Clemson University

Colloquium: Murray Daw, Clemson University


Department of Physics and Astronomy


Meeting ID: 962 6907 1707

Passcode: 567780

Thursday, February 25, 4:00 pm


Collapse of the Collapse:

Physicists Return to Reality


Dr. Murray Daw

Clemson University



We celebrate the recent demise[1] of the collapse hypothesis, that an integral part of quantum mechanics is the "collapse" of the state of a system when measured. Using recent work of Anthony Rizzi, we show that the Ensemble Interpretation provides a simple and natural resolution to the problem of measurement[2,3] in quantum mechanics. Along the way, we give a fuller explanation of the Ensemble Interpretation[4] (in spite of the familiar-sounding name, this is almost entirely unknown), measurement theory in general (correcting many common misconceptions), the resolution of the Schrodinger Cat experiment, Wigner’s Friend experiment, and the Extended Wigner’s Friend experiment. At the end we encourage discussion of how to deal with the pedagogical situation, given that almost all current QM textbooks[5] are based on the (now defunct) collapse hypothesis.


[1] D. Frauchiger & R. Renner, “Quantum theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself”, Nature Comm. [2018]

[2] A. Rizzi, “How the natural interpretation of QM avoids the recent no-go theorem” [Foundations of Physics, 2020]

[3] A. Rizzi, “A simple approach to measurement in quantum mechanics”, arXiv [2020]

[4] See, for example, two textbooks: L. Ballentine, “Quantum Mechanics”, and A. Rizzi, “Physics for Realists: Quantum Mechanics”.

[5] Two examples used at Clemson include Griffiths and Morrison.


Dial-In Information

Meeting ID: 962 6907 1707

Passcode: 567780

Thursday, February 25 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lectures / Seminars / Speakers


College of Science, Physics and Astronomy

Target Audience

Students, Faculty, Undergraduate, Graduate, Postdocs

Contact Name:

Amanda Ellenburg

Contact Phone:


Contact Email:


Recent Activity