How the act of measuring a quantum particle transforms it into an everyday object

By | November 30, 2021
Florida News Times

Despite the ambiguity of the quantum world, quantum particle measurements give accurate results in our everyday world. How does the function of measurement achieve this change? Credits: Institute of Physics

The quantum world and our everyday world are very different places. In a publication that appeared as “Editor’s Suggestion”. Physical Review A This week, UVA physicists Jaspervan Wessel and Lotte Mertens and their colleagues will investigate how the act of measuring quantum particles makes it into everyday objects.


Quantum mechanics is the theory that describes the smallest objects in the world around us, from the components of an atom to tiny dust particles. This astral field behaves quite differently from our everyday experience, despite the fact that all objects in the human-scale world are composed of quantum particles. This leads to an intriguing physical question: why are the quantum world and the macroscopic world so different, where are the boundaries between them, and what exactly happens there?

measurement problem

One of the specific areas where the distinction between Quantum and Classic is essential is when using it daily. Measure object quantum system. The divide between the quantum world and the everyday world would be asking how “big” it is. Measuring device We should be able to use displays to demonstrate quantum properties in our everyday world. Knowing the details of a measurement, such as the number of quantum particles needed to make a measuring instrument, is called a quantum measurement problem.

With increasing sophistication and the involvement of larger and larger quantum objects as an experiment to explore the world of quantum mechanics, pure quantum behavior is increasingly approaching the invisible lines that intersect classical measurements. In the article, UVA physicists Jaspervan Wessel and Lotte Meltens and their colleagues propose minor modifications to the current model that attempt to solve measurement problems, in particular an equation that governs all quantum behaviour. I am considering a model that I try to solve: the Schrödinger equation.

birth rules

The researchers have shown that such modifications can, in principle, provide consistent suggestions for solving measurement problems. However, it proved difficult to build a model that satisfies the Born rule, which shows how to use the Schrödinger equation to predict measurement results. Researchers have found that only models with sufficient mathematical complexity (technical term: non-linear, non-singular models) can lead to the law of birth, thus solving measurement problems and the elusive cross. It shows that we have the opportunity to teach us about ultra-quantum physics and the everyday world.

Best of both worlds: Combining classical and quantum systems to meet the demands of supercomputing

for more information:
Lotte Mertens et al, Contradictions between linear dynamics and the birth law, Physical Review A (2021). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.104.052224

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How the act of measuring a quantum particle turns it into an everyday object

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