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14
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5answers
1k views

Linearity of quantum mechanics and nonlinearity of macroscopic physics

We live in a world where almost all macroscopic physical phenomena are non-linear, while the description of microscopic phenomena is based on quantum mechanics which is linear by definition. What are ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Schrödinger's cat; why was it necessary?

Could someone please explain to me the idea that Schrödinger was trying to illustrate by the cat in his box? I understand that he was trying to introduce the notion of the cat being both alive and ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between an entangled state, a superposed state and a cat state?

1) Can a state be entangled without also being a superposition? (Please give an example.) 2) Can a state be a superposition without being entangled? (Again, an example please.) 3) And what about ...
8
votes
3answers
504 views

If superposition is possible in QM, why do we often assume systems are already in their eigenstates?

My understanding is that an arbitrary quantum-mechanical wavefunction can be written as a linear combination of eigenfunctions of some Hermitian operator, most commonly the Hamiltonian; when a ...
8
votes
2answers
494 views

Why do neutrinos propagate in a mass eigenstate?

I am aware that flavor $\neq$ mass eigenstate, which is how mixing happens, but whenever someone talks about neutrino oscillations they tend to state without motivation that when neutrinos are ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Why is the Principle of Superposition true in EM? Does it hold more generally?

In the theory of electromagnetism (EM), why is the principle of superposition true? Can we read it off from Maxwell's equations directly? Does it have any limit of applicability or is it a ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How is quantum superposition different from mixed state?

According to Wikipedia, if a system has $50\%$ chance to be in state $\left|\psi_1\right>$ and $50\%$ to be in state $\left|\psi_2\right>$, then this is a mixed state. Now consider state ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Does the Strong Nuclear Force follow Superposition?

I have just started the study of nuclear physics in my high school, and while reading about nuclear forces and binding energy per nucleon, I found out that the nuclear forces are highly short ranged ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

What exactly does Aaron D. O'Connell's experiment show?

I watched a TED talk by the scientist Aaron D. O'Connell about actually seeing quantum superposition. The link to the talk is :- ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Experimental relationship between linear dependence and superposition

From Griffith's Introduction to Electrodynamics The principle of superposition may seem obvious to you, but it did not have to be so simple: if the electromagnetic force were proportional to the ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Differences between pure/mixed/entangled/separable/superposed states

I am currently trying to establish a clear picture of pure/mixed/entangled/separable/superposed states. In the following I will always assume a basis of $|1\rangle$ and $|0\rangle$ for my quantum ...
3
votes
3answers
234 views

Why are the energy eigenstates realized in atomic transitions?

I have a question like "Why is it often assumed that particles are found in energy eigenstates?", it is a little different, though. When one solves the hydrogen atom, one can use a polynomial Ansatz ...
3
votes
4answers
319 views

Is this statement about quantum mechanics valid?

In Philosophy of Language by William G. Lycan, there are the lines: Even apparent truths of logic, such as truths of the form "Either P or not P", might be abandoned in light of suitably weird ...
3
votes
1answer
200 views

Bra-ket notation, Bits, & Superposition

I am a quantum computing enthusiast, and recently I stumbled upon this the following two propositions: $$ \alpha|1\rangle + \beta|0\rangle$$ What does this mean? My understanding of this is that: ...
3
votes
2answers
298 views

Linearity of Quantum Mechanics?

The proof of the No-Cloning Theorem states "By the linearity of quantum mechanics, ..." -- Could someone please give me a rough sketch/outline of what this means. Does it have to do with the Hilbert ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

Can I alternate between notes really fast and have it sound like a chord?

The question basically amounts to whether I can construct the illusion of superposition with adjacent sine waves of varying frequency. Context I'm trying to play music on a Tesla Coil (like OneTesla ...
3
votes
4answers
514 views

Why is quantum entanglement so important?

Entanglement also allows multiple states to be acted on simultaneously, unlike classical bits that can only have one value at a time. Entanglement is a necessary ingredient of any quantum ...
3
votes
4answers
492 views

Is the superposition principle universal?

In David J. Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodynamics, he claims that the superposition principle is not obvious but has always been found to be consistent with the experiments. So I was wondering ...
3
votes
3answers
327 views

How can we create superposition in QM?

How can we force a particle (let's say that we know this particle has spin up) to be in a superposition of spin up and down? Wouldn't literally any interaction of it with anything cause it to be in ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Schrödinger's cat and the difficulty of macroscopic superposition state

The Schrödinger's cat was regarded as peculiar since we seldom encounter a superposition state in macroscopic scale: $$ | \mathrm{dead \,\,cat} \rangle + | \mathrm{alive \,\, cat}\rangle $$ We more ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Superpositions with two observers

This is a bit of an odd question. I'm not a physicist, so bear with me if I say something wrong. Lets say you have some sort of quantum event where matter is in a superposition. Standing next to you ...
3
votes
0answers
82 views

Superposition principle and polarization

I am reading an optics book (Physics of Light and Optics by Peatross and Ware) that asserts this: A beam of light can always be considered as an intensity sum of completely unpolarized light and ...
2
votes
4answers
205 views

Nonlinear waves superposition

Non-linear waves do not superimpose to each other, but why? What characteristics give this property?
2
votes
4answers
478 views

Does measuring destroy entanglement

Before measuring a quantum particle(photon) it exists in a superposition state, once we observe(measure) it, it settles in one of the possible states(destroying superposition). For entangled ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Undamped oscillations. Why is the solution a linear combination of $\sin()$ and $\cos()$?

