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Collapse of the Free Particle Wave Function

The time evolution of the one-dimensional quantum mechanical free particle ($V(x) = 0$ $\forall x$) is described by the following Schroedinger equation $ -\frac{\hbar^2}{2m}\frac{\partial^2 ...
6
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2answers
390 views

Has the collapse of wave function due to observation been recorded?

I've seen pictures like this one, which depict the outcome of the Double-slit experiment with wave-like or particle features, depending how measurement has taken place. The graphic showing ...
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0answers
17 views

Average value of consecutive measurements of two observables

Suppose we had two boxes named "1" and "2", and suppose we can measure observables $A_1$ and $A_2$ from these boxes, respectively. $A_1$ and $A_2$ commute, meaning we can find a basis of simultaneous ...
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1answer
115 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 ...
0
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1answer
92 views

If Copenhagen interpretation is true, why can't a blind man throw a ball through a wall?

If it is true that particles are in different potential locations until an observer comes along and collapses the wave function, then how can a blind man throw a ball and hit a wall if the particles ...
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1answer
56 views

If the wave function can be collapsed, can we collapse the particle function? [closed]

No doubt it's been questioned before so what is the theory or experiment? If there is an experiment.
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3answers
108 views

How does wave function collapse when I measure position?

Text books say that when you measure a particle's position, its wave function collapses to one eigenstate, which is a delta function at that location. I'm confused here. A measurement always have ...
0
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2answers
169 views

Can you read and write a quantum state to a particle without collapsing its probability field?

I know the main problem with a quantum computer is that you can't read and write data from it until after it has run though all of its calculations. But would reading and writing quantum data to ...
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1answer
58 views

Does light or observation collapse wave functions? [duplicate]

I hear that observation is what causes the wave function collapse, but that doesn't make sense considering that an eye or camera is just a physical system with no particularly special properties. In ...
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2answers
82 views

What does quantum phenomena exist as prior to observation?

It's been said that according to the Schrodinger equation, independent of observation, particles exist in a state of a wave function, which is a series of potentialities rather than actual objects. ...
2
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1answer
100 views

(thought) experiment re: Bell's Theorem and Schrodinger's cat

I apologize if this question is naive. I am wondering about what would happen with the following experiment. Start with a standard Bell's Theorem setup: We have two quibits entangled in a particular ...
0
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1answer
49 views

A well-defined quantum probability in the beginning of the universe?

In mathematics or statistics, a well defined probability requires a large sample space. However, in the beginning of the universe, when the first quantum collapse happened, the sample space contains ...
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3answers
210 views

Is the Copenhagen interpretation merely an approximation to quantum mechanics?

So, I'm reading Max Tegmark's Our Mathematical Universe (Knopf edition, p. 229). He's discussing Everett/MWI for a bit and I'm not really paying attention and then I wake up to this: [I]t's time ...
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1answer
88 views

Collapse in Quantum Field Theory? [duplicate]

I do not want answers telling me that wave-function collapse is not real and decoherence is the answer (I know the situation with that). I am asking a question purely on the basis if wave-function ...
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4answers
386 views

How is it possible that quantum phenomenons (e.g. superposition) are possible when all quantum particles are being constantly observed?

I don't understand how quantum mechanics (and therefore also quantum computers) can work given that while we work with quantum states, particles that this quantum state consist of cannot be observed, ...
2
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5answers
179 views

The quantum state just after a position measurement

The wave function of a free particle is given as, $$\psi(x) ~=~ e^{-{ x }^{ 2 }/{ a }^{ 2 }}.$$ Then a position measurement is made and the position of the particle is found to be at $x=a$. My ...
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2answers
264 views

DIY Quantum Eraser Experiment by the Scientific American: Is this really quantum?

Click here for the publication. Having performed this experiment, I have gotten clean results. Essentially, a double slit is made by putting an photon beam in the way of a wire with orthogonal ...
2
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1answer
110 views

Without apparatus can we say that the system is measured(decohered) by the environment?

