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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Why only 1 component of angular momentum?

Griffiths says that you can have only 1 well defined component of the angular momentum because of the uncertainty principle. From the uncertainty principle, we get that $$ \sigma_{L_x}\sigma_{L_y} \...
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84 views

On quantum randomness, the longest weather predictions and perfect macroscopic caos

Which is the maximum number of days we can predict future weather conditions with a reasonable degree of accuracy if we knew all of the initial conditions of everything that effects the weather down ...
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53 views

Gedankenexperiment to derive the Robertson uncertainty relation without confusing it with the obersver effect

In the last years there seemed to be much activity on the meaning Heisenberg's uncertainty relation. The main point of the discussion was Heisenbergs noise-disturbance-relation (see: http://arxiv.org/...
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Why isn't the Heisenberg uncertainty principle stated in terms of spacetime?

As I understand it, there are two "versions" of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: Position-Momentum uncertainty \begin{equation} \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2} \end{equation} where $[...
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93 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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556 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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148 views

Rectangular window $\psi$ wave-function and the calculus of $\langle p^2\rangle$ for it

I'm currently considering a rectangular window $\psi$ function: $$ \psi(x) = \begin{cases}\left(2a\right)^{-1/2}&\text{for } |x|<a \\ 0&\text{otherwise.} \end{cases} $$ I am interested in ...
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154 views

Calculation of $\langle p\rangle$ and $\langle p^2\rangle$ for wave function [closed]

Given the wave function $$\psi(x)=A\exp\left[-a \left(\frac{mx^{2}}{\hbar}+it\right)\right]$$ I would like to calculate $\sigma_{p}$. \begin{align}\langle p\rangle &=\int \psi^{\star}\left(\frac{...
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Uncertainty Principle - measuring momentum on one entangled particle, position on the other

If two entangled particles are sent far apart and then at exactly the same time the position of one, and the momentum of the other, is measured, won't this mean that, because the corresponding values ...
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1answer
93 views

Could the uncertainty principle theoretically be violated at 0 K? [duplicate]

Ok so please excuse me if the following mental argument is completely ridiculous or obviously flawed :P I was reading about how, even at 0 K (assuming we could experimentally reach such a temperature)...
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31 views

Is there a Planck uncertainty?

There are theories which place lower limits on length, time and temperature. Is there a corresponding one for the lower limit for uncertainty? Is there a probability so small it cannot exist in this ...
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1answer
95 views

What is uncertainty principle exactly? [duplicate]

I've learned a little about uncertainty principle. According to words on Internet, it says that the position and the velocity of an object cannot both be measured exactly at the same time. And there ...
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1answer
191 views

Quantum properties of objects with zero velocity

What would the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and De Broglie wavelength be for a baseball that is not moving (i.e has zero velocity)? Also, since macroscopic objects like baseballs have extremely ...
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57 views

Huygens and philosophy of the slit

A single (narrow) slit diffraction pattern, can be explained/described classically with Huygens' principle (1678), and quantum mechanically with the Uncertainty principle. If the pattern on the screen ...
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163 views

Quantum mechanics,and how the law $ΔxΔp≥ℏ/2$ explains the paradox regarding atoms [duplicate]

In Chapter 2-3,Vol I of the Feynman lectures, Feynman talks about a rule in quantum mechanics that says that one cannot know both where something is and how fast it is moving. That the uncertainty of ...
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83 views

Size of particle so small that it covers large volume?

An electron's "cloud" covers more volume than a proton does due to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Δmv*Δx > h an electron has less mass than a proton, so its position is less determinate. ...
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1answer
119 views

How to minimize the wavepacket dispersion?

This is a final exam problem. Here is what I can remember: We know that if an electron's wavefunction starts out as a narrow wavepacket, and moving in a region of constant potential, then the ...
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2answers
218 views

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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132 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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335 views

QFT and violation of Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In some QFT books is said that a free electron can emit a virtual photon as long as it reabsorbs the photon and returns to its original state within a time: $$\Delta t<\dfrac{\hbar}{2\Delta E}$$ ...
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1answer
128 views

Electron at rest

David Griffiths suggested a website in his book where I got this paper http://www.hep.princeton.edu/~mcdonald/examples/electronatrest.pdf Here the author says classically a particle at rest(in some ...
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1answer
83 views

How can I prove this inequality for a harmonic oscillator?

I need a hand with this problem. I have to prove that for a particle in any quantum state in an harmonic potential $$ \langle X\rangle \leq2\Delta E\Delta P/(m \omega^2 \hslash) $$ Here's my ...
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2k views

Relationship between Energy and Time [closed]

Is there a relationship between energy and time? What is it?
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3answers
151 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 ...
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3answers
134 views

Why do we care about compatible observables?

