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Electron wave function in quantum cascade laser?

  1. Jul 20, 2015 #1


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    How are these pictures taken of the electron wave function with out the wave function collapsing?
    Does this mean that electron wave functions are real waves after all?
    Wikipedia Quantum cascade laser will give you the discription
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2015 #2


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    I think you'll need to provide some more detail for us to be able to answer your question - do you have a reference for the paper that you took this image from?
  4. Jul 21, 2015 #3


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    "Real or not real" is philosophy.
    Usually those curves are the results of calculations.
    You can measure them by measuring many electrons. Each electron just gives a single position value (and you change its state with the measurement), but with enough measurements of different electrons you can reconstruct the wave function.
  5. Jul 21, 2015 #4


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    If one decides on an inertial frame and decides which parts of the universe constitute the classical measurement apparatus, then one can treat the wave function as if it is real for all practical purposes.

    Not everyone will agree on the choice of inertial frame nor which parts of the universe to consider classical, which is among the reasons the wave function may not be real.
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