Questions tagged [measurement-problem]

DO NOT USE THIS TAG just because your question involves measurements (either quantum or classical). The measurement problem asks how wave function collapse occurs during measurement in quantum mechanics, and how it can be reconciled with unitary evolution.

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54 views

Why is $\Delta x$ or $\Delta p$ constant for a particular $\psi_n$?

We were asked to calculate $\Delta x \Delta p$ for the $\psi_0,\psi_1$ of the harmonic oscillator.And so we calculated the answers and verified that $$\langle T \rangle +\langle V\rangle = (n+1/2)\...
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Does the particle interfere with itself, or the observer?

In the double slit experiment, the observer doesn't know which slit the photon went through so the wavefunction is modelled as going through both slits at once and thus there's interference on the ...
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1answer
57 views

How could one ever settle with a coin flip?

Suppose that one could "flip" a coin, and that it settled onto a platform. For simplicity, let the coin processed with the nonzero angular momentum on $y$ axis only. To further simplify the ...
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Can we think about a particle trapped in a potential well in terms of “quantum measurement”?

Usually, when I'm thinking about a quantum measurement, I see a sort of particle that is being hit by a photon. The more energy the photon carries, the more the momentum of the particle is disturbed, ...
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Different realizations of single-electron double-slit experiment

Recently I was reading about the real world realization of the double-slit experiment, in which we shoot single electrons. The final detection on the rear screen is done "by collecting the transmitted ...
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1answer
80 views

Resolving the measurement problem with mathematical theorems? [closed]

The key debate, around the measurement problem is whether collapse should be interpreted as a physical process(Bohmian Mechanics) or as an immaterial process(e.g. Copenhagen Interpretation, ...
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1answer
53 views

When you observed an quantum measurement, do you know the measurement result?

Consider a quantum system A with state $|a\rangle$. Scientist B use an instrument to measure A. The state collapse and obtained an result. Suppose there is an observer C, treating B and its ...
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38 views

Is it possible to observe a quantum probability distribution?

Is it possible to observe the probability distribution of a quantum particle in real time? So not to observe A state, which would collapse the wavefunction, but observe the whole wave and its ...
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100 views

Definition of an “Observer” in regards to quantum physics and consciousness involvement [duplicate]

Each time I look video in regards to quantum physics there is almost always one point where they claim small matter can be represented by a wave function (can be everywhere but the item in question ...
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Does the energy and/or mass of an electron change during the act of measurement and so the wavefunction collapse?

In the double-slit experiment, if we want to know which slit did the electron go through, we have to use a laser that gives an energy to the electron. Now, I have two questions: 1. Does the energy of ...
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Many worlds & non-local correlation

I just finished Sean Carroll's Something Deeply Hidden, and found it the best explanation of MWI I've ever seen, and even find that I have no good arguments against it; the parts I understand seem ...
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1answer
72 views

Quantum mechanics and the “measurement problem,” any recent advancement? [closed]

Lately, I've tried to use Google in an attempt to understand the concepts of wave function collapse and quantum decoherence. So far though, things sound a bit contradictory. If the the actual ...
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In the electron's double slits experiment, what causes the electron's wave function to collapse at the screen?

In this figure from Wikipedia, we know that electron's wavefunction collapse at screen F, causing an interference pattern. Does it mean that in this case when the wavefront arrives at the screen, the ...
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1answer
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If I want to measure an electron how would I do it?

If I look at the Electron to see it then a Photon must of hit the Electron. So I have no idea of what the Electron was doing before I looked at it. To find its position again I need to perform a ...
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Decoherence and measurement in simple terms?

I don't know about physics. Say there are only two electrons in the universe, so there is a probability distribution of their position, speed etc. They are in each other's observable universe so they ...
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103 views

Are results of “quantum eraser experiment” same both for particles moving at the speed of light and slower ones?