$ma = mg - cx$, where $x(0) = x_0 = 0$ is the position in which there is no tension in the rope. $dx/dt = v_0$ for $t = 0$; $v_0$ is a known constant. The discriminant of the characteristic ...
2
votes
1answer
464 views

How do we know superposition exists?

How do we know superposition exists? Has it been observed, or has it been deduced, and how certain are we? The Copenhagen Interpretation seems to imply that superposition collapses into one state ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Calculating the field of an infinite flat sheet of charge using the superposition principle

I am trying to calculate the field of an infinite flat sheet of charge (a plain with uniform charge density $\sigma$) using the superposition principle. I know that the field of an infinite line ...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

Where the extra power comes from?

Suppose we have two radio waveforms each has amplitude of 1, then the total power is 2. Suppose these two waveforms add up some where constructively, then the amplitude become 2, and the total power ...
2
votes
2answers
207 views

What does the Copenhagen interpretation say about the position of a particle before measurement?

Suppose there is a particle in space. When we measure the position of that particle, we get a particular value with a probability that can be calculated from the wave function. But, according to the ...
2
votes
2answers
881 views

Is Schrödinger’s cat misleading? And what would happen if Planck constant is bigger?

Schrödinger’s cat, the thought experiment, makes it seem like as if measurement can cause a system to stop being in a superposition of states and become either one of the states (collapsed). So does ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Could there be a correlation between the earth's magnetic field and quantum superposition

I do apologise in advance for what might seem like a stupid question coming from a non-physicist. But I was wondering if the earth’s magnetic field could influence the wave pattern that one observes ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Principle of Superposition for driven oscillator

So I understand the the Superposition Principle states that all the forced oscillations, as determined by multiple external forces, are to be added up in order to get the entire solution. However, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Classical vs qubits: Superposition

Since a quantum information lecture today I have been wondering what does it really mean for a state to be in superposition? Is this something that is answerable? This is what we learnt (or what I ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Proton as superposition of hadrons: $\vert p\rangle = c_0\vert p_0\rangle+c_1\vert h\rangle+\cdots$

I have a question regarding hadron fluctuations. For instance on page 85 in Feynman's "Photon-Hadron Interactions" equation 15.2 reads: $$\tag1\vert \omega\rangle = \vert ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

What happens when you pass a current through a coil made of a ferromagnetic substance?

I know when you pass a current through a length of copper coil or a solenoid, there is the induction of a magnetic flux. But what of the coil made of the ferromagnetic material, the permanent type ...
2
votes
1answer
150 views

Can you tell if a particle is in superposition?

This may be an easy answer for anybody. Is it possible to detect if a particle A is still in a superposition via the sending a group of particles B through a box containing particle A?
1
vote
1answer
282 views

Can we use intensities in the superposition principle?

In using the superposition principle to calculate intensities in interference patterns, can we add the intensities of the waves instead of their amplitudes? I think that amplitude account for the ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Physics and Linear Differential Equations

Why in physics, most of the physical systems are modelled by linear differential equations?
1
vote
2answers
106 views

Has a photon or electron ever been observed in a state of superposition?

Has subatomic particles ever been seen in a state of superposition or do we just detect information like qubits about the state of the particle? So is actual matter in superposition or is it just ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Are we so sure about superposition?

Apparently particles can be anywhere when not observed. How strong is this theory really? Okay the wave-function can be collapsed through observation but how are we so sure that when an object is not ...
1
vote
1answer
421 views

How is a Qubit in two states under Superposition?

I have read a little about Quantum computing. From what I understand, Quantum Superposition is when a qubit is in a state $\alpha|0\rangle$ + $\beta|1\rangle$, where $\alpha$ and $\beta$ are ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Spin half for the value of $|1 0\rangle$?

Spin-1/2 The eigenspinor , $X=aX_++bX_-$ $$X_+=\left( \begin{array}{cc} 1\\ 0\end{array} \right) $$$$X_-=\left( \begin{array}{cc} 0\\ 1\end{array} \right)$$ They are define like this because they ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Summing up magnetic fields

In the case of a complex shape filiform distribution of current, are we allowed to determine the magnetic field created by sections of the distribution and then summing them up, like we do with a ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Quantum Eraser thought experiment with light photons of distinct color

I tried to recreate the Quantum Eraser experiment into a thought experiment with a few changes. It left me a little perplexed as to what outcomes I should expect. Any help would be appreciated. Lets ...
1
vote
1answer
14 views

Calculate transparency from Beer-Lambert Law

I want to calculate a transparency parameter for a superposition of several volumes containing media using the Beer-Lambert Law, which states that $$I/I_0=exp(-\tau)$$ where $I$ is the transmitted ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Intuitive explanation of the waves superposition

When the two waves collide, why do they pass right through each other? Mathematically it's due to the principle of superposition: the sum of the two solutions of a wave equation is also a solution. ...
1
vote
2answers
66 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Linear Operators and their representations

I am currently learning Quantum mechanics on a slightly advanced level. I am curious in knowing if there are Linear Operators (Linear Maps) in the Hilbert Space (finite dimensional ones) that don't ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Deriving group velocity

At the introduction to quantum mechanic phase $v_p$ and group $v_g$ velocities are often presented. I know how to derive $v_p$ and get equation: $$ \scriptsize v_p=\frac{\omega}{k} $$ What i dont ...
1
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2answers
31 views

Do unmeasured particles function the same as when measured?

If there are particles that we are uncertain of are in a state of superposition, do they still function as they would when they are measured? For instance say there is a mechanical clock, and the ...