collapse of the wave function
rombeš-e karyâ-ye mowj
Fr.: effondrement de la fonction d'onde
The idea, central to the → Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory, whereby at the moment of observation the → wave function changes irreversibly from a description of all of the possibilities that could be observed to a description of only the event that is observed. More specifically, quantum entities such as electrons exist as waves until they are observed, then "collapse" into point-like particles. According to the Copenhagen Interpretation, observation causes the wave function to collapse. However it is not known what causes the wave function to collapse. Same as → wave collapse.
→ collapse; → wave function.