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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“Derivation” of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

The question I outline below is my textbook's "derivation" of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The "derivation" my textbook uses involves wave packets. Suppose there are seven waves of ...
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2answers
169 views

Why is Heisenberg uncertainty principle not valid in waves in string?

We know from high school physics that when the incident wave is traveling from a low density region (high wave speed) region towards a high density (low wave speed) region on a string, the width of ...
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1answer
96 views

Is there uncertainity of position of the perfectly homogenous radiating body?

I heard the standard interpretation of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: Just the measurement affects the position of the body because always you want to see a body (=to measure the position), you ...
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1answer
59 views

Can the uncertainty principle be redefined for different standard deviations?

$$\sigma_x \cdot \sigma_p \ge {{\hbar} \over {2}}$$ Where the $\sigma$ is the standard deviation. What happens to the inequality if you use a different definition of $\sigma$. For instance what ...
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How can Particle Accelerators even crash particles?

In quantum mechanics there is a law that states we cannot know a position and the momentum of a particle and so in a particle accelerator, we need to know the position of the particles we are going to ...
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1answer
62 views

Derivation of minimum uncertainty from Squeezed Coherent State [closed]

I'm studying a book in which I stopped by this point. I don't know how to derive the inequality from $$tr(\rho A^{*}A )?$$
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9answers
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Can we theoretically balance a perfectly symmetrical pencil on its one-atom tip?

I was asked by an undergrad student about this question. I think if we were to take away air molecules around the pencil and cool it to absolute zero, that pencil would theoretically balance. Am I ...
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6answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
201 views

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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1answer
155 views

Momentum uncertainty of free particle

I've read several Q&A's regarding free particles and the associated wave packet in this website, but found the answer to my question nowhere. It's OK to attribute a Gaussian wave packet to the ...
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2answers
103 views

Can mass be uncertain?

If you can have uncertainty in momentum, then wouldn't you have uncertainty in mass and velocity? Why can't mass be uncertain?
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1answer
86 views

Does the Heisenberg uncertainty principle preclude moving in a straight path with certainty?

The uncertainty principle is σₓσₚ ≥ 0.5 ℏ where x is position and p is momentum. Consider a 2d plane. If one moves along a straight line along the plane (possibly backtracking or moving forwards but ...
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2answers
986 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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88 views

Does the uncertainty principle affect event horizons? [duplicate]

I was thinking about black holes. For a simple black hole the event horizon is given by a distance of 2 times mass (energy) of the black hole. (2m). But according to quantum mechanics, if you try to ...
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3answers
130 views

Must the product of the two complementary quantities in an uncertainty relation have unit $\text{Js}$?

I know that the uncertainty principle is: $$\Delta p\Delta q \ge \frac{\hbar}{2}.$$. But do the units on the left-hand side of the equation always have to equal $\text{Js}$, i.e. $\text{energy} ...
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2answers
248 views

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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1answer
84 views

Uncertainty principle

I am reading about uncertainity principle. My textbook says, if $λ$ is the wavelength of the radiation used to observe the particle then the position of the particle cannot be determined with ...
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4answers
690 views

Heisenberg uncertainty principle clarification

I found these two examples in a books which demonstrate Heiseberg's uncertainty relation: 1) It shows that when we try to locate a moving electron,we transferred momentum via the photon that we ...
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1answer
81 views

Heisenberg uncertainty principle applied to large bodies?

Suppose I have a ball of a certain radius inside a box (with the length bigger than the radius) such that the ball fits in the box. The ball has a large mass (1 Kg). Heisenberg uncertainty principle ...
2
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1answer
262 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?
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Is entanglement a consequence of the uncertainty principle?

I am an aspiring physicist and once, I asked my professor on what triggers quantum entanglement and he graciously remarked "The great uncertainty principle!" - I was slightly confused and didn't say ...
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How do tracking detectors in particle accelerators create the pretty pictures we see?

I have read several sources about tracking detectors used in particle accelerators like LHC, but still have not found a more detailed source that can still be understood by a layperson like myself. I ...
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2answers
98 views

reflection of light and the uncertainty principle

I've heard that light reflects the same angle that it falls and so if we know the position of photon (the spot where it hits the surface) and the direction of where it shall go - that's violation of ...
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1answer
91 views

Why do momentum and position have the same direction in space in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

It is known that $\Delta p \Delta x \geq \frac{h}{4\pi}$. I read that the two uncertainties must be along same axes. Why is that so?
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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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1answer
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Does the electron confinement energy vary with temperature?

