## How can a particle exist simultaneously in different places at the same time - by Viktor T.Toth - Quora Question Review

This document contains a review of the answer by Viktor T.Toth on the question in Quora: "How can a particle exist simultaneously in different places at the same time"
• The text in italics is copied from the article.
• Immediate followed by some comments

### Reflection

Well… that’s it, you see. It cannot. It’s a bit more subtle than that. Let me try to explain how it works.

Though it is inspired by experiment (in particular, by observations that cannot be explained by classical physics alone) the basic process is mathematical.

What is meant with the line marked in red?
Why do we need mathematics in order to answer the question?
We take the equations that describe a classical particle (which always has a well-defined position, velocity, etc.)
Why?
We do a little bit of algebra to these equations, messing them up if you wish. The resulting equations are still classical physics… however, they also have additional solutions that make absolutely no freaking sense in classical physics. We then make a leap of faith and declare that these solutions, too, describe the particle’s reality.
All of this text is not clear. Sorry.
Did I say that these solutions make no freaking sense classically? I meant it. Which means, among other things, that most of the time, the particle has no classical properties. It has no classical position. No classical velocity. And so on.
IMO this argumentation leads to nowhere.

So no, it is not in different places simultaneously. Rather, it has no location at all in the classical sense.
I'm lost.
What it does have is a state. (This is that mathematical solution that I mentioned above.)
IMO a state is a number, related to a physical description
And that state, together with a configuration of a measurement apparatus, tells you the probability of finding the particle at a given location, or traveling at a given velocity.
I expect the total story is much more complex.
When you actually make the measurement, you interact with the particle, and this will be one of those rare, fleeting moments when the particle actually has a position. When it has a position, it is always a single position; it is never in two places at once.
But even when you don't make any measurement, as part of an experiment: the particle is never at two places at once.

But most of the time, the particle has no classical position at all, just a state that yields varying probabilities for the particle to be found at various places.
There is nothing wrong with that, except what does it mean that the particle can be found at various places?
IMO this should mean, that the particle can be found at different places when the same experiment is repeated. But never at any experiment at two places at the same time.
This state can be represented as a superposition of all those possible locations, but it doesn’t really mean that the particle is at all those places; what it means is that the particle may be found at any of those places once a measurement is being made.
To describe that the word superposition is not required as a mathematical concept.
It is interested to remark that at the beginning of the answer mathematics is mentioned, but at end physics takes the upper hand.

### Reflection 1 - Question Review

The most important issue, related to the question: "How can a particle exist simultaneously in different places at the same time", is the origin of this question.
Most probably this is an experiment, but then the experiment should be mentioned.

It should be metioned that this is primarily a physical issue and not a mathematical issue.

My interpretation of the question is that any object, considered a mass, can not exist (simultaneously) in different places at the same time. Any object at any moment in time only exists at one position. When there are different positions involved the object has moved.
This is true in classical sense, with large objects, as in quantum sense, with small objects.

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Created: 3 January 2024

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