This tag is for Heisenberg quantum mechanical uncertainty principle.

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Uncertainty principle - momentum so precise that uncertainty of position is outside light-cone?

Thought experiment: what happens if we measure momentum of a particle so precisely, that the uncertainty of its position becomes absurd? For example, what if the uncertainty of the position exceeds 1 ...
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1answer
100 views

Particle in a box: simultaneously bounded momentum and position

While writing an answer to this question, I started doubting about the interpretation of the uncertainty principle for the particle in a box. In the 1-dimensional particle in a box problem, explicit ...
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1answer
139 views

Help with the Heisenberg relation in Gaussian wave

In short laserpulses there is a minimal product of the frequency width and the pulselength for Gaussian pulses $\tau \cdot \Delta\omega \geq4\ln2$ this is the fourier boundary. So I know it origins ...
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2answers
322 views

Is quantum uncertainty principle related to thermodynamics?

Would like to ask a question, but first i would like to say Hello Everybody in a way that plays the system, since some geniouses decided that one should not be able to say hello in a question. The ...
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2answers
490 views

Interesting relationship between diffraction and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle?

I recently came across an interesting explanation of diffraction through an aperture which does not use Huygens' Construction but instead relies on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle: The ...
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2answers
600 views

Is the uncertainty principle just saying something about what an observer can know or is it a fundamental property of nature?

I ask this question because I have read two different quotes on the uncertainty principle that don't seem to match very well. There are similar questions around here but I would like an explanation ...
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2answers
501 views

Integral equations contradict The Uncertainty Principle?

I was reading about Integral equations, and I found this excerpt in Portuguese Wikipedia: "integral equations serve to determine the position in all instances of an object, if known, its ...
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2answers
264 views

What does this quantum experiment says about quantum world?

I am complete noob so please bear with me. I always read that in quantum world things exists as probability and only become one when they are observed...or wave collapses into particle. But there was ...
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2answers
210 views

What is the reason behind why a quantum particle cannot be at rest?

So I've seen different reasonings for this; which is correct, or are they both corollaries of each other? 1) For a particle to be at rest, we would know its momentum and therefore by Heisenberg's ...
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2answers
129 views

Uncertainty principle

Think of a particle known to be trapped in a box of size $\Delta x$ and cooled down to near absolute zero. I know that attempting to measure the momentum of this particle repeatedly will give a random ...
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2answers
92 views

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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2answers
29 views

Stopping an isolated metal ion

If we obtain something like a single isolated hydrogen atom I.e. $H^+$ is it possible by keeping it in a system of charged rings to contain and stop it at the centre of the system? Any positively ...
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3answers
91 views

How can a clock work if the uncertainty principle is true?

If the uncertainty principle and Copenhagen Interpretation are true, then how can a clock tick? Supposedly particles can do all sorts of things when not measured, then how can they be formed into ...
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1answer
63 views

Atomic emissions and energy time uncertainty principle

Am I right, according the time-energy uncertainty principle, to say that an excited hydrogen atom in free space could emit photons with energies different from those possible by Bohr's calculations? ...
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1answer
172 views

Question on Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

My textbook claims that the uncertainty in position of the particle in a quantum harmonic oscillator is $\frac{A}{\sqrt{2}}$ and the uncertainty in the particle momentum is $\frac{p}{\sqrt{2}}$ ...
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2answers
449 views

Why uncertainty principle is not like this?

In Griffiths' QM, he uses two inequalities (here numbered as $(1)$ and $(2)$) to prove the following general uncertainty principle: $$\sigma_A^2 \sigma_B^2\geq\left(\frac{1}{2i}\langle [\hat A ,\hat ...
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0answers
97 views

Heisenberg Uncertainity Principle

If any senior member of the group has access to the book, The Physical Principles of Quantum Theory by W. Heisenberg, then please help me in understanding the first section of chapter 2 where he gives ...
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0answers
544 views

“Derivation” of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Ok, so I posted this in the mathematics StackExchange, but got no response. The question I outline below is my textbook's "derivation" of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The "derivation" my ...
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1answer
92 views

Does the energy-time uncertainty principle require energy levels to have finite width?