I was introduced the electron confinement energy. At room temperature thermal energy of a particle is about $k_B T$, where $T=298K$, giving about $25meV$. I was told that $E_\text{confinement}=50emV$, ...
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2answers
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Why is what Heisenberg's uncertainty principle describes true?

As I understand it, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle (HUP) states that the more precisely we know the location of an electron, the less precisely we know its momentum, and vice versa. However, I've ...
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1answer
131 views

Minimal phase space volume $h^3$ out of Heisenberg's principle

So the explanation in my text book is this: we have a phase space volume $\Delta x\Delta y\Delta z\Delta p_x\Delta p_y\Delta p_z$. Now they state that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states $\Delta ...
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1answer
61 views

Uncertainty relation and instrumental errors

I was puzzled recently by what I've read in the internets about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle (one probably should never do this). It claimed that in the usual relation $$ ...
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4answers
830 views

Is uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement? [duplicate]

Is the uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement or is it an intrinsic concept in quantum mechanics irrelevant of any measurement? Everyone knows the thought experiment of measuring ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Entanglement and the uncertainty principle

Suppose you have two maximally entangled particles. You measure the spin about the x axis of the first and the spin about the y axis of the second. But both spins cannot be known simultaneously, so ...
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1answer
44 views

Luminal motion and the uncertainty principle

I had a thought the other day about a connection between special relativity and the uncertainty principle. According to special relativity, you need an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a ...
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47 views

Question on Heisenberg's uncertainty principle [duplicate]

Can we measure limit of precision of measuring wavelength using uncertainty principle? If yes how can we do that?
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2answers
115 views

How can the uncertainty principle be used to deduce range of a force from properties of the force carrier?

Question: How can the uncertainty principle be used to deduce range of a force from properties of the force carrier? My thoughts? Not too sure how this can be done and would like some advice. ...
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6answers
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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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1answer
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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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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 ...
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2answers
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Calculating de Broglie wavelength [closed]

Hey, trying to finish an assignment but having some trouble with it. I will show all my work. The topic is on wave/particle dualty, uncertainty principle (second year modern physics course). So the ...
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Classical notion of trajectory [closed]

Why the classical notion of trajectory is meaningless in quantum mechanics? I am asking here about notion of trajectory from classical mechanics and why in quantum mechanics we cannot use it or is ...
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1answer
135 views

Do all quantum systems have zero point energy ?

I understand that it is possible to write an uncertainty relation between the Hamiltonian of a system and time, where the time uncertainity is defined by the amount of time it takes an arbitrary ...
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Why position and momenta are fluctuating quantities?

In a coordinate basis we have $$\langle \Psi \mid \Psi \rangle = \int \prod_{i=1}^N d^3q_i |\Psi(\textbf{q}_1,\dots,\textbf{q}_N)|^2=1$$ This means that for any quantum state $\mid \Psi ...
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2answers
119 views

Could quantum particle have a specific velocity without position at all?

I understand that electron spin on different axis is an example of complementary properties, which cannot be measured accurately at the same time. I also understand that if we have an electron is ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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Are the particle-wave duality and the quantum uncertainty principle united?

In a recent paper by Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore, they came to the conclusion that the ...
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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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0answers
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Quantum Gravity Singularity Question?

I am not a expert in QG (Quantum Gravity) or GR (General Relativity) for that matter so please forgive if I make any small mistakes, its just a curious question but I know that a singularity is a ...
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Minimum Uncertainty Wavepackets

I'm reading over some lecture notes on minimum uncertainty wavepackets in quantum mechanics, and I've come across a statement that I'm not entirely convinced by. My take on minimum uncertainty states ...
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1answer
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Energy Conservation in Quantum System?

Let us assume, 2 same mass atoms are moving towards each other at equal velocity and they are in course to crash into each other - so what would happen when they do crash into each other? If we use ...
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3answers
147 views

Does every interaction of quantum objects introduce backaction?

The motivation of this question is the following experiment: Assume you have quantum mechanical oscillator, e.g. a particle in a potential $V(q_x)\propto q_x^2$. Now the position of the particle ...