What happens when a particle observes itself during quantum tunneling?

  • I
  • Thread starter sunmaggot
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Observation
In summary, the QM is saying that a particle in some potential pattern will have a wavefunction that describes the probability to find the particle. And then it also said that observation will make wavefunction collapse into measured value. For example, the electron in an atom will be in one position after measuring its position.
  • #1
sunmaggot
62
4
The QM is saying that a particle in some potential pattern will have a wavefunction that describes the probability to find the particle. And then it also said that observation will make wavefunction collapse into measured value. For example, the electron in an atom will be in one position after measuring its position.

But I have a strange idea about this thing. The situation is that now there is a particle with energy E. There is a potential barrier in front of it which has potential V that is V>0. Also, 0<E<V. This means there can be quantum tunneling. Now if the particle can observe itself, what will it see when it performs quantum tunneling?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
sunmaggot said:
The QM is saying that a particle in some potential pattern will have a wavefunction that describes the probability to find the particle. And then it also said that observation will make wavefunction collapse into measured value. For example, the electron in an atom will be in one position after measuring its position.

But I have a strange idea about this thing. The situation is that now there is a particle with energy E. There is a potential barrier in front of it which has potential V that is V>0. Also, 0<E<V. This means there can be quantum tunneling. Now if the particle can observe itself, what will it see when it performs quantum tunneling?
A particle observing itself is a meaningless concept. Any "observation" would have to be by an outside agent.
 
  • #3
phinds said:
A particle observing itself is a meaningless concept. Any "observation" would have to be by an outside agent.
maybe I didn't ask it clearly. Actually I am thinking that the particle defined its own position and made its own wavefunction collapse. So it would not have anymore chance to quantum tunnel? But it should tunnel because for outside observer, the wavefunction includes quantum tunneling.
 
  • #4
sunmaggot said:
I am thinking that the particle defined its own position and made its own wavefunction collapse
I have no idea what that means.
 
  • #5
sunmaggot said:
... I am thinking that the particle defined its own position ...
Sentient subatomic particles with free will?
 
  • #6
sunmaggot said:
And then it also said that observation will make wavefunction collapse into measured value.
This is one of the most common misunderstandings of quantum mechanics. "Observation", in the ordinary English-language meaning of the word, has nothing to do with whether the wave function collapses; just about any interaction with something large enough to be considered a classical object will collapse the wave function. (The confusion with observation comes about because the lab equipment that we'd use to observe the position has to be a reasonably large classical object).
Now if the particle can observe itself...
But it can't. We need an interaction with a sufficiently large classical object to collapse the wave function, and we don't have that here.
 
  • #7
An interaction between a microscopic object and another microscopic object simply entangles them. I don't think a microscopic object can observe itself, as it may mess with QM predictions.
 
  • #8
I see, so the condition in my question actually cannot happen. Thank you for the replies.
 

Related to What happens when a particle observes itself during quantum tunneling?

1. What is observation?

Observation is the process of collecting information or data using one's senses or specialized instruments. It involves paying attention to details and recording information in an organized manner.

2. Why is observation important in science?

Observation is important in science because it serves as the foundation for all other scientific processes. It allows scientists to gather evidence, make accurate measurements, and draw conclusions based on empirical data.

3. What are the different types of observation in science?

The two main types of observation in science are quantitative and qualitative observations. Quantitative observations involve measuring and recording data using numerical values, while qualitative observations involve describing qualities or characteristics without using numbers.

4. What are some tips for making accurate observations?

Some tips for making accurate observations include using multiple senses, being objective, being detailed and specific, and avoiding assumptions or biases. It is also important to record observations in a systematic and organized manner.

5. How do scientists use observations in their research?

Scientists use observations in their research to gather evidence, make predictions, and test hypotheses. They also use observations to identify patterns, make comparisons, and draw conclusions about the natural world. Additionally, observations are used to support or refute scientific theories and contribute to the overall body of scientific knowledge.

Similar threads

Replies
1
Views
800
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
4
Views
919
Replies
14
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
590
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
13
Views
2K
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
32
Views
2K
  • Quantum Physics
2
Replies
36
Views
2K
Back
Top