Annals of Physics
It was recently pointed out (and demonstrated experimentally) by Lundeen et al. that the wave function of a particle (more precisely, the wave function possessed by each member of an ensemble of identically-prepared particles) can be "directly measured" using weak measurement. Here it is shown that if this same technique is applied, with appropriate post-selection, to one particle from a (perhaps entangled) multi-particle system, the result is precisely the so-called "conditional wave function" of Bohmian mechanics. Thus, a plausibly operationalist method for defining the wave function of a quantum mechanical sub-system corresponds to the natural definition of a sub-system wave function which Bohmian mechanics (uniquely) makes possible. Similarly, a weak-measurement-based procedure for directly measuring a sub-system's density matrix should yield, under appropriate circumstances, the Bohmian "conditional density matrix" as opposed to the standard reduced density matrix. Experimental arrangements to demonstrate this behavior -- and also thereby reveal the non-local dependence of sub-system state functions on distant interventions -- are suggested and discussed.
Quantum mechanics, Weak measurement, Bohmian mechanics, Quantum non-locality
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Norsen, Travis, "Weak Measurement and Bohmian Conditional Wave Functions" (2014). Physics: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
Peer reviewed accepted manuscript.