1 definition by JP2269

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A branch of physics in which the measurable qualities (position, momentum, energy) of a system are described by "observables." The system, upon measurement by the given observable, after being in a superposition of multiple states, collapses into one of a variety of states allowable by the Schrodinger equation. The exact state the system collapses into, is probablistically determined.
X|s1>=x1|s1>

In this example, |s1> is the system being "measured" by the observable X (X denoting the position observable, allowing us to see where the system is within space.) We obtained |s1> as a single state, from a previously superposed (|s> = |s1>+|s2>+|s3>+...)state through an earlier measurement, which collapsed |s> into |s1>, and allowed us to measure the value x1 for its position. In quantum mechanics, all of this information is encoded in the language of vector spaces, as well as linear algebra, and expanded into whats known as a hilbert space (can be thought of as an infinite dimensional vector space).
I'm probably going to get all thumbs down for this, but that's cool, you guys are all the same audience that jerks it to youtube, and probably added a new definition for "poop" or something stupid like that on this site.

by JP2269 October 19, 2006

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