We propose to modify the collapse axiom of quantum measurement theory by replacing the instantaneous with a continuous collapse of the wave function in finite time $\tau$. We apply it to coordinate measurement of a free quantum particle that is initially confined to a domain $D\subset\rR^d$ and is observed continuously by illuminating $\rR^d-D$. The continuous collapse axiom (CCA) defines the post-measurement wave function (PMWF)in $D$ after a negative measurement as the solution of Schr\"odinger's equation at time $\tau$ with instantaneously collapsed initial condition and homogeneous Dirichlet condition on the boundary of $D$. The CCA applies to all cases that exhibit the Zeno effect. It rids quantum mechanics of the unphysical artifacts caused by instantaneous collapse and introduces no new artifacts.Comment: 12 pages and 2 figure
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