This tag is for Heisenberg quantum mechanical uncertainty principle.

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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
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 ...
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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
123 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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1answer
189 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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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
328 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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0answers
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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
729 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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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
196 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
774 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
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 ...
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0answers
29 views

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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0answers
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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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4answers
753 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
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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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3answers
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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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3answers
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
262 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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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
524 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
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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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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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0answers
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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
299 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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1answer
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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 ...
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8answers
2k views

Why do quantum physical properties come in pairs?

Why do quantum physical properties come in pairs, governed by the uncertainty principle (that is, position and momentum?) Why not in groups of three, four, etc.?
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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 ...
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1answer
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Weird Behaviour of the act of measurement to a quantum system

I and my friend were disputing about some weird behaviour of the act of measuring some observables quantities e.g. Energy, position. But I still don't think what he said is strictly true. He said" ...
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In what range the acceleration value of quantum particle lies?

According to Heisenberg's uncertainity principle, the position and velocity of an quantum particle cannot be determined simultaneously. Is it possible to determine position and acceleration ...
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1answer
556 views

Why is classical physics not valid for a harmonic oscillator in its lowest energy state? [closed]

I am reading Born's interpretation of wave function in quantum physics by Eisberg & Resnick and I am not able to understand this description about comparison between the classical and quantum ...
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1answer
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Uncertainty in momentum of an excited electron trapped in a box (1D)?

An electron is trapped in a one-dimensional well of width $0.132\,$nm. The electron is in the ninth excited state ($n=10$) state. What is the uncertainty in its momentum? The problem gives a hint to ...
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1answer
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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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Question regarding waves squeezed

in one MOOC I am taking, the professor had a slide stating "when squeezed into a narrow space wave is amplified". I am not sure I understand what he meant by that, and I am trying to think into terms ...
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1answer
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Gaussian wave packet

At our QM intro our professor said that we derive uncertainty principle using the integral of plane waves $\psi = \psi_0(k) e^{i(kx - \omega t)}$ over wave numbers $k$. We do it at $t=0$ hence $\psi = ...
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2answers
209 views

More Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) Clarification

If you look at the commutation relation of the position and momentum operators (in 1D position space), you get: $$[\hat{x}, \hat{p}_x] = [x,-i \hbar \frac{\partial}{\partial x}] = i \hbar$$ All this ...
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2answers
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Why the wave-particle duality cannot be explained as a traveling-standing wave duality?

This would explain why speed and position cannot be measured at the same time, since either the wave would be traveling (speed) or enclosed and standing (position). The act of enclosing it (to be ...
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4answers
280 views

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle for electrons and atoms

Here is a video of Michio Kaku discussing Moore's Law and the quantum mechanical limits thereof. Around the 1:30 mark he's talking about how the chips today have a layer of 20 atoms across (I'm ...
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3answers
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Uncertainty principle and the energy-momentum 4-vector

In each of the uncertainty relations $$\Delta p_x \Delta x \geq \hbar/2$$ $$\Delta p_y \Delta y \geq \hbar/2$$$$\Delta p_z \Delta z \geq \hbar/2$$$$\Delta E \Delta t \geq \hbar/2$$ the second term on ...
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1answer
98 views

Does Heisenberg uncertainty apply within each quantum configuration, or in the amplitude distribution over them?

I'm still absorbing some basic ideas about quantum physics and now I think I have to reconsider the Uncertainty Principle. Here is what I understand, in summary: a "configuration" specifies the ...
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1answer
280 views

How does the uncertainty principle make a photon beam spread out?

I'm reading about uncertainty principle, and something has been bothering me for quite a while. There is the formula: $$\sigma_x \sigma_p \ge \frac{\hbar}{2}$$ I know what this means: the more you ...
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2answers
169 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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4answers
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What is the meaning of uncertainty in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

The Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states the following: $$\Delta p \cdot \Delta x \ge \frac{h}{4\pi}.$$ While studying for my high school physics exams, I fooled myself into believing that I ...
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0answers
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Uncertainty Principle and Bohmian mechanics

The Uncertainty Principle is a relationship between measurements of pairs of attributes, position and momentum, as well as energy and time. Perfect precision of one attribute's measurement leads to a ...
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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 ...