Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Hidden variable and the copenhagen interpretation.

  1. Feb 8, 2007 #1

    I just had this argument with this person on another forum and the gist of it was that he was saying collapse is predictable to within a negligible precision if you average out the results a huge number of identical wave-particles that had already collapsed.

    My contention was that his claim was hidden variable and violated the uncertainty principle. I further contended that at the very most, all this analysis of already collapsed identical wave-particles could give us is a probability akin to a probability of collapse derived from a specified magnitude of the wave-function, and that this probability is in no way a prediction, as a prediction would mean hidden-variable not uncertainty.

    Anyone have an opinion?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2007 #2

    not sure what your describing exactly, but here's my 2 cents.

    Collapse of the wavefunction refers to a system that is in a superposition of two (or more) states. The theory says that you can predict the probability of the wavefunction collapsing to state 1 or state 2 when you make a measurement, but you cant know for sure which its gonna be.

    doing many copies of an experiment doesnt allow you to sharpen up your predictions, it just allows your measured statistics to approach the theoretical result. Its like flipping a coin. do it ten times and there is a good chance that your results wont be 50% heads 50% tails. do it a million times and youll be pretty close.

    If there was a hidden variable that would mean it would be possible to predict which state the above system would collapse to if we knew what it was. You would be able to do one experiment and know exactly which state it would collapse to
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Hidden variable and the copenhagen interpretation.