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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Which physically acceptable quantum interpretations do not require the existence of any observer at all?

Some interpretations of quantum mechanics — like the Copenhagen interpretation in particular — require the existence of an observer. The role of the observer is a bit mysterious. After ...
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2answers
1k views

Careers in physics that are related to quantum mechanics or relativity? [closed]

Personally I learned Physics in high-school and found it very interesting, I read up a lot about physics in my free time. Personally I am also a programmer which I think is also good when it comes to ...
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3answers
747 views

Why don't quantum effects invalidate the speed of light barrier?

While proving that no matter can reach the speed of light (a fact which I call the kinetic energy barrier), Einstein uses the fact that he can calculate the velocity and position of an electron. ...
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0answers
128 views

Identifying fragments when there is a superposition of fragments in quantum Darwinism

In Zurek's theory of quantum Darwinism, information about the pointer states of a system imprint themselves upon fragments of the environment carrying records about the state of the system. ...
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3answers
209 views

What are local electrons in a crystal?

I am reading Pekar's "Research in Electron Theory of Crystals" and I came across a passage I find a bit unclear: The theory developed below takes into account the dielectric polarization of a an ...
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1answer
142 views

What kind of interactions denote 'observation'?

I'm quite perplexed by the notion of 'observation' in regards to the collapse of a particle's probability wave. Does a particle's wave only collapse when it is involved in a strong interaction (such ...
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4answers
773 views

Locality in Quantum Mechanics

We speak of locality or non-locality of an equation in QM, depending on whether it has no differential operators of order higher than two. My question is, how could one tell from looking at the ...
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6answers
346 views

Why quantum states are classified using only conserved quantities?

While studying quantum mechanics from standard textbooks I always felt some conceptual gap that was never mentioned or explained. In what follow I tried to formulate my question, please be patient ...
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2answers
1k views

Can actual quantum effects occur on a macro scale?

I apologize if this question is posted on the wrong portion of the website, but I knew no better place to ask. I've come to see that some effects, such as super-conduction may happen at either ...
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1answer
142 views

Consideration of static atomic displacements in electronic structure calculations

I am hoping to discuss some details of electronic structure calculations. I am not an expert on this topic, so please forgive any abuse of terminology. It is my understanding that first principles ...
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3answers
860 views

J.J. Sakurai book on Q.Mech

I just want to ask how recommended is the book on quantum mechanics by J.J. Sakurai. Is it any good as an introductory text? And are there better suggestions (substitutes)? Thanks in advance
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1answer
85 views

Relativistic corrections to quantum mechanics of Coloumb potential

Systems of charged particles (such as atomic nuclei and electrons) can be described by nonrelativistic quantum mechanics with the Coloumb interaction potential. A fully relativistic description is ...
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6answers
631 views

Do we really know which slit the photon passed through in Afshar's experiment?

The plain old double slit experiment displays interference when we don't measure which slit the photon passed through, and no interference when it is measured. Let's turn our attention to the case ...
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2answers
243 views

Puzzled by $\mathrm p = -i\hbar \nabla = m \dot{\mathrm r}$?

I'm working on Physics of Atoms and Molecules by Bransden and Joachain. And I've come across the following statement, which I don't understand (p.195, ch. 4.3, "The dipole approximation") ... In ...
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6answers
2k views

Good book on the history of Quantum Mechanics?

Can anyone recommend a good book on the history of Quantum Mechanics, preferably one that is technical and not afraid to explain the maths (I did a degree in Physics many years ago) and also that ...
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2answers
303 views

Mass of the particle and gravitational field

Which mass of the particle is the source of gravitational field? If we define mass as a pole of the propagator, and calculate loop corrections to the pole we get infinities. Now the way we get rid of ...
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2answers
340 views

The Lorentz Transformations in the Micro-World

Two particles[or micro-observers] A and B are in relative uniform motion wrt each other in the x-x’ direction. The “observer” A decides to deduce[or interpret] the Lorentz Transformations wrt to B. ...
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1answer
155 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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4answers
1k views

