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Questions tagged [superposition]

A basic principle of solutions of *linear* differential (often wave) equations, ensuring that the sum ("superposition") of two solutions is automatically a solution as well. Conversely, solutions (amounting to quantum states in quantum mechanics, since the Schrödinger equation is linear) can be represented as a sum of two or more other distinct solutions, and so can be Fourier/eigenstate resolved to enhance mathematical tractability.

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Do Helium-4 atoms behave like photons?

I know that the Helium-4 atom is a boson. Does this mean that, like photons, many Helium-4 atoms can be placed at the same point in space? How its possible? It includes fermions (Protons, Neutrons, ...
reza's user avatar
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Quantum: why linear combination of vectors (superposition) is described as "both at the same time"?

I want to get a better understanding of quantum phenomena and out world in general. Before long I've thought of Schrödinger cat as being both alive and dead (or spin both up and down). Now after some ...
Martian2020's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why does entropy obey the superposition principle?

I was deriving the Boltzmann's entropy formula $${\displaystyle S=k_{\mathrm {B} }\ln \Omega}$$ We start with two prepositions: Let's consider two systems and we know the entropy of the first is $S_1$...
User198's user avatar
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Superposition of photons entering human eyes

Based on the Double Slit Experiment and the Mach-Zehnder Interferometer is it reasonable that a single photon enter both eyes of one person?
Bob S's user avatar
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1 answer
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Example of a classical correlation and a quantum correlation

I'm trying to understand the fundamental differences between classical and quantum correlations through examples of a quantum entangled state and a classically correlated state. I know that this is an ...
daniele's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Why are forces superimposable in Classical Mechanics? Does this also apply in higher theories like General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics?

In classical mechanics, forces are treated as vectors and are added linearly. Is this principle to be treated as an axiom or is there some underlying principle from which this is derived? And given ...
Vivek Kalita's user avatar
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2 answers
71 views

Loss of coherence in the double-slit experiment

Let's suppose we perform the double-slit experiment, using two detectors to detect which slit the particle has passed through. I describe the detectors using quantum mechanics, so they are represented ...
daniele's user avatar
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Does one electron in superposition repel itself?

Consider Quantum Electrodynamics, and consider the electron field to be in a state which is a superposition of two wavepackets, each located in a different spatial position. Explicitly: $$|\psi\rangle ...
Rick's user avatar
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Is spontaneous symmetry breaking possible without wave function collapse?

This is just a basic question to check my understanding (as a non-physicist). An example to explain spontaneous symmetry breaking is given as follows: There is a particle that lies on the top of a ...
user56834's user avatar
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Decomposition of $(x \pm i y) \, Y_{l m}$ and $z \, Y_{l m}$ on spherical harmonics

Using the various algebraic properties of the associated Legendre polynomials $P_l^m(u)$ and of the spherical harmonics $Y_{l m}(\theta, \varphi)$, I was able to decompose the following expressions, ...
Cham's user avatar
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Total blackbody spectrum from two objects at different temperatures

I was wondering what the intensity spectrum would look like when collecting the light emitted by two objects (same material properties, emissivity etc.) at two different temperatures. Or alternatively,...
Lucas1678's user avatar
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Mach-Zehnder interferometer and superposition

I've a doubt on interpretation of superposition in the interferometer Is it correct to say that in the Mach-Zehnder interferometer, the photon exists in a state of quantum superposition of the two ...
daniele's user avatar
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1 answer
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Amplitude superposition for different kinds of particles

We have seen that the probability of finding a particle at a particular point is the square of its wave function. In the double slit experiment, we notice that wave functions add up and the resultant ...
Users's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Question about amplitude of wave [closed]

Is it always true that: $$\text{Incident Amplitude} = \text{Transmitted Amplitude} - \text{Reflected Amplitude}?$$
Shantanu Binekar's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
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Is Schrodinger's cat a bad analogy? [closed]

I have decided to completely revamp and simplify this question in the light of the down votes. The question is simple. What is it about Schrondinger's cat thought experiment, that demonstrates the cat ...
KDP's user avatar
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Can we set up an experiment in which Schrodinger's cat is hidden?

