This tag is for Heisenberg quantum mechanical uncertainty principle.

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Are “uncertainties” in Heisenberg Uncertainity just standard deviations? [closed]

Can someone confirm that the uncertainties in Heisenberg's uncertainty relation are really just standard deviations based on the expectation values? For example, the $\Delta x$ can be computed by ...
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4answers
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Why is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated the way it is?

I spent a long time being confused by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in my quantum chemistry class. It is frequently stated that the "position and momentum of a particle cannot be ...
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2answers
117 views

Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
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2answers
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Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int ...
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0answers
43 views

Uncertainty Principle - measuring momentum on one entangled particle, position on the other

If two entangled particles are sent far apart and then at exactly the same time the position of one, and the momentum of the other, is measured, won't this mean that, because the corresponding values ...
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7answers
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Why can't we use entanglement to defy Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle?

In principle, it is possible to entangle any property of two particles, including speed and momentum. Surely then, this could be used to defy the Uncertainty Principle, which states that the momentum ...
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1answer
74 views

Could the uncertainty principle theoretically be violated at 0 K? [duplicate]

Ok so please excuse me if the following mental argument is completely ridiculous or obviously flawed :P I was reading about how, even at 0 K (assuming we could experimentally reach such a ...
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0answers
22 views

Is there a Planck uncertainty?

There are theories which place lower limits on length, time and temperature. Is there a corresponding one for the lower limit for uncertainty? Is there a probability so small it cannot exist in this ...
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1answer
84 views

What is uncertainty principle exactly? [duplicate]

I've learned a little about uncertainty principle. According to words on Internet, it says that the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly at the same time. And there ...
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1answer
62 views

Quantum properties of objects with zero velocity

Just curious: What would the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and De Broglie Wavelength be for a baseball that is not moving (i.e has zero velocity)? Also, since macroscopic objects like baseballs ...
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49 views

Huygens and philosophy of the slit

A single (narrow) slit diffraction pattern, can be explained/described classically with Huygens' principle (1678), and quantum mechanically with the Uncertainty principle. If the pattern on the screen ...
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0answers
153 views

Quantum mechanics,and how the law $ΔxΔp≥ℏ/2$ explains the paradox regarding atoms [duplicate]

In Chapter 2-3,Vol I of the Feynman lectures, Feynman talks about a rule in quantum mechanics that says that one cannot know both where something is and how fast it is moving. That the uncertainty of ...
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2answers
179 views

Non-locality in non-relativistic Quantum Mechanic

I guess the following obvious question is answered by any flavor of relativistic Quantum Mechanics, but I just wanted to check whether I understand correctly: Is it correct that nonrelativistic QM ...
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1answer
99 views

How to minimize the wavepacket dispersion?

This is a final exam problem. Here is what I can remember: We know that if an electron's wavefunction starts out as a narrow wavepacket, and moving in a region of constant potential, then the ...
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2answers
67 views

Size of particle so small that it covers large volume?

An electron's "cloud" covers more volume than a proton does due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Δmv*Δx > h an electron has less mass than a proton, so its position is less determinate. ...
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3answers
80 views

For the Uncertainty Principle, Do the Units of the Two Complementary Quantities have to Equal Js?

I know that the Uncertainty Principle is: $△P•△Q=ħ/2$. But do the units on the Left Hand Side of the equation always have to equal 'Js', i.e. Energy x Time (the same is the Plank Constant, $h$) or is ...
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3answers
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$\hbar$, the angular momentum and the action

Is there anything interesting to say about the fact that $\hbar$, the angular momentum and the action have the same units or is it a pure coincidence?
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1answer
99 views

Electron at rest

David Griffiths suggested a website in his book where I got this paper http://www.hep.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/examples/electronatrest.pdf Here the author says classically a particle at rest(in some ...
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1answer
74 views

How can I prove this inequality for a harmonic oscillator?

I need a hand with this problem. I have to prove that for a particle in any quantum state in an harmonic potential $$ \langle X\rangle \leq2\Delta E\Delta P/(m \omega^2 \hslash) $$ Here's my ...
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Uncertainty Principle for Information?

I'm not familiar (yet) on how Information theory can be emerged/used in QM/QFT but I was thinking about this question: While we have Heisenberg uncertainty principle on measuring coupled observables, ...
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3answers
84 views

Why do we care about compatible observables?

Going through my first treatment of quantum mechanics at the Griffiths level, and I was wondering why we care about observables being compatible and what is the significance of having an eigenstate ...
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0answers
16 views

Is uncertainty in velocity via HUP reference frame dependent? [duplicate]

Simply put HUP involves position and momentum, further more consider a mass of 1kg. as momentum is mass X velocity = 1X velocity = velocity for calculation purposes. now for a stationary observer the ...
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2answers
217 views

Is there any physical quantity that does not have uncertainty?

I saw this video and I got a thought: Is there any physical quantity that does not have uncertainty? Basic models are: for lenght for time end energy (so for mass too) and I realized that ...
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Collapse of the wave function and Heisenberg uncertainty

I have been studying quantum mechanics for a few weeks, in particular wave mechanics, as created by Schrodinger, and his equation. As a high school student, I haven't found an answer to this question ...
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2answers
76 views

How can one be 'certain' about anything that has an “Uncertainty Principle” at its core? [closed]

The Uncertainty Principle, which says that more than one aspect of a particle cannot be measured simultaneously, illustrates one of several major differences between quantum physics and classical ...
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3answers
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Question about derivation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I am looking at the derivation presented here. The first thing I am unsure about is where the form of $\psi_0=Ae^{\frac{-m\omega x^2}{2\hbar}}$ came from. Also, is this form for all $\psi$, or just ...
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Is the uncertainty principle a property of elementary particles or a result of our measurement tools?

