Or to restate the question, does quantum mechanics or the quantum field theory state or imply that we can only observe the wave in a collapsed state?
And if they don't, do we have any promising research directions towards measurement methods that don't cause a wave collapse?
EDIT: It's probably worth clarifying that this really isn't a question about HOW wave collapse occurs. And it certainly isn't a philosophical question about different interpretations of quantum mechanics. What I would like to understand is the statement that a measurement always causes the system to jump into an eigenstate of the dynamical variable that is being measured. Is it because of the definition of what is a measurement? Or an observation based on empirical evidence? Or a result that can be mathematically derived from theory?