This tag is for Heisenberg quantum mechanical uncertainty principle.

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What's the proper way to approximate the position uncertainty of a particle?

In this problem: shouldn't $\Delta x\sim\lambda/\sin\theta$ be $$\Delta x\sim \frac{\lambda}{\sin\theta} - \left(\frac{-\lambda}{\sin\theta}\right) = 2\frac{\lambda}{\sin\theta}$$ instead such ...
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An electron falling into a black hole

If an electron falls into a black hole. How can the Heisenberg uncertainty principle hold? The electron has fallen into the singularity now so it has a well defined position which means that it ...
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464 views

Does uncertainty imply noncommutativity?

We already know that non-commutativity of observables leads to uncertainty in quantum mechanics cf. e.g. this and this Phys.SE post. What about the opposite: Does uncertainty imply noncommutativity? ...
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What constitutes an observation/measurement in QM?

Fundamental notions of QM have to do with observation, a major example being The Uncertainty Principle. What is the technical definition of an observation/measurement? If I look at a QM system, it ...
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634 views

Uncertainty Principle for Information?

I'm not familiar (yet) on how Information theory can be emerged/used in QM/QFT but I was thinking about this question: While we have Heisenberg uncertainty principle on measuring coupled observables, ...
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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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Naive Uncertainty principle for string theory

Is it possible, in some sense, that a naive uncertainly principle for string theory could be expressed as : $$ \Delta x_i \Delta p_j \Delta \sigma ~=~ \delta_{ij} \hbar \ell_s$$ where $\ell_s$ is ...
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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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615 views

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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The Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Interpreting $\Delta p$, $\Delta t$, etc

(1) I have a textbook question that states the following: An electron has a speed of 500 m/s with an accuracy of 0.004%. Calculate the certainty with which we can locate the position of the ...
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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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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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655 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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Quantum mechanics and Couder experiments

Couder experiments ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=W9yWv5dqSKk and https://hekla.ipgp.fr/IMG/pdf/Couder-Fort_PRL_2006.pdf), published in 2006, state that by dropping ...
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363 views

Hamiltonian of oscillators quantized proof

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BxrBcN1-BZWUOXNxR1l4S0l2MjQ http://www.2shared.com/complete/Qjy1_uzp/Quantum_Mechanics_in_Simple_Ma.html (I uploaded a pdf file that contains the parts of the ...
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Proof of Canonical Commutation Relation (CCR)

I am not sure how $QP-PQ =i\hbar$ where $P$ represent momentum and $Q$ represent position. $Q$ and $P$ are matrices. The question would be, how can $Q$ and $P$ be formulated as a matrix? Also, what is ...
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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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How does QM allow imaging of individual electron orbitals?

Question: Why does the uncertainty principle allow probing of characteristics specific to the electron orbital distribution? If you measure an electron's position/momentum, then after you measure ...
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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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1answer
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Relativistic contraction for a wave packet and uncertainty on momentum

Consider an electron described by a wave packet of extension $\Delta x$ for experimentalist A in the lab. Now assume experimentalist B is flying at a very high speed with regard to A and observes the ...
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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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Does Heisenberg's energy-time uncertainty principle imply that quantum computing is no more efficient than classical computing?

See http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0006080v1 "On Non Efficiency of Quantum Computer", by Robert Alicki. In this paper, the author argues using Heisenberg's energy-time uncertainty principle, that ...
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uncertainty principle of spin in (super)string theory

In quantum mechanics, uncertainty principle states that we can only measure the quantity of spin in one axis but not others. Then what about in superstring theory? As quantum mechanics is basically ...
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Why is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated the way it is?

I spent a long time being confused by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in my quantum chemistry class. It is frequently stated that the "position and momentum of a particle cannot be ...
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Does the uncertainty principle apply to photons?

Wikipedia claims the following: More generally, the normal concept of a Schrödinger probability wave function cannot be applied to photons. Being massless, they cannot be localized without being ...
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855 views

Is it the act of measuring a quantum particle that causes it to lose its uncertainty?

