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Is the real world mostly collapsed?

  1. Feb 21, 2014 #1
    I know that a resonator which is the size of cell isnt in superposition unless its cooled to its ground state. My question is does this imply that my car, house even my cells and atoms arnt in superposition in nature unless some scientists decide to isolate whatever thing they want from the rest of the enviorment. The reasoning that the real world is for the most part collapsed is obviously coherent with our personal perception of it. Im honestly writing this because Im scared that if everything was in superposition my thoughts might have some effect on it. I know it seems disconected and I know that QM has nothing to do with counsciesness but there is this lingering fear that if the world is all in superposition then space and time dont exist. At that point Ive lost all sense of reality. I need to know the "whys" of why reality exists.

    Thank you to anyone who can help me out with this problem.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2014 #2


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    Gold Member

    You are overthinking the whole thing. The moon doesn't care whether you are looking at it or not.
  4. Feb 21, 2014 #3
    But is reality for the most part collapsed?
  5. Feb 21, 2014 #4

    When was the last time you saw anything in a superposition of states?

    So have I and it appears everyone else. You may need a philosophy course or to simply follow your own path to reality.
  6. Feb 21, 2014 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Collapse is purely something that occurs in a theorists calculations and not even present in some interpretations.

    What you may be asking does decoherence occur prior to virtually everything we experience in the everyday world.

    The answer to that is yes - of course - and is responsible for the emergence of the classical everyday world.

  7. Feb 22, 2014 #6
    I know that chemistry also uses QM to form chemical bonds between atoms, my question is in that world are the atoms that make up those bonds in superposition if they are not manipulated by scientists I mean in nature or are they also decohered.

    Any help is much appreciated
  8. Feb 22, 2014 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    Well, due to the vector space structure of pure states, all pure states are a superposition of other states.

    However I suspect your question is, in atoms, and molecules, are the electrons in a superposition of position. Again the answer is - yes of course.

    Decoherence is a particular type of entanglement. Electrons in atoms and molecules are entangled with the nucleus and other atoms so they behave like a single quantum object. It is those objects that decoherence applies to - the electrons are not decohered.

  9. Feb 22, 2014 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    This isn't the purpose of PF. If you are experiencing psychological stress as a result of your physics studies then you need to seek professional psychological help, not amateur physics instruction.
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