Going through my first treatment of quantum mechanics at the Griffiths level, and I was wondering why we care about observables being compatible and what is the significance of having an eigenstate ...
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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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Is uncertainty in velocity via HUP reference frame dependent? [duplicate]

Simply put HUP involves position and momentum, further more consider a mass of 1kg. as momentum is mass X velocity = 1X velocity = velocity for calculation purposes. now for a stationary observer the ...
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289 views

Collapse of the wave function and Heisenberg uncertainty

I have been studying quantum mechanics for a few weeks, in particular wave mechanics, as created by Schrodinger, and his equation. As a high school student, I haven't found an answer to this question ...
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98 views

How can one be 'certain' about anything that has an “Uncertainty Principle” at its core? [closed]

The Uncertainty Principle, which says that more than one aspect of a particle cannot be measured simultaneously, illustrates one of several major differences between quantum physics and classical ...
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Question about derivation of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I am looking at the derivation presented here. The first thing I am unsure about is where the form of $\psi_0=Ae^{\frac{-m\omega x^2}{2\hbar}}$ came from. Also, is this form for all $\psi$, or just ...
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203 views

Uncertainty relation for non-simultaneous observation

Heisenberg's uncertainty relation in the Robertson-Schroedinger formulation is written as, $$\sigma_A^2 \sigma_B^2 \geq |\frac{1}{2} \langle\{\hat A, \hat B\}\rangle -\langle \hat A\rangle\langle \...
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2answers
709 views

What is the experiment used to actually observe the position of the electron in the H atom?

Prior to observation, the electron can be found anywhere (from inside the nucleus to the ends of the universe), but once its position is determined the answer is precise (albeit its momentum is not ...
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Energy-Time Uncertainty Principle and Photons

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that: $$ \Delta E \cdot \Delta t \ge \frac{\hbar}{2} $$ It is clear that this has nothing to do with the accuracy of our measurements, but rather is a ...
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Repeating a measurement vs uncertainty

The wikipedia says on measurement in quantum mechanics that: Repeating the same measurement without any evolution of the quantum state will lead to the same result. On the other hand, doesn't ...
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Do quantum physics apply universally at all scales? [duplicate]

Do quantum physics apply universally at all scales? Where do quantum physics apply? Does the nucleus of an atom abide by the laws of quantum physics? Like do we know the definitive/velocity ...
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1answer
89 views

Is uncertainty a physical obstacle? [duplicate]

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that you cannot know the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time (I believe this is the main idea behind it). And I have read in various ...
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1answer
569 views

Energy conservation of Virtual Particles - Quantum Fluctuation?

I (as a middle-school student) was wondering how virtual particles even conserve energy of the entire system? I don't mean just the particle's energy, but conservation with respect to the surroundings?...
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Hydrogen energy levels and energy-time uncertainty principle

Some hydrogen atom exists in some excited quantum state, and after some time $\Delta t$ it's de-excited, emitting a photon carrying the energy difference. It is claimed that this photon will carry ...
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1answer
71 views

Determining zero energy from $k=0$?

I'm curious as to the equations necessary for finding a total energy of 0 (or, I suppose, the energy density of empty space due to quantum fluctuations) in a flat Friedmann universe such as ours. The ...
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48 views

The electron: why can't it have both momentum and position [duplicate]

Total amateur here. I've been watching video lectures on Quantum Mechanics and it's said that there is no way to know both position and momentum of an electron at the same time. But is it because when ...
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Interesting (new to me) things in the exposition of Landau's book on QM

In section I.1 (The uncertainty principle), a principle I already know, the author suggests a "relaxing" picture (Unusual): "We have defined "apparatus" as a physical object which is governed, ...
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176 views

Is the uncertainity principle a practical reality, a theoretical law or a measurement problem? [duplicate]

I understand we cannot state with arbitrary precision the position and momentum of a micro-particle as we superpose infinite waves to create a wave packet at the exact position of the particle and ...
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1answer
87 views

How can an electron be fired at a target when uncertainty principle says it will spread out around axis of motion?

Consider an electron fired at a target. Taking the axis of motion to be $x$, and position to be $(x,y,z)$ then $\Delta y = \Delta z = 0$ Therefore by the uncertainty principle $\Delta p_y = \...
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Does an electron occupy a definite volume? [duplicate]

The proton is about 1.6–1.7 fm in diameter. Quoted from Wikipedia. That is,The proton just occupies a definite volume or a definite space. But I can't find the radius of an electron in Wikipedia. ...
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1answer
217 views

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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1answer
69 views

Does there exist a state for which $\Delta\sigma_x^2=\Delta\sigma_y^2=0$? If not, how does one prove it?

I just realized that the uncertainty principle says that $$\Delta\sigma_x^2 \Delta\sigma_y^2 \ge \left(\overline{\hat\sigma_z}\right)^2,$$ where $\Delta\sigma_x^2=\overline{(\hat\sigma_x-\overline{\...
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1answer
920 views

Uncertainty principle in Harmonic Oscillator

In a single particle Harmonic Oscillator, suppose I prepare it in the ground state and then measure its position. From the relation connecting Total Energy, Kinetic energy and Potential I can ...
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Does Planck's constant imply limits to computing *results*

... I don't mean quantum effects limiting hardware fabrication sizing. Such small scales have for some time exhibited issues. Rather, along the lines of imagining the smallest possible divisions of ...
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1answer
955 views

Uncertainty in position and kinetic energy

How do you find the uncertainties for $x$ and $K$? Knowing that the general uncertainties = $$ \sigma_A \sigma_B \geq 1/2\int \psi ^*[\hat A,\hat B] \psi dx\, $$ I figured out the commutator, for ...
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1answer
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Time energy uncertainty principle [duplicate]

$ \sigma _{H}\sigma _{Q}\geqslant \frac{h}{4\pi }\frac{d\left \langle Q \right \rangle}{dt}$ $\Delta E = \sigma _{H}$ $\Delta t = \frac{\sigma _{Q}}{d\left \langle Q \right \rangle / dt}$ $\Delta E ...