Recently I've encountered a video about the quantum eraser experiment. I was curious, if results of this experiment are the same for entangled particles moving with the speed of light and slower ones?
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Is it possible to use Bayesian method in improving the measuring conditions and accuracy of an electron's (or photon) momentum and position?

for you who need a definition for what a "Bayesian method" is, and as per wiki's easy definition. it's a method of statistical inference in which Bayes' theorem is used to update the probability for a ...
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91 views

Is the future set? [duplicate]

If we know the state of the universe at a certain point in time, is the future set? There have been quite a few similar questions on here and some of the answers were quite useful to me. But there is ...
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1answer
76 views

Realtivity and the measurement problem

If a quantum system is prepared and the eigenvalues are known but the experimenter gets in a spaceship and rockets off in a particular direction at relativistic speeds and then performs the ...
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1answer
63 views

Unitarily reversing a projective measurement

We start with a particle in a pure superposition state. Let's say it is, $$\vert\psi\rangle = \frac{1}{2}(\vert 0\rangle + \vert 1\rangle)$$ Alice sends this particle inside a box and the box ...
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1answer
25 views

Uncertainty and error in a measurement

I do not find a clear and simple explanation of the difference between uncertainty and error of a measurement. Basically, in a measurement, uncertainty is defined as the standard deviation of the ...
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5k views

Isn't the detector always measuring, and thus always collapsing the state?

I have a radioactive particle in a box, prepared so as to initially be in a pure state $\psi_0 =1\ \theta_U+ 0\ \theta_D$ (U is Undecayed, D is Decayed). I put a Geiger counter in the box. Over ...
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2answers
85 views

Does measurement of quantum system always collapses the state of system?

Does measurement in quantum mechanics always disturb the system? The measurement postulate states that "when we do a measurement on a quantum system, the state of the system is collapsed to one of ...
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1answer
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Measurement postulate and black hole information paradox: are they related somehow?

The measurement postulate states that whenever we make a quantum measurement, we select (projection) from the general superposition state a single pure state. Thus, as a general quantum state is a ...
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12answers
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How can Schrödinger's cat be both dead and alive? [closed]

So, this goes to something so fundamental, I can barely express it. The Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment ultimately asserts that, until the box is opened, the cat is both dead AND alive. Now, ...
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Entropy of measurements; is the Von Neumann entropy lying?

Pre-measurement Let $\left| \psi \right>$ be a pure state: $$ \left| \psi \right> = a \left| 0 \right> + b \left| 1 \right> $$ The density matrix of $\left| \psi \right>$ is: $$ \...
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3answers
202 views

Are all processes time/CPT-reversible, e.g. measurement, stimulated emission, state preparation, Big Bang?

"The CPT theorem says that CPT symmetry holds for all physical phenomena, or more precisely, that any Lorentz invariant local quantum field theory with a Hermitian Hamiltonian must have CPT symmetry." ...
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Penrose experiment

I just read about Penrose interpretation theory about the wave function collapse: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose_interpretation, which could be confirmed/infirmed by the following experiment: ...
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1answer
104 views

Measuring small changes in length using the micrometer screw gauge

Which of the following method/instrument cannot be used to measure small changes of the order of a millimeter occurring in a length of about 50cm. 1)spherometer 2)travelling microscope 3)meter ...
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210 views

If the wavefunction is continuous how can the many-worlds be discrete?

Preamble for clarity: The many worlds interpretation is usually used to explain the measurement of a 2 level system ($|0\rangle$ or $|1\rangle$) as: $$\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}(|0\rangle+|1\rangle)|\text{...
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150 views

What is in physical term meaning of penetration of a potential barrier?

While solving the quantum mechanical case of potential barrier meaning - $$\text{E} <\text{V} $$ The transmission coefficient is nonzero. My problem is what is happening with particle motion Has ...
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138 views

Are superpositions contagious?

Does quantum mechanics really predict that a particle prepared in a state of superposition of spin will result, after being measured by an appropriate instrument (Stern-Gerlach device), in a ...
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1answer
87 views

Quantum mechanics limits to understanding the Universe [closed]

By definition, a wave function does not describe a particle's state exactly, we can only know that information when we make measurements and thus collapse the wave function. This gives us a lot of ...
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1answer
88 views

Can we craft a Hamiltonian such that the measurement is consistent with the discrete measurement taught in Quantum physics?

