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Is energy conserved when nobody looks?

by Stanisław Sołtan, Mateusz Frączak, Wolfgang Belzig, Adam Bednorz

Submission summary

As Contributors: Adam Bednorz · Wolfgang Belzig
Arxiv Link:
Date submitted: 2019-12-20
Submitted by: Bednorz, Adam
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Discipline: Physics
Subject area: Quantum Physics
Approach: Theoretical


Conservation principles are essential to describe and quantify mechanical processes. Classically, the conservation holds objectively because the description of reality can be considered independent of observation. In quantum mechanics, however, invasive observations change quantities drastically, even those conserved classically. Interestingly, we find that the non-conservation is manifest even in weakly measured correlations if some of the observables do not commute with the conserved quantity. Our observations show that applications of conservation laws in quantum mechanics should be considered in their specific measurement context.

Current status:
Editor-in-charge assigned

Editorial decision: For Journal SciPost Physics Core: Publish
(status: Editorial decision appealed by authors)

Author comments upon resubmission

Dear Editor,

We are grateful for the comments of the Referee. We agree that the bottom line of our paper is that it follows from quantum mechanics that conservation laws must be contextual.

We have followed the suggestion of the Referee and changed the last sentence of the abstract. In addition we have applied minor improvements of the manuscript detailed below.

Adam Bednorz
on behalf of all the authors

List of changes

a) Modified the last sentence of the abstract
b) Sightly reordered and modified the paragraph below (8) to emphasize the difference between
classical and quantum case.
c) Minor style changes at the end of Sec. 1 and beginning of Sec. 5.

Submission & Refereeing History

Resubmission 1907.06354v3 on 20 December 2019
Submission 1907.06354v2 on 25 September 2019

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