The uncertainty principle also has the form: $\Delta$$E$$\Delta$$t>h/2\pi$ Now this should mean that the thickness of the lines we draw in the energy level diagrams to show energy change undergone ...
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1answer
174 views

Time-Energy Uncertainty Principle and Operators

In most of examples, I notice that uncertainty principle for time & energy is given between mass & lifetime. The UP for time and energy is $$ \Delta t\,\Delta E\geq\frac h{4π} $$ where $$Δt ...
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1answer
53 views

Position and potential Energy

Why are the position and potential energy of a particle able to be measured precisely in Quantum Mechanics? I mean why do they commute with each other?
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1answer
70 views

Uncertainty Principle Upper-bound?

In quantum mechanics, is there an upper bound for the uncertainty principle? I know that quantum harmonic oscillator (QHO) has the uncertainty relation $\sigma_x\sigma_p = \hbar(n+1/2)$, but I think ...
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6answers
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If I drop a leaf twice from the height of a tree in a completely controlled environment, will the trajectory in each case be the same?

Putting my question in other words, can earth form again if a similar initial universe condition is given? The uncertainty principle says that we cannot tell with certainty the position of a particle ...
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1answer
198 views

Question on Uncertainty Principle

I have read about the uncertainty principle. And it applies to electrons. Then how is it that we can get exact tracks of electrons in cloud chambers?? That is to say that how is it that the position ...
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1answer
202 views

The Physical Meaning behind a Commutator [duplicate]

I've just been introduced to the idea of commutators and I'm aware that it's not a trivial thing if two operators $A$ and $B$ commute, i.e. if two Hermitian operators commute then the eigenvalues of ...
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2answers
85 views

Uncertainty principle in Quantum mechanics

The Uncertainty principle says that "△x△p>h/2"; we cannot precisely obtain both position $x$ and momentum $p$ simultaneously. Is this because the uncertainty is the natural characteristic or it is ...
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1answer
144 views

How do you measure a particle's postion or momentum?

This question is about the Uncertainty Principle $$\sigma_x \sigma_p ~\ge ~\frac{\hbar}{2}.$$ Looking at the maths, I understant why the uncertainty in the poistion increases as the uncertainty in ...
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0answers
51 views

Uncertainty principle characterizing metallic bonding?

So I was trying to think through the statement that the uncertainty principle can characterize metallic bonding. I know that the uncertainty principle is: $\Delta p \Delta x = \frac{\hbar}{2}$. And ...
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0answers
130 views

The Uncertainty Principle and Energy Nonconservation

The uncertainty principle is listed in most textbooks and articles as $$ \Delta E \Delta t \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}.$$ This can be derived in many ways in many different settings, most of them involving ...
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2answers
49 views

Does measuring the exact position of a ball destroy the ball

If you have a macroscopic ball (say, a tennis ball) and you (hypothetically) try to measure the exact position of the center of that ball by measuring the exact positions of the atoms making up the ...
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4answers
464 views

Why complex functions for explaining wave particle duality?

I have this very bad habit of going to the scratch, discarding all the developments of a theory and worldly knowledge, and ask some fundamental (mostly stupid and naive, as some may say) questions as ...
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106 views

Including special relativistic effects in momentum in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

I've been told that an electron is somewhere within the space of $10^{-10}m$ and am supposed to find the uncertainty in its velocity. Simply applying $m\Delta x \Delta v \geq \frac{h}{4\pi}$ results ...
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1answer
816 views

Energy conservation limited by uncertainty principle

The way I learned it from practicing Fourier analysis and signal processing besides quantum mechanics, is that Energy conservation cannot be achieved in short time scales, and that limits energy ...
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2answers
4k views

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: Which formula is correct?

