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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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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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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421 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 ...
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7answers
583 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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Why can't we know the speed, $\vec{v}(t)$, and position, $\vec{r}(t)$, of an electron (the two) at the same time $t$?

I've read something about this and I conclude that it happens because of the uncertainty principle. But I don't understand very well the meaning of that. I mean, it's very abstract that the speed, ...
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135 views

Does the uncertainty principle imply the existence of particles that exceed the speed of light?

The uncertainty principle allows for the creation of virtual particles (with non-zero mass) that exist for very short durations. This allows empty space to have particle pairs that pop into existence ...
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196 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
234 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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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 ...
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211 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 ...
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235 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 ...
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473 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}) = ...
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2answers
103 views

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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1answer
86 views

Is the wavelet transform utilized at all in QM?

Excuse any ignorance, but something was on my mind today and my professor didn't give me a very clear answer... Obviously the Fourier Transform is used pretty constantly in QM. What about the wavelet ...
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270 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 ...
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2answers
176 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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1answer
359 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 ...
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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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924 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 ...
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148 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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3answers
251 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 ...
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495 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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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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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 ...
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Uncertainty in path integral formulation

In Feynman's path integral formulation, in order to calculate the probability amplitude, we sum up all the possible trajectories of the particle between the points $A$ and $B$. Since we know ...
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1answer
201 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 ...
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664 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 ...
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241 views

Why does temperature have no uncertainity?

Background My understanding is that temperature is not a quantum mechanical operator. Hence, thereby it should not have any uncertainty. However, any instrument that tries to take the measurement of ...
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60 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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1answer
127 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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407 views

Question on the uncertainty principle

The problem statement: Measurement detects a position of a proton with accuracy of $\pm10pm$. How much is the position uncertainty $1s$ later? Assume the speed of a proton $v\ll c$. What i ...
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Zero Point Fluctuations

The total energy of a mode in a quantum mechanical resonator is given by $E_n ~=~ (n+ 1/2)hf$ where $n$ is the number of modes. So when there are no modes or vibrations, i.e. $n=0$, the energy is ...
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Energy-time uncertainty and pair creation

Usually, the energy-time analogue of the position-momentum uncertainty relation is quoted as $\Delta E \Delta t \geq \frac{h}{4 \pi}$. This has interpretational issues and such. But, with a suitable ...
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552 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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105 views

Heisenberg uncertainty and probabilistic nature of QM

I am trying to understand whether the HUP and the probabilistic nature of QM are orthogonal or not. By that I mean that the HUP fundamentally derives from operators not commuting, which is the ...
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99 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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Non-locality in non-relativistic Quantum Mechanic

I guess the following obvious question is answered by any flavor of relativistic Quantum Mechanics, but I just wanted to check whether I understand correctly: Is it correct that nonrelativistic QM ...
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338 views

First-order and second-order wave equations, versus the uncertainty principle

In classical physics, we have second-order equations like Newton's laws, so we need to specify both position (zeroth order) and velocity (first order) of a particle as initial conditions, in order to ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
180 views

Why uncertainity is minimum for coherent states?

While reading for quantum damped harmonic oscillator, I came across coherent states, and I asked my prof about them and he said me it is the state at which $\Delta x\Delta y$ is minimum. I didn't ...
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887 views

Naive question on quantum mechanics and uncertainty principle

This is a follow up on this question, the answer of which points towards Quantum Mechanics. As stated I am not a phycisist so please forgive my ignorance. I will try to understand the issue by going ...
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Why can't be the EPR experiment simplified?

Alice measures the spin of her electron on the x axis. She now knows the spin value of Bob's electron on the x axis at time T0. Bob measures the spin of his electron on the z axis. He now knows the ...
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1answer
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When to use different forms of the similar looking uncertainity equations?

I usually find two different forms of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle equations as in follows: $$ \Delta x \cdot \Delta p \ge h$$ $$ \Delta x \cdot \Delta p \ge (\frac{h}{2\pi})$$ Some text ...
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1answer
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Retarded Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

Suppose there is a harmonic oscillator and at some time acts on him a force. The external force $F (t)$ being zero before $t = 0$ and after $t = T$ . The oscillator was in its ground state for all ...
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1answer
102 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
85 views

In the Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In Heisenberg uncertainty principle why do we only talk about uncertainty in position along $x$ axis, why not along other dimensions as well?
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1answer
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A few questions on wave packets and uncertainty relations

According to Cohen-Tannoudji the wave-function for a one-dimensional free particle can be written as $$ \psi (x,0)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi}} \int g(k) e^{ikx} dk.$$ While $g(k)$ is not specified, there ...
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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 ...