Wave-function question

1. Dec 12, 2003

dlgoff

There's an interesting thread on Conciousness in the
Metaphysics & Epistemology forum dealing with the collapse
of wave-functions.

Can someone explain what collapsing a wave function means
and how to visualize it?

2. Dec 12, 2003

Loren Booda

Think of a (Hilbert) complex vector space, where each state vector represents an equivalent wavefunction. According to von Neumann, the probability between unitary states is the projection, or collapse, of the one vector upon the other, always less than or equal to one. (Visualize the projection of a hypotenuse upon a leg.)

3. Dec 13, 2003

dlgoff

Thanks for the reply. I just finished watching some Feynman lectures and I'm probably not ready (know enough) to ask.

Oh, I think I "see". Projection. That makes since. The final observatation\event vector has all other possible state vectors projected upon it? I visualize dominos falling in patterns to a central point. I'll look up hypotenuse and try to understand better. Thanks again.

4. Dec 13, 2003

Loren Booda

Both the initial and final state vectors project singly upon each other by measurement.