"Einselection" and "tridecompositional uniqueness theorem" seem to resolve the preferred basis problem. But the premise is that there are three parts in discussion.(system, apparatus, environment) ...
2
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0answers
88 views

How can the pre-measurement be fulfilled?

In the decoherence program, the pre-measurement refers to the evolution in which the system and apparatus form a Schmidt state. In Maximilian Schlosshauer's review article(2005), I read "the linearity ...
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2answers
86 views

Inexact measurement and wavefunction collapse

As is usually said, measurement of an observable $q$ leads to collapse of wavefunction to an eigenstate of the corresponding operator $\hat q$. That is, now the wavefunction in $q$ representation is ...
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3answers
190 views

Why does a wavefunction collapse when observation takes place?

Why does a wavefunction collapse when observation takes place? Can this question be explained in non mathematical terms? I have tried finding the answer but couldn't find a clear explanation.
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2answers
84 views

Discrete movement vs wave function collapse

I remember once, as a child, thinking that objects do not really "move," but that at a very small scale they would have to "disappear" and then "appear" again at their newly shifted position, just the ...
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3answers
321 views

Is the wave function of a particle re-created after a measurement stops?

Yeah, I haven't quite understood, or been told, what happens to, for example an electron and it's wavefunction, when you stop to measure it? I mean, an electron has a wave function describing it's ...
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1answer
70 views

Wave function collapse in system with many coordinates

Consider general state of a system with spin-$1/2$ $$ \psi = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\left[\phi_{+1/2}(x) \left( \begin{array}{cc} 1 \\ 0 \\ \end{array} \right) + \phi_{-1/2}(x) \left( \begin{array}{cc} 0 ...
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0answers
52 views

What exactly constitutes a measurement? [duplicate]

As far as I understand it, quantum mechanics only predicts the probabilities of finding a system in some state of some observable when we make a measurement. So, what exactly constitutes a ...
8
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1answer
112 views

Does quantum collapse involve a loss of information? Does it require energy as suggested by the Landauer Limit?

I read in the context of quantum computing or of the minimal energy required for computation that there has to be a minimum possible amount of energy required to change one bit of information, called ...
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5answers
357 views

Does an electron move from one excitation state to another, or jump?

I'm wondering, when an electron changes state, does it move from one state to another over some (very small) time period? Or does it change from one state to another in no time? If the former, what ...
0
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1answer
135 views

What happens to entangled particles when momentum is measured?

In Wikipedia it is mentioned that position and momentum can be entangled as well as spin and polarization etc. I assume etc. is charge etc. I understand how if you measure spin up on one of a pair you ...
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2answers
90 views

Does measuring the operator of a wave function collapse the wave function to the measured eigenstate?

Suppose you have a state described by the wave function $\psi(x) = \phi_1(x)+2\phi_2(x)+3\phi_3(x)$ , where the $\phi$s are normalised eigenfunctions of a Hermitian operator $\hat{O}$ with eigenvalues ...
2
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1answer
326 views

Wave function collapse

When we try to measure the position of a system, wavefunction collapses to form a spike. After a while, the wavefunction spreads again, and you take another measurement, the results will be different" ...
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2answers
124 views

Could observing unknowingly cause the wave function to collapse?

I've recently been reading (at a basic level) about the double slit experiment and how the mere act of observing can cause the "wave function to collapse", as they say. I find this mind-blowingly ...
1
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2answers
83 views

Why the wave-particle duality cannot be explained as a traveling-standing wave duality?

