This tag is for Heisenberg's quantum mechanical uncertainty principle. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for uncertainty in a non-quantum measurement.

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Why don't quantum effects invalidate the speed of light barrier?

While proving that no matter can reach the speed of light (a fact which I call the kinetic energy barrier), Einstein uses the fact that he can calculate the velocity and position of an electron. ...
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206 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 state the wave function collapses into after an inaccurate measurement?

I'm watching MIT online lectures Quantum Physics I (roughly from one hour mark in the video). The lecturer explains wave functions that describe "Stationary States" that consist of a single energy ...
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279 views

Entropy and the uncertainty principle

According to the second law of thermodynamics, the total entropy of the Universe must always increase after any interaction (as I understand). So in the hydrogen atom, the electron has a high ...
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616 views

Is there any uncertainty between mass and proper length or time?

I was trying to naively draw a parallel between special relativity and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. I try to understand uncertainty principle as a consequence of 4-position and 4-momentum ...
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245 views

How does QM allow imaging of individual electron orbitals?

Question: Why does the uncertainty principle allow probing of characteristics specific to the electron orbital distribution? If you measure an electron's position/momentum, then after you measure ...
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Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle scientific proof

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that: if the x-component of the momentum of a particle is measured with an uncertainty $$\Delta \vec p_x$$ then its x-position cannot, at same time, be ...
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What is meant by “Nothing” in Physics/Quantum Mechanics(QM)?

I am not a phycisist, so please forgive my ignorance. This is related to my posts and this. I am trying to undertand what is meant by the term "Nothing" in physics or Quantum Mechanics since it seems ...
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Didn't we mess up with the temperature?

The following passage has been extracted from the book "The Feynman Lectures on Physics-Vol l": The mean kinetic energy is a property only of the "temperature." Being a property of the ...
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How can I solve this quantum mechanical “paradox”?

Let a (free) particle move in $[0,a]$ with cyclic boundary condition $\psi(0)=\psi(a)$. The solution of the Schrödinger-equation can be put in the form of a plane wave. In this state the standard ...
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Proof of Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR)

I am not sure how $QP-PQ =i\hbar$ where $P$ represent momentum and $Q$ represent position. $Q$ and $P$ are matrices. The question would be, how can $Q$ and $P$ be formulated as a matrix? Also, what is ...
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Uncertainty principle with two photons

Imagine an experimental setup in which you have to measure the momentum and location of a particle. To measure it we know we will have to affect it, and the uncertainty principle would come into the ...
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346 views

Does a ball thrown in the air really stop at its apex, and if it does, wouldn't that violate the uncertainty principle?

When throwing a ball straight up, most experts say that it momentarily comes to a stop at its apex before its return fall. If it stops, wouldn't we know its velocity and position and wouldn't this ...
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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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Phase space in quantum mechanics and Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In my book about quantum mechanics they give a derivation that for one particle an area of $h$ in $2D$ phase space contains exactly one quantum mechanical state. In my book about statistical physics ...
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341 views

Reason for Uncertainty principle

$$\Delta x \Delta p_x \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} $$ I understand what does Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states i.e. it's definition and it has been proven experimentally. But, can anyone please ...
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What is the meaning of uncertainty in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

The Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states the following: $$\Delta p \cdot \Delta x \ge \frac{h}{4\pi}.$$ While studying for my high school physics exams, I fooled myself into believing that I ...
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NO Uncertainties for particles in their own frames!

Well I had this thought experiment in which a particle observes itself, and something like the following is observed. Taking in mind the uncertainty principle all particles even stopped at 0K jiggle ...
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Does the uncertainity principle violate the law of conservation of energy?

What is the scientific view of the beginning of universe? Quantum fluctuation seems to contradict with the law of conservation of energy. Uncertainity Principle does seem to violate the Law of ...
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How can particles travel in a straight line?

A particle can be set off in a certain direction by giving them momentum. Momentum is a vector, so the particle heads off in a specific direction. But the wave function of the particle allows it to ...
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493 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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Physical Significance of Fourier Transform and Uncertainty Relationships

What is the physical significance of a fourier transform? I am interested in knowing exactly how it works when crossing over from momentum space to co ordinate space and also how we arrive at the ...
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323 views

Relativistic contraction for a wave packet and uncertainty on momentum

Consider an electron described by a wave packet of extension $\Delta x$ for experimentalist A in the lab. Now assume experimentalist B is flying at a very high speed with regard to A and observes the ...
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Underlying C*Algebra operators in standard quantum mechanics?

Linearity in standard quantum mechanics (QM) is the key to making the math possible in this field, but the presence of nonlinear operators in QM is what is more generally dealt with. Working with the ...
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Uncertainty relation for non-simultaneous observation

Heisenberg's uncertainty relation in the Robertson-Schroedinger formulation is written as, $$\sigma_A^2 \sigma_B^2 \geq |\frac{1}{2} \langle\{\hat A, \hat B\}\rangle -\langle \hat A\rangle\langle ...
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Is the ground state closest to the uncertainty relation? [duplicate]

For simplicity, suppose we are only talking about discrete energy levels, ie, bound state case. The energy levels are $E_1, E_2\cdots$, and the corresponding wave functions are $\psi_1, \psi_2 ...
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Introductory derivations of Heisenberg uncertainty principle

I'm not an expert when it comes to quantum mechanics, so correct me wherever I'm wrong, but: I've always been a little bit bothered by introductory derivations of the Heisenberg uncertainty relations ...
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Understanding the virtual states referenced in multiphoton absorption studies

The Heisenberg energy-time uncertainty tells us that we can have so-called virtual states between eigenstates as long as the lifetime of these states is at most: $\tau = (\frac{h}{4 \pi E_v})$ Where ...
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Which position and momentum distributions arise from some wave function?

