear combinations ...
4
votes
5answers
616 views

Eigenvalue Postulate and Experiment Outcomes in QM

In Nielsen and Chuang's text on Quantum Information and Computation, the measurement postulate is stated by using a collection of measurement operators and the outcomes are the indices of the ...
28
votes
5answers
4k views

Does a photon interfere only with itself?

I sometimes hear statements like that: Quantum-mechanically, interference pattern occurs due to quantum interference of wavefunction of a photon. Wavefunction of a single photon only interferes ...
2
votes
3answers
260 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 ...
8
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2answers
464 views

Explaining valence with quantum mechanics

Can anyone give me a quantum mechanical explanation of the theory of valence? (i.e. why atoms bond just enough to have a complete orbital) EDIT: To clarify, I already have an idea of why atoms bond, ...
14
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13answers
4k views

Arguments for and against Many Worlds?

I would like to hear the best arguments for and against the Many Worlds interpretation of QM.
9
votes
3answers
5k views

What does the quantum eraser experiment tells us?

I am a beginner in this quantum-mechanics stuff. I understand the quantum eraser only from an experimental view. So I didn't understand the formalism that describes the quantum eraser. But what does ...
5
votes
2answers
745 views

Expansion in spherical harmonics in cubic symmetry

suppose I have an electrostatic potential which I expand in spherical harmonics via $$\sum_{l,m} A^l_m r^n P_l^{|m|}(\cos \theta) e^{im\varphi}$$ and I know that the field has cubic symmetry. Is ...
0
votes
1answer
373 views

What is the spectral energy density of virtual photons around a unit charge at rest?

Given that my previous question, namely "What is the number density of virtual photons around a unit charge?" has no precise answer, here is a more precise wording: What is the virtual photon ...
5
votes
4answers
328 views

Justification of ignoring large set of entanglements

If we can think about the universe as a wave function then many particles should be entangled with many other particles in the universe. The obvious question arises why we don't see those ...
3
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3answers
414 views

What is the density of virtual photons around a unit charge?

It seems that virtual photons also exist in vacuum. So the precise question is: What is the additional virtual photon density due to the electric field of a unit charge? Or: How many virtual photons ...
7
votes
2answers
568 views

Probabilistic quantum cloning

I have a question with regard to probabilistic quantum cloning - see for example http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v80/i22/p4999_1. It does seems like I can use the proof for no-cloning theorem to ...
6
votes
1answer
571 views

There seems to be no definition of “stability” in axiomatic QFT. Is there? And, if not, is this a problem?

"stability" is invoked as the justification for the axiomatic requirement that the spectrum of the generators of the translation group must be confined to the forward light-cone. The spectrum ...
19
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7answers
2k views

Quantum mechanics on a manifold

In quantum mechanics the state of a free particle in three dimensional space is $L^2(\mathbb R^3)$, more accurately the projective space of that Hilbert space. Here I am ignoring internal degrees of ...
2
votes
2answers
619 views

Scalar product of coherent states

We suppose for semplicity to have a 1D oscillator, but this is a question abaout the general CCR algebra in oscillators, second quantization, quantum field theory etc. We know coherent states are a ...
7
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2answers
1k views

The history and modern understanding of spin

This question was inspired by Abstruse Goose :) http://abstrusegoose.com/342 It's well known that any attempt to describe the spin (of say an electron) in terms of non-internal spatial coordinates is ...
9
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6answers
929 views

A die versus a quantum experiment

Let suppose you roll a die, and it falls into a hidden place, for example under furniture. Then although the experiment has already been made (the die already has a number to show), that value can not ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Momentum-Representations in Quantum Mechanics

Why do we get information about position and momentum when we go to different representations. Why is momentum, which was related to time derivative of position in classical physics, now in QM just a ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Why does lambda decay violate parity?

When a lambda particle decays into proton and a pion, I am told it does not conserve parity. Why?