Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

B Wave Function Experiment

  1. Jun 16, 2016 #1
    What instrument can affect wave function of object?
    If wave function doesn't have any locality. Then why can't an instrument here able to access and alter the wave function of any object in the world (and detectable in the other side of the planet)? How do you make such experiments. And what could possibility prevent the possibility of this experiment?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2016 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics, the wave function is an abstract mathematical object (it's the solution to a particular differential equation) so the idea of an instrument affecting it is meaningless. It's like asking what instrument can affect the equation ##a(b+c)=ab+ac##.
  4. Jun 16, 2016 #3
    I wonder a bit about this too. If we have a collapse of the Singlet state, what is "caused" is the correlation between the measurements, right?
  5. Jun 17, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    In a limited (and somewhat semantic) sense, it can. Clearly the influence of a distant object on a measuring device here (perhaps a photon detector) would be vanishingly small. And in fact in many cases would likely cancel out entirely and you would see nothing - ever.

    If you did detect something (in some rare case), that would in fact mean that the photon was not detected elsewhere. But you would have no good way to know that. In effect, many small particle (wave) probabilities are overlapping at all times.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted