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Quantum Mechanics by Giorgio Parisi, Mauro Fortunato, Gennaro Auletta

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15

State measurement in quantum mechanics

In classical mechanics, as we know, all observables commute with each other and therefore belong to the same “commuting set.” This means that – in principle – we can measure all observables simultaneously. Then, the state manifests itself as a collection of properties (of values of observables) (see Sec. 1.1), and as such it is observable. On the other hand, quantum-mechanical observables may not commute (see Subsec. 2.1.5). As a consequence, the state is not just a collection of observable values (see also Sec. 2.3) so that we may ask ourselves whether it is observable or not, and therefore raise the following question: What is the nature of the wave function? Is it simply a mathematical tool, i.e. ...

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