Variation of delayed choice quantum eraser

Let me base the discussion on the pictorial description of the delayed choice quantum eraser experiment on wikipedia. First suppose that we do precisely the same thing with the lower parts of the ...
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8answers
2k views

What exactly is the 'observer' in physics and/or quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: nature of an observer For instance, in the double slit experiment, what is exactly defined as an observer? I remember from somewhere, light is also an observer?
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1answer
115 views

Cross sections and renormalization scheme

Can the result on cross section of some process be dependent on the renormalization scheme used?
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8answers
3k views

Deterministic quantum mechanics

I came across a very recent paper by Gerard 't Hooft The abstract says: It is often claimed that the collapse of the wave function and Born's rule to interpret the square of the norm as a ...
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3answers
11k views

What exactly is a quantum of light?

I am currently trying to learn some basic quantum mechanics and I am a bit confused. Wikipedia defines a photon as a quantum of light, which it further explains as some kind of a wave-packet. What ...
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2answers
135 views

How do you properly analyze decoherence when the system-environment interaction is strong?

The standard decoherence analyses work something like this. Split the universe into a system and its environment, and split the Hamiltonian as the sum of the system Hamiltonian, environment ...
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6answers
2k views

What does a unitary transformation mean in the context of an evolution equation?

Let be the unitary evolution operator of a quantum system be $U(t)=\exp(itH)$ for $t >0$. Then what is the meaning of the equation $$\det\bigl(I-U(t)e^{itE}\bigr)=0$$ where $E$ is a real ...
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0answers
202 views

Semiclassical approximation for the exponential sum (partition function)

For any real and positive $s$ and in the sense of semiclassical approximation, is this valid? $ \sum_{n}exp(-sE_{n})\sim \iint_{C}dxdpe^{-s(p^{2}+V(x))}$ valid for every $s$ Here simply both the sum ...
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10answers
12k views

Does the Pauli exclusion principle instantaneously affect distant electrons?

According to Brian Cox in his A night with the Stars lecture$^1$, the Pauli exclusion principle means that no electron in the universe can have the same energy state as any other electron in the ...
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2answers
770 views

Assumptions in Heisenberg's 1925 paper

I am not entirely clear as to what were the bases for Heisenberg's assumptions in his 1925 paper. He claims that one cannot consider relations between quantities that are unobservable "in principle", ...
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3answers
1k views

Index Manipulation and Angular Momentum Commutator Relations

I have been trying for hours and cannot figure it out. I am not asking anyone to do it for me, but to understand how to proceed. We have the relations $$[L_i,p_j] ~=~ i\hbar\; \epsilon_{ijk}p_k,$$ ...
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5answers
884 views

Observable: possible outcome of measurement vs (linear) transformation

One of the postulates of quantum mechanics is that every physical observable corresponds to a Hermitian operator $H$, that the possible outcomes of the measurements are eigenvalues of the operator, ...
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3answers
388 views

Is energy conserved in decay of hydrogen atom in superposed state?

This looks like a paradox. Let's say we have an hydrogen atom. Superposition of states could be possible for electrons. But if an electron is in a superposition, I guess it could decay into a lower ...
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1answer
440 views

Physical interpretation of Wheeler - Dewitt equation

What is the mainstream ( if there is one ) interpretation of the Wheeler - Dewitt equation $\hat{H}\Psi =0$ ?
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4answers
523 views

Atom Theory vs Quantum Physics

This never really occurred to me until now, so maybe it does not categorize as a really important question, but, according to Quantum Mechanics, anything that is not observed exists as a probability ...
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2answers
251 views

Reconstruction of information stored in an evaporating black hole from the emission spectrum?

For simple setups, where the radiation field deviates not too far from thermodynamic equilibrium (< 10 %), corrections to the Planckian thermal emission spectrum can be calculated (and measured) ...
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1answer
4k views

Can you magnetize iron with a hammer?