In many physics divulgation books I've read, this seems to be a commonly accepted point of view (I'm making this quote up, as I don't remember the exact words, but this should give you an idea): ...
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What is the experiment used to actually observe the position of the electron in the H atom?

Prior to observation, the electron can be found anywhere (from inside the nucleus to the ends of the universe), but once its position is determined the answer is precise (albeit its momentum is not ...
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3answers
404 views

3D Minimum uncertainty wavepackets

Based on the 1D case mentioned in Griffiths, I decided to try looking at the features of 3D Gaussian wavefunctions, i.e. (position basis) wavefunctions of the form $\psi(\mathbf{r}) = ...
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Energy-Time Uncertainty Principle and Photons

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that: $$ \Delta E \cdot \Delta t \ge \frac{\hbar}{2} $$ It is clear that this has nothing to do with the accuracy of our measurements, but rather is a ...
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2answers
254 views

An electron in $s$ state

If an electron is in $s$ state, for example in 1s state for Hydrogen or 5s state for Silver atom, $\ell=0$. So,its total angular momentum $L$ is also equal to 0. So, what is electron actually doing in ...
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110 views

Repeating a measurement vs uncertainty

The wikipedia says on measurement in quantum mechanics that: Repeating the same measurement without any evolution of the quantum state will lead to the same result. On the other hand, doesn't ...
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1answer
61 views

Do quantum physics apply universally at all scales? [duplicate]

Do quantum physics apply universally at all scales? Where do quantum physics apply? Does the nucleus of an atom abide by the laws of quantum physics? Like do we know the definitive/velocity ...
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1answer
51 views

Is uncertainty a physical obstacle? [duplicate]

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that you cannot know the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time (I believe this is the main idea behind it). And I have read in various ...
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1answer
309 views

Energy conservation of Virtual Particles - Quantum Fluctuation?

I (as a middle-school student) was wondering how virtual particles even conserve energy of the entire system? I don't mean just the particle's energy, but conservation with respect to the ...
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1answer
153 views

Hydrogen energy levels and energy-time uncertainty principle

Some hydrogen atom exists in some excited quantum state, and after some time $\Delta t$ it's de-excited, emitting a photon carrying the energy difference. It is claimed that this photon will carry ...
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What is $\Delta t$ in the time-energy uncertainty principle?

In non-relativistic QM, the $\Delta E$ in the time-energy uncertainty principle is the limiting standard deviation of the set of energy measurements of $n$ identically prepared systems as $n$ goes to ...
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1answer
59 views

Determining zero energy from $k=0$?

I'm curious as to the equations necessary for finding a total energy of 0 (or, I suppose, the energy density of empty space due to quantum fluctuations) in a flat Friedmann universe such as ours. The ...
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43 views

The electron: why can't it have both momentum and position [duplicate]

Total amateur here. I've been watching video lectures on Quantum Mechanics and it's said that there is no way to know both position and momentum of an electron at the same time. But is it because when ...
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1answer
515 views

Can Zeno's Dichotomy Paradox be Resolved with Quantum Mechanics?

I would like to start off by saying this is not a philosophical question. I have a specific question pertaining to physics after the following explanation and background information, which I felt was ...
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Interesting (new to me) things in the exposition of Landau's book on QM

In section I.1 (The uncertainty principle), a principle I already know, the author suggests a "relaxing" picture (Unusual): "We have defined "apparatus" as a physical object which is governed, ...
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3answers
111 views

Is the uncertainity principle a practical reality, a theoretical law or a measurement problem?

I understand we cannot state with arbitrary precision the position and momentum of a micro-particle as we superpose infinite waves to create a wave packet at the exact position of the particle and ...
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1answer
72 views

How can an electron be fired at a target when uncertainty principle says it will spread out around axis of motion?

Consider an electron fired at a target. Taking the axis of motion to be $x$, and position to be $(x,y,z)$ then $\Delta y = \Delta z = 0$ Therefore by the uncertainty principle $\Delta p_y = ...
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0answers
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Does an electron occupy a definite volume? [duplicate]

The proton is about 1.6–1.7 fm in diameter. Quoted from Wikipedia. That is,The proton just occupies a definite volume or a definite space. But I can't find the radius of an electron in ...
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1answer
383 views

Uncertainty principle in Harmonic Oscillator

In a single particle Harmonic Oscillator, suppose I prepare it in the ground state and then measure its position. From the relation connecting Total Energy, Kinetic energy and Potential I can ...
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1answer
68 views

Does there exist a state for which $\Delta\sigma_x^2=\Delta\sigma_y^2=0$? If not, how does one prove it?

I just realized that the uncertainty principle says that $$\Delta\sigma_x^2 \Delta\sigma_y^2 \ge \left(\overline{\hat\sigma_z}\right)^2,$$ where ...
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1answer
286 views

Uncertainty in position and kinetic energy

How do you find the uncertainties for $x$ and $K$? Knowing that the general uncertainties = $$ \sigma_A \sigma_B \geq 1/2\int \psi ^*[\hat A,\hat B] \psi dx\, $$ I figured out the commutator, for ...
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Does Planck's constant imply limits to computing *results*

... I don't mean quantum effects limiting hardware fabrication sizing. Such small scales have for some time exhibited issues. Rather, along the lines of imagining the smallest possible divisions of ...