Here is a thought experiment that I would like to turn into reality. An electron is prepared in a superposition of up and down The electron passes through a hole into a box that is completely ...
Peter A's user avatar
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Asymptotic form of wavefunctions in case of $k$ one-dimensional asymptotic regions

I'm reading the paper Hamiltonian Truncation Study of Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics, and am struggling to understand some things about section 2. In particular eqn 2.2, and how to think about the ...
Gleeson's user avatar
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A simple question in quanum mechanics on position and momenum eigenstates

The eigenfunctions (eigenstates) for the momentum of a particle are given by the plane waves $$\phi(x,t) = \sin(kx - \omega t)$$ If we sum a large number of these waves in a range from $0$ to $k_m$, ...
Anky Physics's user avatar
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Is the $n=0$ antinodal line in a double slit experiment constant loudness at all points?

If we assume a normal double-slit experiment with two speakers that produce identical sound waves, is the $n=0$ antinodal line going to have a consistent loudness wherever point on it? As the crest ...
Woo Luke's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

How does spacetime curve around an object in superposition?

I'm trying to learn quantum mechanics and this is a question that came to mind. I tried searching for it online, but I couldn't find a good answer (or at least one I could understand). From what I ...
maniac's user avatar
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Why a state, $|\Psi\rangle=c_A|\vec{x}_A\rangle+c_B|\vec{x}_B\rangle$, doesn't occur for macro but only for micro objects?

Why are macroscopic objects, for example, a wine glass, never found in a superposition of a position eigenstate localized at $A$ and another localized at $B$? Why does it never exist in a state $|\Psi\...
Solidification's user avatar
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Destructive interference of Gravitational Waves and the Conservation of Energy

Destructive interferences are interesting for a physics student, specifically when checking the Energy Conservation. In the case of destructive EM waves or String waves it is easy to understand where ...
TheFyziker's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
112 views

Relation between classical probability and quantum probability formulae

Assuming superposition state $$ \Psi = C_1 \psi_1 + C_2 \psi_2 $$ ,one can write the expectation value $\langle A \rangle$ of a physical magnitude A as follows $$ \langle A\rangle = P_1 \langle A\...
Takopako's user avatar
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Nature of a superposition of states: is it true or only theoretical?

For quantum mechanics, a certain property of a subatomic particle, e.g. the spin of an electron, which can be either up or down, is a "superposition of states," and one of the two conditions,...
Bml's user avatar
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2 answers
66 views

Is the Huygens' principle consistent for intersecting wavefronts?

When refraction takes place at the interface of two media, wavefronts can be extended to intersect as below: At point of intersection, light requires no time to travel between the wavefronts. However,...
worksifitdoes's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
61 views

Why does the beam splitter create superposition?

Why does the beam splitter create superposition ? Ok, in a double slit you have 2 holes in a wall, and thus there are 2 ways through which the particle to go. But in a beam splitter where are those 2 ...
Abc2000ro's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
115 views

Notation for spatially superposed particle using vacuum modes - Why the state of the particle and vacuum is entangled, not separable?

We have two places, call them Here and There where a particle could be. When the particle isn’t spatially superposed we write its state as $ |1\rangle_{Here}\otimes|0\rangle_{There}$ zero being the ...
Sutasu's user avatar
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7 votes
6 answers
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Why does white light appear white?

When I think of white light, I'm imagining a combination of all 7 colors of light but I believe that since light has wave nature I can say that at some point that the probability density of red light ...
Gauransh's user avatar
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2 answers
144 views

How many 'wavelengths of length' can a wave have? [closed]

Since a wavelength, $\lambda$, is the length of a entire cycle How many $\lambda$ (complete cycles) can a composed wave have? I mean, for $n \lambda$, how big can $n$ be? And what does it mean, ...
Iberis's user avatar
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2 votes
6 answers
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How come two electrons interfere? [duplicate]

This is something I have read many times that the double slit experiment done with electrons produce the same pattern that we get with light i.e. the electrons undergo superposition similar to that of ...
Ankit's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
84 views

Intuition behind Huygens' Principle?

I have recently started learning about physical or wave optics and one of the initial topics is Huygens' Principle. One part of Huygens' Principle states that every point on the wavefront acts as a ...
Spluesh's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
249 views

Clarifications on interference of waves

Here is my understanding: Superposition describes the effect of two waves, of the same type, coinciding at a point, stating that the resultant displacement is equivalent to the vector sum of the ...
Quin Gardiner Bax's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
120 views

Semi-classical Quantum Ping-Pong in an infinite well potential

The general one particle state in a simple infinite well of size $L$ is a superposition of all the Hamiltonian eigen-states: $$\tag{1} \psi(x, t) = \sqrt{\frac{2}{L}} \sum_{n = 1}^{\infty} c_n \, e^{-\...
Cham's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does it make sense to talk about 'position' of a standing wave?

