Probability laws of quantum mechanics

In summary, the conversation discusses the Wu-Shaknov experiment of positronium emission and the possibility of creating an infinite amount of photons due to probability laws. However, it is not possible for the two particles to create an infinite amount of photons, and even a very large number would be extremely improbable.
  • #1
Waveparticle
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Im currently reading Entanglement by Amir D. Aczel and it talks about the Wu-Shaknov experiment of positronium emission where two particles annihilate each other and two high energy photons are emitted. It goes onto say that due to the probability laws of quantum mechanics, every so often three photons would have to be emitted as well. My question is, is it possible for these two particles to create an infinite amount of photons due to the probability or is their a limit to the number of photons that can be emitted.
 
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  • #2
It's not possible for them to create an infinite amount of photons, no.

I suppose it's possible for them to create a very large number, although the exact number of photons would depend on the process in question. But it'd be extremely improbable. A two-photon emission (where you'd normally have one) itself is very improbable.
 

Related to Probability laws of quantum mechanics

1. What are the fundamental principles of probability in quantum mechanics?

The fundamental principles of probability in quantum mechanics are the superposition principle, the uncertainty principle, and the collapse of the wavefunction. The superposition principle states that a quantum system can exist in multiple states at the same time, with each state having a certain probability of being observed. The uncertainty principle states that it is impossible to know both the exact position and momentum of a particle simultaneously. The collapse of the wavefunction occurs when a measurement is made, and the system "chooses" one of the possible states to be observed.

2. How is probability represented in quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics, probability is represented by the wavefunction, which describes the probability amplitude of a particle being in a particular state. The square of the wavefunction (also known as the probability density function) gives the probability of finding the particle in a certain position or state.

3. What are the differences between classical and quantum probability?

There are several key differences between classical and quantum probability. In classical probability, probabilities are always between 0 and 1, and events are mutually exclusive. In quantum probability, probabilities can be greater than 1 and events can be complementary, meaning they can both occur at the same time. Additionally, classical probabilities are ontic, meaning they represent actual properties of the system, while quantum probabilities are epistemic, meaning they represent our knowledge or lack of knowledge about the system.

4. How do probability laws apply to entangled particles?

In entangled systems, the probability laws of quantum mechanics still apply, but they can lead to counterintuitive results. For example, in a pair of entangled particles, measuring the state of one particle (such as its spin) will instantaneously determine the state of the other particle, regardless of the distance between them. This is known as quantum nonlocality and is a consequence of the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics.

5. Can probability be used to predict the exact outcome of a quantum experiment?

No, probability in quantum mechanics is inherently probabilistic and cannot be used to predict the exact outcome of a single experiment. Instead, it gives the probability of obtaining a certain result when the experiment is repeated multiple times. This is due to the indeterminacy of quantum systems, as described by the uncertainty principle.

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