This tag is for Heisenberg quantum mechanical uncertainty principle.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
609 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
529 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
293 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Noether's theorem vs. Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In continuation of another question about Noether's theorem I wonder whether there exists some kind of relationship between this theorem and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Because both the ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
927 views

The complementary variable to the qubit and spin-1/2

The qubit is a big topic of quantum information theory. A qubit is a single quantum bit. Physical examples of qubits include the spin-1/2 of an electron, for example, see page 39 of Preskill: ...
3
votes
4answers
238 views

QFT and violation of Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In some QFT books is said that a free electron can emit a virtual photon as long as it reabsorbs the photon and returns to its original state within a time: $$\Delta t<\dfrac{\hbar}{2\Delta E}$$ ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Two explanations of non-zero atomic radius

I have came across two separate explanations for why atoms have a positive atomic radius (as opposed to electrons "collapsing" into the nucleus). The first is via Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, ...
3
votes
2answers
800 views

Is single photon perfectly monochromatic?

Now, we do have equipment to generate single photon at a time, and LASERs are nearly monochromatic. While typing the question, am realizing that successive photons in case of single photon ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Calculating lifetime of a pi meson via Heisenberg uncertainty relationship?

This is a problem from my textbook: "A proton or neutron sometimes 'violates' conservation of energy by emitting and then reabsorbing a pi meson, which has a mass 135MeV/$c^2$. This is possible as ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

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?
3
votes
1answer
344 views

Why doesn't gravity act as a measurement?

I think this must be a very basic question but I couldn't find the answers anywhere. I was starting reading about Quantum Mechanics and these questions came in mind: As I understand the quantum ...
3
votes
2answers
367 views

Hamiltonian of oscillators quantized proof

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxrBcN1-BZWUOXNxR1l4S0l2MjQ http://www.2shared.com/complete/Qjy1_uzp/Quantum_Mechanics_in_Simple_Ma.html (I uploaded a pdf file that contains the parts of the ...
3
votes
1answer
589 views

wavefunction collapse and uncertainty principle

We all know that wavefunction collapse when it is observed. Uncertainty principle states that $\sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac {\hbar}{2}$. When wavefunction collapse, doesn't $\sigma_x$ become $0$?, as ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Connection between a simple matter wave and Heisenberg's uncertainty relation

When looking at the wave function of a particle, I usually prefer to write $$ \Psi(x,t) = A \exp(i(kx - \omega t)) $$ since it reminds me of classical waves for which I have an intuition ($k$ ...
3
votes
1answer
735 views

Why shouldn't the uncertainty principle be interpreted as an observer effect?

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle suggests that the more precisely the position of a particle is measured, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa. $$\sigma_x \sigma_p \geq ...
3
votes
1answer
856 views

Minimum Uncertainty Wavefunction derivation

Can anyone point me to a reference (preferably either something online or something a small liberal arts school would be likely to have in its library) that goes through a derivation of the minimum ...
3
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
237 views

electron orbits

Is there an upper limit to the number of orbits an electron can have around say a proton? Arent there states that are unstable(for n!=1) with corresponding mean/half lives and therefore uncertainty in ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Why isn't the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated in terms of spacetime?

As I understand it, there are two "versions" of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Position-Momentum uncertainty \begin{equation} \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} \end{equation} where ...
3
votes
1answer
748 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
306 views

Estimating minimum energy with uncertainty principle

I'm currently trying to solve a problem that involves estimating the minimum energy of a particle in the potential: $$ V(x) = \frac{-V_0a}{|{x}|} $$ I'm quite confused about how to handle the ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

In QM, does random data “come from anywhere”? Also, what are the properties of the data?

I have only taken a basic quantum mechanics course (this book, so you know where I'm coming from), but I've been wondering about something. If we set up a quantum system in a known state and take a ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Determining the spin of wavefunction

We all know that by uncertainty principle, location of a wave-particle is perfectly determined when uncertainty of momentum becomes infinite. (I also heard that in reality, it is almost impossible to ...
3
votes
0answers
164 views

Spacetime and uncertainty principle

I only have limited knowledge of relativity and quantumphysics but as far as I know, the uncertainty principle relates the uncertainty of space and momentum of a particle. Einstein however, explained ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Absolute zero and Heisenberg uncertainty principle

I got to read Feynman vol I and there was written that at absolute zero, molecular motion doesn't cease at all, because if so happens, we will be able to make precise determination of position and ...
2
votes
4answers
260 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
861 views

Causality and Quantum uncertainty [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Why quantum entanglement is considered to be active link between particles? Why can't the outcome of a QM measurement be calculated a-priori? Why do some (the majority ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Observation of violation of the uncertainty principle?

I stumbled upon this piece of news in the BBC's website http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19489385, discussing this paper http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v109/i10/e100404, which reports ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Why does the uncertainty principle relate position and momentum when mass is always certain?

Why do physicists relate $x$ and $p$, instead of $x$ and $v$ since mass is well known and is not uncertain?
2
votes
2answers
168 views

Uncertainty principle and multiple observers

My understanding is that an observer can measure the precise location of a particle so long as the corresponding uncertainty in momentum measurement is not an issue and vice-versa. Say there is ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Reason for the Gaussian wave packet spreading

I have recently read how the Gaussian wave packet spreads while propagating. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_packet#Gaussian_wavepackets_in_quantum_mechanics Though I understand the ...
2
votes
1answer
230 views

Will photon's energy be exactly same after million years?

If photon will travel for million years without collisions, what subtle effects can be accumulated ? Gravity fields affect trajectory, but is energy completely intact after fly by ? Photon has its ...
2
votes
3answers
411 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}) = ...
2
votes
5answers
182 views

Which way will the pencil fall?

Let's say you had a perfect pencil, with a point which was just that one point (see this question). The pencil's mass was perfectly distributed, and there are no flaws in the craftsmanship. Let's say ...
2
votes
2answers
152 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Minimum possible Kinetic Energy of a confined electron

The problem is this: Consider an electron confined in a region of nuclear dimensions (about 5 fm). Find its minimum possible kinetic energy in MeV. Treat this problem as one-dimensional, and ...
2
votes
2answers
884 views

Who first realized the uncertainty principle allows for virtual particle pair production?

For all I've read about Quantum Field Theory I've never seen the concept of the living vacuum accredited to someone in particular. Given the importance of this very application of the uncertainty ...
2
votes
3answers
171 views

Measuring position and momentum at the same time?

In a non-relativistic quantum mechanical system in an infinite potential well. I try to measure the energy and the position of the system simultaneously. Since, the respective operators do commute ...
2
votes
2answers
416 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
152 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Quantum uncertainty in cell functions

In class today (philosophy of the mind) we discussed the ideas of Richard Lewontin. He stated that in determining the phenotype of a gene we must take into account the environment but also quantum ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

Proof of quantum mechanical position uncertainty

How can you prove the uncertainty for position is: $$\Delta{x} =\sqrt{\langle x^2\rangle-\langle x\rangle^2}$$ $\Delta{x}$, taken to be the root mean square of x. $$\Delta{x} =\sqrt{\langle ...
2
votes
2answers
541 views

Why is $\Delta x \Delta k \approx 1$ in any pulse?

In my physics textbook, it says that for any pulse, if $\Delta x$ becomes smaller, $\Delta k$ becomes larger where $k$ refers to $2\pi/\lambda$ and $x$ is x-axis displacement, as described by $\Delta ...
2
votes
2answers
56 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
109 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 ...