So the way I understand this, the way measurement is taught is that you have a wave function $\Psi(t)$. It's evolution over time is : $$i \hbar \frac{d}{d t}\vert\Psi(t)\rangle = \hat H(t)\vert\Psi(t)...
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103 views

In QM does the observer really perturb the system to make a measurement?

It is commonly taught in introductory QM courses that in order to get to know the position or momentum of a particle, be it by "sending a photon" or similar experiments, the measurement necessarily ...
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1answer
499 views

Is the Born rule indeed wrong?

This is a question about the validity of a preprint, arXiv:quant-ph/0509089, which claims that the "Copenhagen Interpretation of QM is incorrect" (same title, authored by Guang-Liang Li and Victor O.K....
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102 views

What is the simplest model of a quantum measurement on a 2 level system

What is the simplest physical system which can be used to model the quantum measurement of a 2 level system? For example, can the following, spin coupled to a harmonic bath, be used to model a ...
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2answers
104 views

Does observation in quantum theories always imply interaction (affecting quantum system with photons, electromagnetic fields, etc.)?

The term observation is obscure. As I see so far, observation is always done by means of affecting (!) the quantum system by some means - often photons or electromagnetic waves or whatever else. ...
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120 views

Measurement problem: Origin of probabilities in Many-Worlds Interpretation

As far as I can tell there appears to be an active group of academics (including the likes of Sean Carrol) who believe in the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, but feel that the origin ...
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Can wave collapse during measurement be avoided with a better experiment / measurement apparatus?

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 ...
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1answer
122 views

Why does the interaction with environment remove the basis ambiguity : decoherence theory

In decoherence theory, we try to remove the measurement postulate from Q.M to replace it by unitary evolutions. Consider a two level system $S$, an apparatus $A$ and the environment $E$. A first ...
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111 views

Is this decoherence?

I have a very basic understanting of decoherence (i.e. I,ve read the Wikipedia page), but I was recently reading Heisenberg's The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory and I came across a thought ...
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1answer
170 views

Full Hilbert space of a particle

Given the Hilbert space $H$ of a single particle, we know we can write \begin{equation} H = H_{spatial}\otimes H_{other} \end{equation} where $H_{spatial}$ is spanned by the possible position states ...
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Why aren't particles constantly “measured” by the whole universe?

Let's say we are doing the double slit experiment with electrons. We get an interference pattern, and if we put detectors at slits, then we get two piles pattern because we measure electrons' ...
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3answers
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Why is wave-function collapse still being taught in quantum mechanics? [closed]

I don't really understand why wave-function collapse is still being taught while we seem to have better interpretations of QM available nowadays. During the early development of quantum mechanics the ...
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240 views

Conceptual understanding of operators in QM

Do operators in QM represent in some fashion the action of the measurement apparatus on a state being measured? Usually operators in QM are introduced as abstract transformations whose eigenvectors/...
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1answer
114 views

Is sole projection onto a subspace of a system associated with a quantum mechanical measurement?

I'm a little confused about a recent discussion, where a one dimensional wave-function $\Psi(x)$ was considered, associated with a state $$|\Psi\rangle = \int dx \, \Psi(x) |x\rangle .$$ Now ...
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2answers
112 views

Doing Stern-Gerlach experiment without blocking the atoms in the $-x$ direction

In quantum mechanics, in general, it is stated that the act of measurement changes the state of the system. For example, consider the following Stern-Gerlach setup; A beam of silver atoms first passes ...
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1answer
90 views

Is is possible to have a pair commuting observables only in a single direction?

In quantum mechanics, for two observables to be compatible, successive measurements of the observables, say $A$ and $B$, should yield the same result as earlier, i.e if we do the measurements with the ...
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152 views

What’s a measurement qualifier in the double-slit experiment

In the double-slit experiment why does the light hitting the back screen not result in a measurement? How far away from the slit can the measurement take place and still cause a wave collapse and is ...

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