This would explain why speed and position cannot be measured at the same time, since either the wave would be traveling (speed) or enclosed and standing (position). The act of enclosing it (to be ...
0
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2answers
124 views

The irreducible observer

This question probably verges on pseudo-science and probably sounds like gibberish, so please pardon me. But I'll ask it anyway. In an ideal lab experiment there is generally a separation between the ...
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4answers
451 views

State collapse in Heisenberg picture

I've been studying quantum mechanics and quantum field theory for a few years now and one question continues to bother me. The Schrodinger picture allows for an evolving state, which evolves through ...
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3answers
220 views

Confusion about wavefunction separability

A wavefunction is inherently a multi-particle function. If you have a container that is perfectly isolated from the external universe (not possible, but just imagine it) and filled with $n$ ...
2
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1answer
200 views

If there is no collapse of the wave-function does this mean that the many worlds interpretation of QM must be wrong?

If as some people suggest, there is no collapse of the wave function (is there a standard name for this position), then must one rule out the many-worlds interpretation of QM ?
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2answers
402 views

What happens after the collapse of a wavefunction?

If I have a quantum system which I prepare in a certain state, this state then evolves unitarily via a Hamiltonian. Suppose an observer provokes a collapse of the wave function by a certain ...
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4answers
174 views

Quantum Collapse

When we observe a quantum object does it collapse into a point? Or does it collapse into a smaller wave of area that is out of our range of accuracy? My gut tells me the latter.
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1answer
88 views

Superposition and the Winning Jackpot Numbers

Let's say I buy myself a lottery ticket (Mega-Millions). I have $\frac{1}{175,711,536}$ chance of winning. Before I tune on the tv/radio and listen to the winning numbers (i.e. make an observation), ...
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3answers
685 views

Momentum of particle in a box

Take a unit box, the energy eigenfunctions are $\sin(n\pi x)$ (ignoring normalization constant) inside the box and 0 outside. I have read that there is no momentum operator for a particle in a box, ...
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0answers
55 views

Partial Measure Probability

Let be a $$|\psi\rangle = \dfrac{3}{5\sqrt{2}}|00 \rangle- \dfrac{3i}{5\sqrt{2}}|01 \rangle+ \dfrac{2\sqrt{2}}{5}|10 \rangle - \dfrac{2\sqrt{2} i}{5}|11 \rangle$$ state with two qubits. ...
3
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3answers
654 views

Does the observer or the camera collapse the wave function in the double slit experiment?

Ok so if we setup a camera before the slit we will find a single photon and will follow through accordingly, likewise by having a camera setup after the slit, we can retroactivly collapse the wave ...
2
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2answers
201 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 ...
5
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1answer
180 views

Does the collapse of the wave function increase entropy of the atomic system itself?

Does wave-function collapse cause the entropy of the atom (ie. the sub-atomic particle system that makes up the atom) to increase?
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4answers
423 views

How do we show that no hidden variable theories can replace QM?

I've always hit two big stumbling blocks in conceiving of the proof or disproof of hidden variable theories as being even valid idea, let alone an answerable question... I feel I must be ...
14
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4answers
343 views

Comments on entropy and the direction of time in Landau and Lifshitz's Statistical Mechanics

In Landau and Lifshitz's Stat Mech Volume I is the comment: However, despite this symmetry, quantum mechanics does in fact involve an important non-equivalence of the two directions of time. ...
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3answers
545 views

Meaning of $\int \phi^\dagger \hat A \psi \:\mathrm dx$

While analysing a problem in quantum Mechanics, I realized that I don't fully understand the physical meanings of certain integrals. I have been interpreting: $\int \phi^\dagger \hat A \psi ...
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2answers
707 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 ...
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2answers
161 views

According to wave function collapse you only have one outcome, so what happens to the other superpositions?

If the superpositions of a wave function are not needed because only one of the superpositions is allowed, what happens to the eigenvalues of the "null" superpositions? Is the energy transferred ...
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1answer
159 views

How is wavefunction probability redistributed after partial wavefunction collapse?

Suppose I set up the double-slit experiment using photons as my particle. Behind the left slit I place a beam splitter that points some of the light off in the direction of a camera (represented as ...