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The wavefunction

  1. Nov 21, 2009 #1
    Does a wavefunction describe a physical system? It seems to me that the wavefunction says more about the observer than the system. The wavefunction includes all the information we know about a system, and the measurements we have made. Doesn't it make more sense to consider the wavefunction as a description of the observer, or of the interaction between observer and system?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2009 #2

    Pythagorean

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    I wouldn't say it says more about the observer than the system, I would say that it gives us the limited observer's scope of the system. But yeah, observation can be considered the interaction between the system and the observer.
     
  4. Nov 22, 2009 #3
    So do you think people are misguided if they think (for example) that the electron is the wavefunction?
     
  5. Nov 22, 2009 #4

    Pythagorean

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    Yes. The wavefunction describes the state of a particle. It is not the particle itself.
     
  6. Nov 23, 2009 #5
    The wavefunction is a description of potential outcomes. Standard qm tells us that there is no physicality to the wavefunction. It is an abstract until we make an observation which collapses the wave function and only then does an objective change occur in our enviroment.

    So yes the wavefunction says more about how we interact with quantum states. Hence why many scientists (though still a minority) think qm is the first theory which involves a direct connection between reality and "consciousness".
     
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