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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12
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3answers
10k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Why tensor product? [duplicate]

Let $A$ an $B$ be two discrete observables (like spins). When exactly and why we have to consider their tensor product when talking about the mutual observation of the corresponding phenomena?
-5
votes
0answers
83 views

Funny quantum joke [duplicate]

Ok guys, this should be a fuzzy/silly question, but I have to understand why we do that (id est: the sign meaning). Let's suppose I want to describe, as a joke, the classical state of a coffee ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Probability flux: spatial variation of the phase equal to momentum?

We can write any wave function as $$\psi(\vec x, t) = \sqrt{\rho(\vec x,t)}\exp{\left[\frac{iS(\vec x,t)}{\hbar}\right]}$$ for $S$ real and $\rho >0$. Here we interpret $\rho$ as the probability ...
2
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0answers
137 views
+100

Are universally valid possibilistic theories possible?

This is a spin-off of the following question: Are Thomas Breuer's subjective decoherence and Scott Aaronson's freebits with knightian freedom the same things in essence? Given that Thomas ...
4
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2answers
140 views

How can mean value of a quantity $be$ an operator?

In Laundau & Lifshitz Quantum Mechanics. Non-relativistic theory in $\S29$ a problem is given: PROBLEM Average the tensor $n_in_k-\frac13\delta_{ik}$ (where $\mathbf{n}$ is a unit vector along ...
0
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5answers
255 views

Why do we need a wave function?

Assuming our only aim is to solve double slit experiment (or other problems that can be mapped into that). Knowing that electron does some strange thing not expected of a particle, we need a function ...
4
votes
4answers
586 views

What is the difference between + and - signs in superpositions of quantum states?

What is the difference between states $$ \frac1{\sqrt{2}} |11\rangle+\frac1{\sqrt{2}} |00\rangle $$ and $$ \frac1{\sqrt{2}} |11\rangle- \frac1{\sqrt{2}} |00\rangle~? $$ They will all eventually ...
2
votes
3answers
145 views

Physical interpretation of applying a unitary operator to a state

When we apply one of the Pauli matrices $\sigma_y$ on one of its eigen-vectors $| \odot \rangle$, what does the eigen-value tell us about $| \odot \rangle$? Is this considered a measurement of $| ...
-1
votes
0answers
89 views

Quantum mechanics class [on hold]

I have a (strange) question about quantum mechanics graduate level courses. I am a first-year graduate student currently taking graduate quantum mechanics. We were given an exam this morning which I ...
7
votes
7answers
888 views

Entropy increase vs Conservation of information (QM)

Unitarity of quantum mechanics prohibits information destruction. On the other hand, the second law of thermodynamics claims entropy to be increasing. If entropy is to be thought of as a measure of ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

How does many-worlds interpretation make measurement unitary?

Does many-worlds interpretation of QM make the process of measurement (wavefunction collapse) be an unitary transform? If so, how does it do this? If we have an "object" qubit in state ...
-1
votes
6answers
377 views

Could this mean that Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment is false?

Since it is uncertain on whether or not the cat could be dead or alive, it is concluded that it depends on the observer to make it either dead or alive. But lets look at a clock. It doesn't take ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Fermions in a well

I have two identical fermions in an infinite potential well. They are non-interacting. How should I show that the first excited state is four-fold degenerate? Is the wavefunction just the ...
7
votes
3answers
152 views

limit as $x_1 \to x_0$, propagator for the harmonic oscillator

Consider a non-relativistic particle of mass $m$, moving along the $x$-axis in a potential $V(x) = m\omega^2x^2/2$. use path-integral methods to find the probability to find the particle between ...
-2
votes
2answers
77 views

Is the formula for Schrodinger's equation on Wikipedia incorrect?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger_equation#Time-dependent_equation On Wikipedia, the SWE contains a term called reduced mass. After consulting several peers, no one knows what this has to ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

A few questions on wave packets and uncertainty relations

According to Cohen-Tannoudji the wave-function for a one-dimensional free particle can be written as $$ \psi (x,0)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi}} \int g(k) e^{ikx} dk.$$ While $g(k)$ is not specified, there ...
0
votes
2answers
46 views

What is the purpose of knowing the value of ground state energy of a potential well?

Using the formula $$E ~=~ \frac{\pi^2\hbar^2}{2 m a^2}$$ where $a$ is the length of an infinite potential well. It is apparent that as $a$ get smaller i.e. from a metal to the size of an atom, the ...
0
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0answers
40 views

Increasing Lattice Size in Quantum Espresso [on hold]

Quantum Espresso, a DFT simulation software, currently simulates only 8 atoms. How can be increase the number of atoms to say 64? Do we manually insert the ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Does a static electric field act continuously?

Electromagnetic radiation is emitted and absorbed in discrete units, photons. One photon's energy is described by the well known $E = hf$ formula. Now, if you a have static electric field that ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

What is the logic behind the thinking that electron must take a complicated path through the two slits?

Electrons moved in lumps, but unlike bullets, there was interference at the backstop. How? How can such an interference come about? Perhaps we should say: "Well, that means, presumably that it is ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Slit width for minimum spot size in electron slit diffraction if involving uncertainity principle

I don't believe the following is an accurate description of the physical but a homework problem to help understanding. A beam of electron of energy 0.025 eV moving along x-direction, passes ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

Expression of density operator

States in Quantum Mechanics can be thought of as density operators, i.e., positive semi-definite, normalized trace class operators on a Hilbert Space $\mathcal{H}$. In the case ...
15
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5answers
3k views

How does the concept of a “black body” make any sense?

