Uncollapsing the wave function
Abstract
The space quantization induced by a SternGerlach experiment is normally explained by invoking the ``collapse of the wave function.'' This is a rather mysterious idea; it would be better to explain the SternGerlach results without using it. We reanalyze the SternGerlach experiment using path integrals. We find if we model explicitly the finite width of the beam, coherent interference within the beam itself provides the space quantization  without need to invoke the collapse. If we insist on employing only wave functions with the space and spin parts kept forcibly disentangled, we recreate the need to invoke the collapse. The collapsefree approach makes more specific predictions about the shape and position of the scattered beams; if the interaction region has finite length, these may be testable. Pending experimental disambiguation, the chief arguments in favor of the collapsefree approach are that it is simpler and less mysterious, has no adjustable parameters, and requires the invocation of no new forces.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 January 2003
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.quantph/0301016
 arXiv:
 arXiv:quantph/0301016
 Bibcode:
 2003quant.ph..1016A
 Keywords:

 Quantum Physics
 EPrint:
 25 pages, 6 figures