Questions tagged [wavefunction-collapse]

Wavefunction collapse amounts to the apparent reduction of a wavefunction consisting of a superposition of several eigenstates to a single eigenstate (by "observation"). It underlies measurement in quantum mechanics and connects the wave function with classical observables, in a thermodynamically irreversible interaction with a classical environment, normally disfavoring future QM interference.

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Comparing quantum and natural Hamiltonian dynamical systems for the hydrogen atom: Why is quantum preferred? [on hold]

The quantum model for the hydrogen atom is a Hamiltonian dynamical system based on Schrödinger operator $H$. When compared with the physical atom it has important shortcomings. First and foremost the ...
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Sequential Double Double Slit Experiment?

Let's say you arrange the double slit experiment so that there are two sets of two slits one after the other. Like so: ...
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Which basis does the wavefunction collapse to?

When we measure position for example, how does the system "know" that we're measuring position in order to collapse to a position eigenvector? Does the wave function always evolve from the state that ...
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What's the difference between the Copenhagen and many-worlds interpretations?

I don't know that much about quantum mechanics, but after reading the Wikipedia pages for the Copenhagen and many-worlds interpretations, I'm left with the impression that the two are describing the ...
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When does quantum entanglement cease?

On Wikipedia on Quantum entanglement: “However, this behavior gives rise to seemingly paradoxical effects: any measurement of a property of a particle performs an irreversible collapse on that ...
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Instantaneous quantum features

Two of the most striking quantum oddities are entanglement and the wave-function collapse or state vector reduction. Firstly, quantum entanglement is the quantum phenomena involving states of ...
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How is it possible that consciousness-causes-collapse interpretations of QM are not falsified by the Quantum Zeno effect? [closed]

As I understand it, consciousness-causes-collapse (CCC) theories, although not very popular among physicists, have not been falsified (e.g. https://arxiv.org/abs/1609.00614). This confuses me ...
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Observing a system in an energy eigenstate when the eigenstate is not normalized

In the following notes from an MIT OCW course, Zweibach claims that energy eigenstates are not necessarily normalized. https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-05-quantum-physics-ii-fall-2013/lecture-...
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Doesn't the Schrödinger's cat inside the box cause the probability wave function to collapse long before a human opens the box?

My point is that there is no superposition of dead and alive. The cat will cause the probability function to collapse long before we open the box. What am I missing here? Isn't the cat capable of ...
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Wavefunction collapse in relativity

It is well accepted that quantum theory has well adapted itself to the requirements of special relativity. Quantum field theories are perfect examples of this peaceful coexistence. However I sometimes ...
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Mathematical formulation of partial wave function collapse

If given a wave function which is an element of a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ which is a tensor product of two other Hilbert spaces $\mathcal{H}_1\otimes\mathcal{H}_2$, how do you formulate ...
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Wave function collapse violates causality?

I have read this question: Does photon interference violate causality? where S.Mcgrew says: Edit 8/10/18 Bottom line: you're right that wave function collapse violates the principle of ...
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Will there be two cats in the box (superposition) if I use virtual particles (magnetic field) to open the box in Schrodinger's experiment?

I have read this question: How does a Wavefunction collapse? Where annav says: More specifically, what conditions cause a wavefunction for a quantum particle to collapse? A ...
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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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Double sit experiment and Uncertainty

If we try to an electron with a high energy photon, we precisely detect its position, while its momentum becomes totally uncertain. On the other hand, if we detect it using a low energy photon, its ...
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Finding an energy of a particle in an infinite potential well

This question arises from a discussion I recently had with my friend. We were talking about a particle in an infinite potential well. The particle is in an arbitrary wavefunction $\Psi$. When one ...
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Is the collapse of the wave function inherently time asymmetric?

Schroedinger's equation, as we all know, is time symmetric. In quantum field theory, we have to come up with a more sophisticated CPT reversal, but the essential point remains unchanged. However, the ...
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Where is the difference to a quantum mechanic system with collapsing wavefunction in this experimental setup?

Let’s use a disc throwning system, where two porcelain plates are thrown at once and in different directions, one with its axis horizontal and the other vertical. To catch the plates we use a detector,...
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State collapse in the 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 Schrödinger picture allows for an evolving state, which evolves through ...
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Video of Double Slit Experiment Observer Effect

I have been watching a lot of videos of the double slit experiment and trying to wrap my head around it. I found examples of where the experiment has been done, however the videos cut out and only ...
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Doesn't gravity collapse superposition? [duplicate]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you have a proton that is in superposition, you don't know where exactly it is; it is everywhere but with different probability. Couldn't you measure the gravity field ...
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Effects of measurement on particle energy

According to quantum mechanics, once you measure a particle's energy, its wave function collapse into some state, an eigenfunction with some eigenvalue (which is the particle energy). But if a ...
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Wave function collapse of entangled photons?

If we have two entangled photons then they are described by the same wave function. But if I measured the position of the signal photon and it collapses into a position, would the idler photons ...
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Why does the electron wavefunction not collapse within atoms at room temperature in gas, liquids or solids due to decoherence?

Decoherence theory predicts that any quantum particle coupled to any "large" environment should undergo decoherence and its wavefunction should collapse. This explains why measurement leads to ...
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Wave function. Measurement of the absence

Imagine we have a particle in an eigenstate of a Hamiltonian, as time passes it will remain in that state. We suppose in this question that the position can take a continuum of values. If we measure ...
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Wavefunction collapse in Stern-Gerlach experiment

Consider silver atoms coming from an S(X) apparatus, after S(X) apparatus we place an S(Z) apparatus $$ |\mathrm{SX+}\rangle= \frac{1}{2}|\mathrm{SZ+}\rangle + \frac{1}{2}|\mathrm{SZ-}\rangle, $$ ...
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Wave function collapse and a general wave function

Action of an operator on a state vector collapses the wave function to any of the eigenstate of that operator , So we get resulting state of the system as some base ket. But mathematically action of ...
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How to understand the transition amplitude in the Copenhagen interpretation

In Chapter 8 of Townsend's A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics, he states that the expression $\langle x', t' | x_0, t_0 \rangle$ gives the amplitude for a particle that is at position $x_0$ to at ...
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How do we know which states are decohered by the environment?