Consider a particle in one dimension with wave function $\psi(x)$. The probability density function describing how likely it is to find it in a given position is given by ...
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258 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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What is the uncertainty principle?

I looked on Wikpedia for information on the uncertainty principle, but after reading it I still had no idea. I know it has something to do with how many things you can hold at some spot for some ...
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Uncertainty principle and measurement

I would like to really understand how the uncertainty principle in QM works, from a practical point of view. So this is my narrative of how an experiment goes, and I'm quickly in trouble: we prepare ...
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Could the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle turn out to be false?

While investigating the EPR Paradox, it seems like only two options are given, when there could be a third that is not mentioned - Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle being given up. The setup is this ...
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Are photons deterministic?

I propose the following scenario: At $t=0$, a photon is emitted from a star. At $t=n$, said photon is received and interpreted by some detector. My question is whether or not it is accurate to say ...
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Does $\sigma_x\sigma_p = 0 \cdot \infty$ after a measurement of particle position?

I feel this question has an obvious answer that I should have been able to find independently, but I've searched for a while now it hasn't clicked. When position is measured, the uncertainty of the ...
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Uncertainty Principle for a Totally Localized Particle

If a particle is totally localized at $x=0$, its wave function $\Psi(x,t)$ should be a Dirac delta function $\delta(x)$. Accordingly, its Fourier transform $\Phi(p,t)$ would be a constant for all $p$, ...
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Explanation for the EPR-like paradox

I am trying to understand the process of Quantum Entanglement for use in Quantum computers. The problem I have is this: Suppose some nuclear process emits an electron-positron pair. Now after ...
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Would something like the uncertainty principle arise even if the universe was built on something like Newtonian mechanics?

I am thinking of a (greatly simplified) computer simulation of a universe that followed something like Newtonian rules. Inside the simulation are A.I.s that are made from those same rules, and can ...
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Using the uncertainty principle to estimate the ground state energy of hydrogen

I have been reading through this estimate of the ground state energy of hydrogen and others like it. In this one it says it is using the uncertainty principal but then proceeded to use the following: ...
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Does the uncertainty principle make simulation of systems impossible?

Is it possible to fully define a system, then be incapable of simulating or calculating its future states due to the Uncertainty Principle? If it can be done, how?
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Very simple example of the way the Fourier transform is used in quantum mechanics?

According to a book I'm reading, the Fourier transform is widely used in quantum mechanics (QM). That came as a huge surprise to me. (Unfortunately, the book doesn't go on to give any simple examples ...
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Creation of particle anti-particle pairs

I was reading some QFT notes and there is one point that I don't understand, they are justifying why we need QFT saying that the number of particles is not preserved once we consider special ...
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What physical significance has the Heisenberg Group?

I read that the canonical commutation relation between momentum and position can be seen as the Lie Algebra of the Heisenberg group. While I get why the commutation relations of momentum and momentum, ...
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885 views

The uncertainty principle and black holes

What are the consequences of applying the uncertainty principle to black holes? Does the uncertainty principle need to be modified in the context of a black hole and if so what are the implications ...
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327 views

Why does $i ( LK-KL )$ represent a real quantity?

According to my textbook, it says that $i( LK-KL )$ represents a real quantity when $K$ and $L$ represent a real quantity. $K$ and $L$ are matrices. It says that this is because of basic rules. ...
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The uncertainty in angular momentum

It is known that the different spatial components of the angular momentum don't commute with each other. $$ [L_x,L_y] \propto L_z \\ [L_y,L_z] \propto L_x \\ [L_z,L_x] \propto L_y $$ Also it is known ...
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What's the relationship between uncertainty principle and symplectic groups?

What's the relationship between uncertainty principle and symplectic groups? Does the symplectic groups mathematically capture anything fundamental about uncertainty principle?
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325 views

A quantum particle which is almost at rest but whose position is random!

Assume a particle is given by a quantum state which is constructed in such a way that it is equally probable to find it anywhere in an fixed interval $(0,L)$ but has arbitrarily low velocity. The ...
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Uncertainly Principle in orthogonal directions

The Heisenberg Principle states that for each direction, $\Delta x\cdot \Delta p_x \ge \hbar , \Delta y\cdot \Delta p_y \ge \hbar$ and $\Delta z\cdot \Delta p_z \ge \hbar$. But, can anything be said ...
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Is there a mathematical relationship between Legendre conjugates and Fourier conjugates?

In quantum mechanics, there is an uncertainty principle between conjugate variables, giving rise to complementary descriptions of a quantum system. But the variables are conjugates in two different ...