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

What is the function of a collapsed wave?

  1. Apr 22, 2010 #1
    What is the function of a "collapsed" wave?

    I know from observing the particle in a dual slit experiment the wave function collapses and the results becomes something like 2 lines, but is there a function that defines the two lines?

    Does it just collapse to a function of how the particles would act if they were treated as particles rather than wave-particles? If so, was it experimentally proven, or just assumed?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2010 #2
    Re: What is the function of a "collapsed" wave?

    The wave function 'collapse' of a single particle is a single spot on the screen or film. To see the entire pattern you need more than one photon.

    Have you seen an interference pattern from two slits? There is a specific function that depends on wavelength, the distance between the two slits, and the distance to the screen. For a more comprehensive treatment, the width of the slits is also a factor such displayed in the image below.

    [PLAIN]http://www.colorado.edu/physics/phys2020/phys2020_f98/lab_manual/Lab5/Image2109.gif [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Apr 22, 2010 #3
    Re: What is the function of a "collapsed" wave?

    The function is called the dirac delta function.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - function collapsed wave Date
I Wave function collapse Dec 3, 2017
B Why does a the Wave Function collapse? Aug 17, 2017
B Wave Function Collapsing Function Apr 29, 2017