In any book that I studied, never saw anything like "position of a wave". Does it have to do anything with quantum particles showing so called "superposition".
Gopal Kaushik's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
37 views

Can other objects feeling the gravitational effect of a particle that is in a state of superposition cause its wavefunction to collapse? [duplicate]

When I feel the slight gravitational pull of one particle that is in a state of superposition and I measure the exact pull at any given instant does the wavefunction collapse? If particle A constantly ...
The Burger King's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
29 views

Determining the specific diffraction lines when 2 monochromatic beams are incident on a diffraction grating [closed]

I am wondering whether it is possible to determine the exact colour permutation for the diffraction lines from only the following given information: "When monochromatic red and monochromatic ...
ben13215's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Decoherence paper, incomprehensible claims

I am reading the paper "The quantum-to-classical transition and decoherence" by Maximilian Schlosshauer (https://arxiv.org/abs/1404.2635). I doubt the most basic claims in this paper. The ...
gcc's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
173 views

Ontologically speaking, does single-shot quantum interference occur in pairs of possibilities?

I've been perplexed by the semantics used in Science 329, 418-421(2010), where they state that according to Born’s rule and its square exponent, interference always occurs in pairs of possibilities. ...
Tfovid's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why does linearity imply no communication between Everettian worlds?

Scott Aaronson said in this interview https://youtu.be/1ZpGCQoL2Rk?t=3255 that the linearity of Schrodinger's equation prevents us from communicating with other Everettian worlds. Why? Is it analogous ...
ngc1300's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
81 views

Does sound need an odd number of spatial dimensions?

In the book "when Einstein walked with Gödel" the author talks about Edwin A. Abotts "Flatland" stating that one problem which was unattended by Abott is the problem of acoustics ...
Juliane's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
163 views

Variance/Standard deviation of an observable on a state that is a linear combination of eigenvectors of that observable

I know that when measuring the standard deviation of an observable the result will be zero if the system is an eigenvector of the observable on which i want to calculate the standard deviation. But ...
AlexM3020's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
92 views

Is superposition a real quantum state or just an unknown [duplicate]

Take the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment, without peeking inside the box the state of the cat is unknown but we know of 2 outcomes which are either alive or dead. Once we decided to peek inside ...
user6760's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Superposition of energy levels

When thinking about a "random" atom in space (say a Hydrogen atom), should I assume that the electron is in a ground state (or any particular excited eigenstate) or is it in a superposition ...
archil kitiashvili's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
91 views

On sum of amplitudes in Wave Mechanics

Consider Schroedinger equation, which I write in the form $$ (\mathscr{L}+V)\psi=0$$where $\mathscr{L}$ is the kinetic and time-derivative operator. Now, imagine I have two point sources 1,2 with ...
paul230_x's user avatar
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15 votes
9 answers
5k views

What experimental proof of quantum superposition do we have?

My question is both naive and subtle. Naive because I don't know much more than the layman about physics and in particular quantum physics. Subtle because physics is an attempt to model the world, ...
b_habegger's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
80 views

Can two normal 1D waves form a wave packet?

I have a confusion A wave packet is described by the superposition of two wave functions: $$Ψ_1(x,t)=A\sin(k_1x−ω_1t)$$ and $$Ψ_2(x,t)=A\sin(k_2x−ω_2t),$$ where $k_1=2.0×10^6\text{m}^{−1}$, $k_2=3.0×...
Prasoon Raj's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
80 views

Does two same light bulbs produce light of same frequency? [duplicate]

If they do, then why don't we observe interference in normal rooms? And if they don't have the same frequency then why is that so?
SumitBhatt's user avatar
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0 answers
55 views

Circular wave superposition

(Per title, I do mean circular wave, not radial wave.) I'm trying to learn about wave mechanics through some 3D simulations, and I've arrived at an interesting case that I can't seem to answer through ...
Nolnoch's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
82 views

The equation for linear combinations of sinusoidal waves

I was reading Introduction to Electrodynamics by D.J Griffith and in the chapter of Electromagnetic waves, it gives an equation for the representation of any wave in terms of sinusoidal waves. This is ...
Ankit's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Is Stationary wave actually a Wave?

Okay so by the definition of a wave i.e The osciallatory disturbance in a medium which propogates energy is called as wave..the stationary wave contradicts both the crieteria as it doesnt propogate ...
Pheonix's user avatar

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