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thenewmans

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- Thread starter thenewmans
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In summary, the questions raised by CI about measurements, entanglement, and so on are all answered in the same way- by talking about the wavefunction of the whole system.

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thenewmans

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muppet

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No. The wave function is a unique description of a state, and tells you everything you could possibly find out about the results of measurements you haven't performed yet. However, what you can have are different representations of the same wave function, which superficially look different.thenewmans said:Assuming a correct wave function, can a particle have more than one?

Sure but I think what you're really asking is whether or not it's possible for the two observers to describe a system accurately by two different wave functions, which is really the same question as the one above, so no. (*Relativity messes up observers' common perception of space and time, so in relativistic QM this answer might not hold, but I'm not the person to ask about that I'm afraid.)Can 2 observers each have their own wave function?

No. The "collapse of the wavefunction" usually refers to something specific. In QM there is a special class of wave functions called eigenfunctions, or eigenstates. After any precise measurement of a physical observable, the wavefunction of the system is said to be in an eigenstate of that observable. The maths of QM says that any wave function -at all- can be represented by a sum of eigenstates; the idea of wavefunction collapse is that when you measure some quantity, all the eigenstates in the sum vanish apart from the one corresponding to the result of the measurement.The moment a particle encounters another particle, does one wave function collapse and a new one pop up?

You're right, however, in that the wave function of an entangled particle is different from that of a "lone" one. What happens is that you need to start talking about the wavefunction for the whole system. This is usually based on products of the wavefunctions of the individual wavefunctions that comprise the system, but there's a few technical adjustments that need to be made, relating to the fact that "quantum particles" are intrinsically indistinguishable. For example, the pauli exclusion principle says that two fermions must be described by a wavefunction that yields zero probability of them being in the same state.

In the sense that you should really be talking about the wavefunction of the whole system, the answer is no. But the other particle might not affect the results of your measurements on the particle you know about. For example, say you're measuring the spin of the particle about the z-axis. The entanglement may be such that the spins of the two particles are anti-correlated (so if you measure spin up on one, you know that the other will be spin down). But it doesn't affect the probability of you measuring either spin up or spin down on the particle that you do know about (which, all other things being equal, is exactly 50%).If you don’t know a particle is entangled can your wave function still be correct?

Not sure. But I think the answer depends on what kind of interaction you're talking about. It might be that the new particle becomes entangled with the old ones to become a part of the new system; but some interactions (like measurement) can destroy entanglement.When an entangled particle encounters some other particle, does that make it no longer entangled?

Hope that helps!

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Dmitry67

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https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=285315&page=1

vanesch said:Questions raised by CI, such as: if the detector clicks, but I don't look, is there a measurement or not ? And if I destroy the record ? And if I throw it in a black hole ? and over which one can have heated philosophical debates become a trivial issue from the MWI viewpoint.

The way I view MWI is not as some "ultimate truth", but rather as the bare bones logical consequence of the theory of quantum mechanics if you want to keep to the math and the logic all the way down. The price to pay is that it doesn't fit at all with any preconceived ideas of what could be reality, but what you win from it is a crystal-clear view on the wheels and gears of the quantum-mechanical formalism, and that all so-called paradoxes disappear in a puff of logic. There are no difficulties anymore in viewing any EPR experiment, or any quantum eraser experiment or anything. It all comes out very clear.

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thenewmans

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muppet,

Thank you so much. That's just what I was looking for.

Thank you so much. That's just what I was looking for.

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muppet

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Dmitry67: I deliberately didn't mention MWI because it's only something you're in a position to understand once you understand entanglement as an independent concept, although I appreciate it has very direct relevance to the final question in particular.

A wave function collapse is the process in quantum mechanics where the superposition of multiple possible states of a particle or system is reduced to a single definite state upon measurement or observation.

A wave function collapse occurs when a measurement or observation is made on a quantum system, causing the system's wave function to collapse to a single state. This state is then observed as the actual state of the system.

The collapse of a wave function is significant because it allows for the observation and measurement of a quantum system. It also plays a crucial role in the interpretation of quantum mechanics and the understanding of the behavior of particles at a subatomic level.

Yes, the collapse of one wave function can create another, as the measurement of a quantum system can cause it to enter a different state, resulting in a new wave function. This process is known as wave function collapse and is a fundamental aspect of quantum mechanics.

The collapse of one wave function can have a significant impact on the behavior of particles, as it determines their observed state. This can affect the outcomes of experiments and the understanding of the fundamental nature of particles at the quantum level.

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