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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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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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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527 views

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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978 views

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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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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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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330 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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Is gravity the current limitation to laser cooling?

This is something I've been wondering for a while. I've read about the experiment with NASA to reach unprecedented cold temperatures in space because of the microgravity environment not being such a ...
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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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339 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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Do the position-momentum uncertainty and time-energy uncertainty really exist in QFT?

It is well known from the Quantum Mechanics(QM) that for a particle, there is a position-momentum uncertainty relation: $$\Delta x\cdot \Delta p\geq \frac{1}{2}\hbar,$$ which bascically can be derived ...
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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 ...
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597 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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uncertainty of fields with many harmonic modes

In most basic level introduction to the quantum harmonic oscillator formulation of fields, it is assumed that the commuting variables for the fields $p_m$, $q_m$ are $$ \lbrack p_m , q_n \rbrack = \...
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Generalizing Heisenberg Uncertainty Priniciple

Writing the relationship between canonical momenta $\pi _i$ and canonical coordinates $x_i$ $$\pi _i =\text{ }\frac{\partial \mathcal{L}}{\partial \left(\frac{\partial x_i}{\partial t}\right)}$$ ...
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Is it possible to determine timescales of electron dynamics from the natural linewidth of an electronic transition?

A lot of work has been done recently on electron dynamics using attosecond pump-probe techniques; for instance in this paper. In this particular paper, the authors photoionized the neutral ...
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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 $[...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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Reaching the speed of light via quantum mechanical uncertainty?

Suppose you accelerate a body to very near the speed of light $c$ where $v = c - \epsilon$. Although this would take an enormous energy, is it possible the last arbitrarily small velocity needed -- $\...
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Heisenberg uncertainty principle derivation - unexplained factor of $4 \sigma_k^2$ in Gaussian

I did a Fourier transform of a gaussian function $\scriptsize \mathcal{G}(k) = A \exp\left[-\frac{(k-k_0)^2}{2 {\sigma_k}^2}\right]$ $$ \scriptsize \begin{split} \mathcal{F}(x) &= \int\limits_{-...
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Are the authors saying that the observer effect plays no role in Bohr's thought experiment of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle?

Here is an excerpt from Eisberg & Resnick's Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles. Here is introducing Bohr's though experiment to establish a physical origin for the ...
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Is the number-phase uncertainty relation classical?

For a harmonic oscillator in one dimension, there is an uncertainty relation between the number of quanta $n$ and the phase of the oscillation $\phi$. There are all kinds of technical complications ...
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Simple uncertaintly calculation of the center coordinates of a Landau Level

I am reading the following review paper on the Quantum Hall Effect. I am sorry for the extremely stupid question, but I have been stuck on this very easy equation for long. In equation 2.39, the ...
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On an Uncertainty Relation for Angular Variables

I'm looking for a proof of the Angular Momentum - Angle uncertainty relation $$\frac{\Delta L \Delta \theta}{1-(3/\pi^2)\Delta \theta^2} \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$$ which does not involve solving the ...
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Does Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle describe real uncertainty or measured uncertainty?

Some derivations of Hesenberg's Uncertainty principle are based on the momentum of light or particles used in measuring an object's position and momentum. Does this lower limit on uncertainty describe ...
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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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664 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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Uncertainty principle in quantum field theory

Can the uncertainty principle be derived in quantum field theory? If yes, does is have a different interpretation than quantum mechanics because the coordinates $x_i$ are now parameters and not ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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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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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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: http://...
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Do we need virtual particles?

I understand the $\Delta t \cdot \Delta E \geq \hbar / 2$ relationship and the idea behind them. However, I don't understand why do we need them at all. I'm a physics undergraduate. As far as I know, ...
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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: $$\Delta t<\dfrac{\hbar}{2\Delta E}$$ ...
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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, ...
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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}) = Ae^{-\mathbf{r}^\...
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Does the uncertainty principle go against chaos theory?

My understanding of the uncertainty principle and quantum physics is that any given object may, without notice or explanation, spontaneously perform an action it previously was unable to do with a ...
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Two questions about Feynman propagator

Taking for example the meson propagator: $$ \Delta_F (x-y) = \int \frac{d^4k}{(2\pi)^4} \frac{e^{-ik(x-y)}}{k^2 - m^2 + i\epsilon}. $$ It describes a meson that propagate from a point of Minkowski ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Is the single slit experiment a practical example of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

I saw some videos where a person points a laser through a slit. As they reduce the width of the slit, the diffracted image spreads out, like this: Can this pattern be viewed as a consequence of ...
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Uncertainty principle-Exact Measurement of one observable possible?

I'm currently learning for my exam in physical chemistry and have the following question: According to the uncertainty principle the momentum and the location cannot be measured exactly at the same ...
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Aharonov Bohm Effect Interaction Energy Interpretation: $\vec E_m = -∇Φ - D\vec A/Dt$?

The Wang paper "An experimental proposal to test the physical effect of the vector potential" proposes an experiment to decide between two interpretations of the Aharonov-Bohm effect: “the ...
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Rigorous Mathematical Proof of the Uncertainty Principle from First Principles

While looking at an intuitive explanation for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (related question below), there was a mention of an axiomatic approach to establishing the uncertainty principle. ...