View Full Version : wave form collapse

2009-Jan-25, 07:40 PM
Would someone kindly explain, in layman's terms, what's behind wave form collapse? I've been reading it at various websites and its going over my head and sincerely doubt there's a simplistic summary. My interest is undiminished and I hope to get a bit of a leg up on this.

2009-Jan-25, 07:44 PM
Moved to Q&A...a better place to get an answer, I think.

2009-Jan-25, 07:53 PM
In Quantum Mechanics, an elementary particle does not have a definite position. Where it could possibly be is described by what is referred to as the Schrödinger Wave Function. This is a probability distribution of all the places the particle could possibly be. When a measurement (observation) is taken, the particle's position is then determined, and it is commonly referred to as "the collapse of the wave function" (or solution of the wave function's distribution pattern to choose a particular location). Whether or not it really collapses is still being debated...