We know that a piece of ferromagnet, such as iron, can be magnetized by putting in a strong magnetic field to get domains parallel to the field grow. I also remember from pop. culture and MacGyver ...
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2answers
243 views

Can the Heisenberg interpretation or path integrals apply to open quantum systems?

It has been claimed by some people that Schrödinger's picture is more misleading compared to the Heisenberg principle or path integrals, and that we would be better off abandoning the ...
4
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1answer
1k views

The implication of anti-commutation relations in quantum mechanics

All the textbooks I saw are very clear about the implications of commutating operators in quantum mechanics. However, much less is said about anti-commutation relations. Does it have a general ...
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8answers
2k views

Why do quantum physical properties come in pairs?

Why do quantum physical properties come in pairs, governed by the uncertainty principle (that is, position and momentum?) Why not in groups of three, four, etc.?
2
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1answer
801 views

“Completeness” of eigenvectors in a complete, commuting set

This question was originally the one below dashed line. Now after further discussions, it has boiled down to this question: Is the following construction possible? Suppose we have a 3 dimensional ket ...
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2answers
378 views

Momentum Energy and Higgs

So, as an object accelerates it gains energy. And energy is mass. So an object becomes more massive as it approaches the speed of light. But, if mass is ONLY due to an object's interaction with the ...
3
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1answer
379 views

Higgs Field compared to EM field

So, I've been reading about the Higgs because of all of this excitement lately with the LHC. I'm just a layman in physics but one thing I understood was that the Higgs field permeates all of space ...
5
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2answers
156 views

Can quantum measurement process be thought of as a sieve?

Consider an observable represented by the Hermitian operator $$A=\sum_{a'}a' |a'\rangle \langle a'|.$$ As I read on Sakurai's textbook, the process of measuring $A$ throws a system ...
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2answers
438 views

Einstein's Mass-Energy Equivalence versus Quantum Kinetic Energy

Using a naive view of Einstein's Energy Mass Equivalence $E=mc^2$ (where m is mass and c is the speed of light), it seems tempting to interpret this as a quantum mechanical version of the inherent ...
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1answer
287 views

Numerical algorithms to generate a random wavefunction from a thermal ensemble

I am seeking an algorithm to generate a random wavefunction = $\sum {c_i |\varphi _i\rangle }$ from a thermal ensemble, whose density matrix $\rho \sim e^{-\beta H}$, without the need to diagonalize ...
5
votes
1answer
487 views

Time-ordering vs normal-ordering and the two-point function/propagator

I don't understand how to calculate this generalized two-point function or propagator, used in some advanced topics in quantum field theory, a normal ordered product (denoted between $::$) is ...
2
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2answers
145 views

What are some examples of how the discovery of dark energy can impact other, seemingly unrelated, branches of physics?

We know that dark energy is leading to the accelerating expansion of the universe and therefore determines the ultimate fate of our universe, but what other implications might it have on physics and ...
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2answers
199 views

Can the implications of dark energy be used to bridge the gap between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity?

Can the findings of the Physics Nobel Laureates of 2011, namely the overpowering existence of dark energy (vacuum energy) have any implications in the quest the combine Quantum Mechanics and General ...
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1answer
456 views

Pauli Matrices in orthogonal space

In some literature there is reference to $\tau$ matrices which are the same pauli matrices in an orthogonal space. I have not seen any explicit constructions of this anywhere. Could someone tell me or ...
3
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1answer
961 views

How to write the Fröhlich Hamiltonian in one dimension?

I am currently working on a (functional) analysis problem refining Pekar's Ansatz (or adiabatic approximation, as it is called in his beautiful 1961 manuscript "Research in Electron Theory of ...
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1answer
282 views

Crystal Field Theory

I am literally lost with this question: Suppose that within the set of (2L+1)(2S+1) lowest-lying ionic states the crystal field can be represented in the form a(L_x)^2 + b(L_y)^2 + c(L_z)^2, with ...