In my introductory chemistry class, we are learning about the basics of quantum mechanics. We were introduced to the concept of emission and absorption spectra. Our textbook describes how electrons ...
2
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2answers
40 views

Why are holes (in a semi conductor) regarded as particle?

Can I say that holes in a semiconductors are treated as current-carrying conventional direction ?
3
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2answers
119 views

Has this retrocausality experiment been done?

The delayed choice quantum eraser experiment implies that the order of events is violated when a photon has chosen it's path, i.e. retrocausality (see ...
0
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0answers
39 views

Do electrons actually spin (what is spin)? [duplicate]

I read that electrons give off a magnetic field from their "spin" but I also read that they don't spin in the way we usually consider as spinning. So my question is what is spin, if particles aren't ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Uncertainty relation for non-simultaneous observation

Heisenberg's uncertainty relation in the Robertson-Schroedinger formulation is written as, $$\sigma_A^2 \sigma_B^2 \geq |\frac{1}{2} \langle\{\hat A, \hat B\}\rangle -\langle \hat A\rangle\langle ...
1
vote
4answers
253 views

Meaning of spin operator

I am learning about spin in QM and I was wondering if $\langle{\psi}|\hat{S}_z|\psi\rangle$ where $\psi$ is a spin wave function, is a meaningful quantity? In the case of the Hamiltonian $\hat{H}$, ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

How do I show that a given Hamiltonian does not affect the overall number of particles in a given state?

I'm struggling with the following problem: Consider a system of an arbitrary number of indistinguishable bosonic particles. The system has two sites and $a_i^{\dagger}$ and $a_i$ are the ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

An error in my understanding of entanglement

Based on my knowledge of quantum entanglement, I can set up a scenario which leads to a contradiction with the No-communication theorem. Please help me find the flaw. Suppose Alice wants to ...
16
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4answers
1k views

Validity of naively computing the de Broglie wavelength of a macroscopic object

Many introductory quantum mechanics textbooks include simple exercises on computing the de Broglie wavelength of macroscopic objects, often contrasting the results with that of a proton, etc. For ...
0
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1answer
77 views

What is many-body bound state?

Bound state by definition is a state when particles are bounded together, so then "many-body bound state" would be bound state for a system of many bodies. Then I have several puzzles: 1. is the state ...
-3
votes
1answer
635 views

Does this experiment on wave-particle duality and complementarity disprove quantum mechanics and prove the EPR viewpoint on it?

I recently read Photons act like they go through two paths, even when we know which they took, at Ars Technica, which reports on the paper Wave-particle dualism and complementarity unraveled ...
3
votes
1answer
209 views

What is the Philosophy Behind Relational Quantum Mechanics?

I watched this video on Relational Quantum Mechanics yesterday and my brain has been trying to comprehend it since. The interpretation I currently have is this: If an observer O measures the state S ...
1
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0answers
19 views

Why is the potential minimum of a molecule shifted towards greater nucleii separation for excited electron states?

I know it has to do with symmetry of the wave function, but I am having trouble piecing it all together. For a positive H ion we have a symmetric wave function $\psi_{+}$, which base functions ...
0
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0answers
9 views

how far away from stable equilibrium is sys+res master equation valid?

just wondering how reliable the standard development of system+reservoir master equation model is from equilibrium. Thanks!
0
votes
3answers
109 views

How far back can you trace a photon?

You have a photomultiplier tube pointed at a distant star, exactly 100 light years away. It's perfectly set up so that nothing can get into the tube unless it came from that star. Every hour or so, ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

What Quantum Entanglement is NOT? [closed]

What are the most insightful experiments on Quantum Entanglement undertaken in the last few years showing what it is not? What insights did we gain from does constructive failures? Is there a current ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Tensor product notation in quantum mechanics

I'm a bit confused about the use of Tensor products in Quantum mechanics. For instance if two electrons are in the state $\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(a(r_1)b(r_2)-b(r_1)a(r_2))\otimes \lvert \downarrow ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Derivative of a function of an operator [closed]

I would like to calculate something like $$K\left(z\right)=\dfrac{dF\left(A\left(z\right)+B\left(z\right)\right)}{dz}$$ i.e. the derivative of a function $F$ of a sum of two operators $A$ and $B$ ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Contructive Proof of 2nd Quantization form of Operators

Is there a constructive proof for these forms of operators in second quantization $$R= \sum \limits_a \sum \limits_b \langle a | R_1 | b \rangle C_a^\dagger C_b $$ using the general form $R = \sum ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Connection between half and whole integer eigenvalues for orbital angular momentum [duplicate]

I have been trying to follow this derivation from Sakurai and Shankar, pulling from both. I would like to see how the following derivation can be extended to orbital angular momentum, and thus find ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

The uncertainty principle and spin

I realize that this may be a very basic question, but I've been unable to find the answer elsewhere so thanks in advance for the help. Suppose an electron's spin is measured about an axis, and then ...
-2
votes
0answers
51 views

Quantum Physics..so what do you think? [duplicate]

We have de Broglie's equation for the wavelength of matter waves.well...we know that we neglect it in classical mechanics.Consider a space rocket or something that 's moving really fast.In a space ...
1
vote
0answers
31 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 ...
0
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0answers
10 views

Explanation for orientation entanglement

I have to write a summary for "orientation-entanglement": the state of an object/subsystem depends in general not only (locally) on its configuration in space, but also (nonlocally) on its topological ...