Some websites and textbooks refer to $\Delta x \Delta p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$ as the correct formula for the uncertainty principle whereas other sources use the formula $\Delta x \Delta p \geq \hbar$ ...
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1answer
169 views

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle - Planck's (reduced) constant divided by two or not? [duplicate]

The most common form of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle I've seen online is $$ \Delta x \Delta p ~\geq~ \dfrac{\hbar}{2}.$$ However, I also regularly see $$\Delta x \Delta p ~\geq~ \hbar. $$ ...
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2answers
239 views

Shouldn't the Uncertainty Principle be intuitively obvious, at least when talking about the position and momentum of an object?

Please forgive me if I'm wrong, as I have no formal physics training (apart from some in high school and personal reading), but there's something about Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle that strikes ...
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1answer
398 views

Relating Schrödinger's Wave Equation and Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

A homework question that I don't conceptually understand: A quantum particle of mass M is trapped inside an infinite, one-dimensional square well of width $L$. If we were to solve Schrodinger's wave ...
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1answer
308 views

Change In Momentum In Uncertainty Principle

The most basic explanation for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is that the momentum and position of a quantum particle is not very distinct when an attempt is made to measure them together. But ...
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1answer
72 views

Doesn't the uncertainty principle mean all particles with identical energy are indistinguishable and hence have an amplitude for exchange?

I wonder if someone could tell me where my logic is going wrong here? If two particles both have definite energy, then they have indefinite position. As their positions could literally be anywhere ...
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2answers
328 views

Energy of quarks and the mass of the proton

We know that energy of quarks inside the proton can not be exactly fixed because if it,the 'proton decay' must not be exist. My question is if the energy of quarks inside the proton is not exactly ...
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4answers
806 views

Is the uncertainty principle axiomatic or derived?

To take an example, Feynman Lectures Vol 3 13-1 Let's think of an electron which ban be in either one of two positions [...] There are two possible states of definite energy for the electron. ...
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1answer
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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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0answers
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Momentum representation of a state

I am trying to figure out the momentum representation of the state which has the properties $$\langle \psi |\hat q |\psi \rangle=-q_0,$$ $$\langle\psi|\hat p|\psi \rangle=p_0, $$$$\Delta q\Delta ...
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4answers
450 views

Is uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement?

I have searched for an answer to this question on physics SE but I have not seen a question in which it is addressed properly. Please let me know if there is an answer already. My question briefly ...
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2answers
431 views

Gaussian Probability Distribution?

The uncertainty principle states that, $$\sigma _{{x}}\sigma _{{p}}\geq {\frac {\hbar }{2}}.$$ It is mentioned from many sources that the probability distribution of the particle position and ...
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2answers
359 views

Is it only the ground state of the quantum harmonic oscillator that has the minimum uncertainty product?

We know that the uncertainty product of general states is bounded by the inequality described by Heisenberg's uncertainty relation. And the ground state of the quantum harmonic oscillator falls under ...
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1answer
90 views

Theoretical Upper Bound on Processor Speed?

Barring aside considerations such as heat dissipation, capacitance, etc... (aka any sort of technological issue) what is the fastest speed of a processor? I am told that at distances of 1 planck ...
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12answers
3k views

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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1answer
115 views

Why $\Delta x \Delta p_x$ for stationary states increase linearly with n?

Harmonic Oscillator $\displaystyle \Delta x\Delta p_x = \hbar (n+\frac{1}{2})$ Particle in a box $\displaystyle \Delta x\Delta p_x = \frac{\hbar}{2} \sqrt{(\frac{n^2\pi^2}{3}-2)}$ We notice ...
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2answers
135 views

Physical meaning of uncertainty principle + question on symmetry

A question on the Uncertainty principle. So we know that it says (for position and momentum) that: $$ \Delta x \Delta p \ge \hbar/2 $$. Where $\Delta p = \sqrt {<p^2> - <p>^2 }$ and ...