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CarlB

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QM is related to statistical mechanics in a way. A quantum state is represented by a collection of possible states, similar to the "ensemble" of statistical mechanics. Measurement means that one of those states turned out to be the one.

Where QM is different from statistical mechanics is that the states in the ensemble interact. In the two-slit experiment, the fact that the other slit is open influences what the particle does even though the particle can travel only through one slit.

None of what I've described here suggests particle movement that is fast. What apparently happens in a measurement is that one of the states gets picked out. We can't place a speed on how fast that state gets picked out because all the states already describe the same points in space time. The transition speed is in the measurement, not in the particle.

Carl

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[tex]

|\alpha \rangle = 1/\sqrt{2} ( |n \rangle + |m \rangle )

[/tex]

means that I have an equal probability of measuring the system to be in n or m when I measure it. But I can't say that the particle is in the state n because that's what I measured, because that isn't the case.

The particle is in neither n nor m before you make the measurement, and afterwards it is in one or the other state with certainty (state vector collapse). But it doesn't make sense to talk about the particle being in the state n or m definitely before the measurement.

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