If I take an atom in a momentum eigenstate, or just a very narrow gaussian in momentum space (with a very large spread in position space), and then I throw it into a gas, it will quickly decohere into ...
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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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Doubt about the probabilistic nature of quantum stuff and the field theory

To the quantum field theory, is it like there's "two layers of reality", one in which things are just probabilities waves that collapses into the quantum fields or is the quantum field and its waves ...
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Does measurement of momentum always collapse the wave function into a plane wave?

When you measure $\vec p$ the wave function collapses to an eigenstate of the momentum operator. These eigenfunctions are always plane waves, correct? Does it mean that momentum always collapses into ...
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Stochastic processes and wavefunction collapse

Some time ago I had an idea that, as the unitary evolution of the wavefunction is described by a deterministic equation (PDE, simply), could be the collapse of it be described by some kind of a ...
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Does Quantum Entanglement happen between two wavefunctions? [closed]

Does the entanglement happen between two particles or two wavefunctions? If it's wavefunction then what happens to the two wavefuntions after getting entangled?
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Does the wave function/density state actually exist?

I have been reading with interest the debates here on whether the wave function/density state actually collapses or not, or whether it is subjective Bayesian or objective with actual complex numbered ...
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Why doesn't observing a photon collapse it's wave function into a B or W3 boson?

According to electroweak theory, the photon ($\gamma^0$) and weak bosons ($W^+, W^-, Z^0$) are all linear combinations or superpositions of the weak hypercharge boson ($B$) and the weak isospin bosons ...
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Can a measurement partially “collapse” a wavefunction?

Let's say I have a wavefunction $\Psi$ which can be decomposed into a sum of it's energy eigenstates: $$ \Psi = a|1\rangle + b|3\rangle + c|8\rangle + d|10\rangle$$ Where, of course, $|a|^2 + |b|^2 +...
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Could we interpret search for the Pitch as a process similar to the collapse of the wave function?

According to Wikipedia: In quantum mechanics, wave function collapse is said to occur when a wave function—initially in a superposition of several eigenstates—appears to reduce to a single eigenstate ...
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Annihilation Operator on Entangled State - How Does This Not Break No-Communication Theorem?

If I have the state $$|\psi\rangle=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2}}\left(|2\rangle_{A}|0\rangle_{B}+|0\rangle_{A}|2\rangle_{B}\right)$$ and apply the annihilation operator to B $$a_{B}|\psi\rangle=|\phi\rangle=\...
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Collapse of quantum state after measurement of degenerated eigenvalue (From textbook Shankar) (Closed)

I want to ask an easy question from Problem 4.2.1, Quantum Mechanics(2nd) by Shankar. Let's say Operators, $L_{x}$, $L_{y}$, $L_{z}$ are $$L_{x}$ = $1/2^{1/2}$ $\begin{pmatrix} 0& 1 &0 \\ ...
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Why does superposition principle and Copenhagen interpretation not contradict with themselves?

In quantum mechanics, when we say that a particle in a state $|x_1\rangle$, physically the states $|x_1 \rangle $ and $c |x_1\rangle$ (for some $c\not = 0\in \mathbb{C}$) are the same, i.e they ...
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Double slit experiment with only ONE detector [closed]

Suppose one sets up a double-slit experiment, but with only ONE detector behind one of the slits (the left one, let's say). Now suppose the dots that appear on the screen are ERASED (by the ...
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What is meant by collapse of wave function? [closed]

Collapse of wave function ,does it really happens?why?
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Wave particle duality and gravity

Is a particle's center of gravity at the center of its wave function or is it where we would measure the particle to be? When we measure a particle does its center of gravity shift to where the ...
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How is the wavefunction of an electron affected by the presence of an atom at the slits in the double-slit experiment?

I'm reading on page 107 of this Van Kampen's paper that the apparatus influences the electron even without detecting it. The interference pattern we obtained ...
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How can two electrons repel if it's impossible for free electrons to absorb or emit energy?

There is no acceptable/viable mechanism for a free electron to absorb or emit energy, without violating energy or momentum conservation. So its wavefunction cannot collapse into becoming a particle, ...
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How do we know a quantum state isn't just an unknown classical state?

When an observer causes the wave function of a particle to collapse, how can we know that the wave function was not collapsed already before the measurement? Suppose we measure the z-component of the ...
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What does it mean to apply an operator to a state?

Let's say I have an operator $\hat{A}$ and a state $|\psi\rangle$. What exactly is the state $\hat{A}|\psi\rangle$? Is it just another different state that I am describing using my $\hat{A}$ and $|\...
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Does the Hermitian Operator Reduce the Non-eigenstate State to the Self-Eigenstate?

Let's consider $\left| \Psi \right> $ some state of quantum system. Let's also consider some Hermitian Operator $\hat{Q}$, with the discrete specrum: $$ \hat{Q}\left| Q_n \right> = Q_n\left| ...
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Does basic QM allow for superluminal “particle movement” during wavefunction collapse?

Can particles move superluminally away from their "expected values" using basic quantum theory? Here's an example: The eigenstates of a harmonic oscillator are defined from $(-\infty, \infty)$. This ...