This tag is for Heisenberg quantum mechanical uncertainty principle.

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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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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
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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
486 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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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
960 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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5k 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
193 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
250 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
455 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
314 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
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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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364 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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817 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
98 views

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
478 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
566 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
395 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
105 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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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
118 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
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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 ...
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1answer
122 views

Finding $\Delta p$ for discontinuous wave function

So I have a triangle Wavefunction defined as: $$\psi(x)=\begin{cases}x &0<x<\frac{L}{2} \\ L-x &\frac{L}{2}<x<L\end{cases}$$ When I try to find the uncertainty in momentum, I ...
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174 views

Quantum state with zero standard deviation of position operator

Is any quantum state $|\psi\rangle$ possible such that the standard deviation $\sqrt{\langle\psi|(\Delta\hat{x})^2|\psi\rangle}$ of the position operator $\hat{x}$ is zero? If not, why?
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Uncertainty on a single observable measurement

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states (in the form of the Robertson-Schroedinger Formula) that measurement of two non-commuting observables has a limiting precision, even for flawless measurement ...
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303 views

Heisenberg uncertainty principle and minimum energy

In an exercise, given the average lifetime $\tau$ of a particle, the author estimates the minimum energy using the uncertainty principle formula : $\Delta E \Delta t \geq \hbar/2$, assuming $\Delta t ...
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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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2answers
583 views

From where does a particle get the energy to tunnel?

When a particle is made to confine more and more to a particular position it breaks the energy barrier to get out because of the uncertainty principle. But, from where does the particle get the energy ...
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155 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 ...
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1answer
182 views

Heisenberg relation

Given that $A(k)=\frac{N}{k^2+\alpha^2}$, show that $\Delta k \Delta x >1$. Considering the above example, according to my textbook, it is written that I must square the above function and ...
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3answers
749 views

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle - $ \Delta p $

So I was reading this paper, "Limits to Binary Logic Switch Scaling—A Gedanken Model". The following is the paper's abstract: In this paper we consider device scaling and speed limitations on ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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Light pulses and energy-time uncertainty principle [duplicate]

Suppose we have a monochromatic light beam. We put an obstacle between source and observer and remove it repeatedly by certain frequency such that observer sees an oscillating intensity of light. Will ...
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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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652 views

Why is the Bohr's idea of defined circular orbits overruled?

If we consider a thought experiment for determining position of an electron by using photons of light. According to principles of optics, if we use light of wavelength $\lambda$, then the position of ...
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1answer
114 views

In calculations with uncertainty principle why could you equate the uncertainty in momentum with the actual momentum of the system

This website is trying to calculate the confinement energy of a electron starting from the uncertainty principle, but it does this: $\Delta p=p$. Why is this valid?
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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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454 views

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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1answer
95 views

Why the uncertainty principle can be used for estimation?

It is usually said/done in textbooks and classes that if $\Delta x$ is known then $\Delta p_x$ can be estimated using the uncertainty principle as $\Delta p_x \sim \hbar/\Delta x$. But the ...
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1answer
264 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 ...
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5answers
259 views

Why does the universe follow the uncertainty principle?

I have been thinking about this question for quiet a long time but, couldn't make up an answer myself. Usually when someone asks about why a system is the way it is we answer it by saying that it is ...
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738 views

Why doesn't a quantum particle in an attractive 1D potential accumulate at the center?

I have two questions regarding (possibly counter intuitive results) Schrodinger equation and its application to two (strictly hypothetical) scenarios. Consider the 1D potential $V(x) = - ...
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3answers
493 views

How to derive the uncertainty relation for a system of arbitrary potential?

I've been trying to understand the derivation of the uncertainty principle for the harmonic oscillator as described here (see pages 100-101). What I don't understand is how the potential for the ...
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2answers
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Photons vs Uncertainty Principle

The uncertainty principle states: $\Delta_x\Delta_p>ħ/4$ We know the photon has a 0 rest mass but we are say that it's momentum is always the same $e=pc$ And more we are certain about the ...
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1answer
145 views

Uncertainty principle in atomic clocks?

How does the uncertainty principle limit the accuracy of atomic clocks. I know line width and measurement time are important but not exactly why?
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3answers
504 views

Is the uncertainty principle valid?

The uncertainty principle says that the product of the uncertainties in position and momentum can be no smaller than a simple fraction of Planck's constant $h$. Several articles lately suggest this ...
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366 views

General physics question involving Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle [closed]

Question: An unstable particle produced in a high-energy collision is measured to have an energy of $483\ \mathrm{MeV}$ and an uncertainty in energy of $84\ \mathrm{keV}$. Use the Heisenberg ...
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1answer
271 views

Heisenberg uncertainty principle - question [closed]

A beam of particles each having mass $m$ and velocity $v$ in the incident on a circular hole of radius $b$ located on a screen. If another screen is placed at a distance $D$ from the hole, ...
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87 views

Electron in strong magnetic field [closed]

What if we apply a very strong magnetic field to an electron so that it's position be a constant. Then if it's position is constant, it's momentum will also be a constant. But it is in violation of ...