I have designed an experiment. Without going into detail it resolves around the double slit quantum eraser experiments. If we can infer the location of a particle without actually measuring it, does ...
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125 views

Determining the spin of wavefunction

We all know that by uncertainty principle, location of a wave-particle is perfectly determined when uncertainty of momentum becomes infinite. (I also heard that in reality, it is almost impossible to ...
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516 views

Photons and uncertainty principle

Let's assume we have a perfect single-photon source: a device emitting exactly one photon at a time, with defined energy and direction. Let's shoot a photon: we know exactly the position of the photon ...
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623 views

What would be likely to completely stop a subatomic particle assuming it was possible?

Suppose that completely stopping a subatomic particle, such as an electron, could happen under certain conditions. What would be likely ways to get an electron to be perfectly still, or even just stop ...
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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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381 views

Where does the “borrowed energy” come from in Alpha decay?

I was also thinking about the uncertainty principle in regards with energy & time. The question of something like: Alpha tunneling out of the nucleus is where this can be invoked, but having an ...
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Applying uncertainty principle and the difference in $\Delta x$

These two questions seem to be very similar, but the textbook uses a bit different methods for calculating $\Delta x$ of uncertainty principle. Question A) Suppose that there is a room with the same ...
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electrons in an atom and uncertainty principle

Electrons in an atom have quantized energy quantity. Can uncertainty principle be applied in this case, then? How does this work? As energy is fixed, this seems to disobey $\Delta E \Delta t \geq ...
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Momentum in quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics, we can have some superposition of matter waves that have different wavelengths. If then, can't momentum of a particle change every time measurement takes place? Or should I ...
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304 views

EPR paradox and uncertainty principle

In Wikipedia article EPR paradox, The original paper purports to describe what must happen to "two systems I and II, which we permit to interact ...", and, after some time, "we suppose that there ...
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wavefunction collapse and uncertainty principle

We all know that wavefunction collapse when it is observed. Uncertainty principle states that $\sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac {\hbar}{2}$. When wavefunction collapse, doesn't $\sigma_x$ become $0$?, as ...
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How do you determine the degree of localization of a wavefunction?

Suppose that there is a wavefunction $\Psi (x,0)$ where 0 is referring to $t$. Let us also say that $a(k) = \frac{C\alpha}{\sqrt{\pi}}\exp(-\alpha^2k^2)$ is the spectral contents (spectral amplitudes) ...
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437 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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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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Measurement and uncertainty principle in QM

The Wikipedia says on the page for the uncertainty principle: Mathematically, the uncertainty relation between position and momentum arises because the expressions of the wave function in the two ...
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What is meant by “Nothing” in Physics/Quantum Mechanics(QM)?

I am not a phycisist, so please forgive my ignorance. This is related to my posts and this. I am trying to undertand what is meant by the term "Nothing" in physics or Quantum Mechanics since it seems ...
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2answers
654 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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what is expectation values of this anti-commutator?

what is expectation values of this anti-commutator? $$\langle \{ \Delta \hat x,\Delta \hat p\} \rangle$$ where the $\Delta \hat p=\hat p-\langle \hat p \rangle$ and $\hat p$ is momentum operator and ...
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problem with the last terms of uncertainty principle

i've problem with the last terms of uncertainty principle: 1. are these equalities true: $$\langle \{\Delta \hat A,\Delta \hat B\} \rangle=\langle \{\hat A, \hat B \}\rangle$$ $$\langle [\Delta \hat ...
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324 views

is there any uncertainty on the free particle with a definite momentum $\vec p$?

The probability amplitude for a free particle with momentum $\ p$ and energy $E$ is the complex wave function: $$\psi_{(\vec x , t)}=e^{i(\vec k\cdot \vec x -\omega t)}$$ is there any uncertainty on ...
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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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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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How does position uncertainty change in time?

I have an online homework for my Modern Physics class, that requires me to find the uncertainty in velocity and position of a duck. The question is as below: Suppose a duck lives in a universe in ...
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Uncertainty principle in infinite potential well

Consider infinite potential well i.e. Hilbert space $L^2 \bigl([0,1]\bigr)$. Next we consider subset $$D_\theta = \left\{ \psi \in L^2 \bigl([0,1]\bigr) | \; \psi \; \text{is absolutely continuos and ...
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Concept of a point particle in quantum mechanics

A point particle is usually thought of as structureless and without dimension. However, given that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle prohibits us from knowing the position of a particle exactly, what ...