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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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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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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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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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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1answer
118 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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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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$\hbar$, the angular momentum and the action

Is there anything interesting to say about the fact that $\hbar$, the angular momentum and the action have the same units or is it a pure coincidence?
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126 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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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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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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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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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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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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134 views

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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Is the uncertainty principle a property of elementary particles or a result of our measurement tools?

In many physics divulgation books I've read, this seems to be a commonly accepted point of view (I'm making this quote up, as I don't remember the exact words, but this should give you an idea): ...
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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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An electron in $s$ state

If an electron is in $s$ state, for example in 1s state for Hydrogen or 5s state for Silver atom, $\ell=0$. So,its total angular momentum $L$ is also equal to 0. So, what is electron actually doing in ...
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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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1answer
100 views

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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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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240 views

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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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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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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953 views

Can Zeno's Dichotomy Paradox be Resolved with Quantum Mechanics?

I would like to start off by saying this is not a philosophical question. I have a specific question pertaining to physics after the following explanation and background information, which I felt was ...
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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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919 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 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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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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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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225 views

Can we describe Quantum Mechanics using filters and matrices? [closed]

Can mathematical filters or ultrafilters be used to predict quantum physics 'events' as accurately as using matrices like Schrodinger did? Is there a way to explain some of the predictive power of ...
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1answer
87 views

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 ...
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644 views

Do stationary states with higher energy necessarily have higher position-momentum uncertainty?

For simple potentials like square wells and harmonic oscillators, one can explicitly calculate the product $\Delta x \Delta p$ for stationary states. When you do this, it turns out that higher energy ...
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215 views

Is the ground state closest to the uncertainty relation? [duplicate]

For simplicity, suppose we are only talking about discrete energy levels, ie, bound state case. The energy levels are $E_1, E_2\cdots$, and the corresponding wave functions are $\psi_1, \psi_2 \cdots$....
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Does $\sigma_x\sigma_p = 0 \cdot \infty$ after a measurement of particle position?

I feel this question has an obvious answer that I should have been able to find independently, but I've searched for a while now it hasn't clicked. When position is measured, the uncertainty of the ...
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2answers
161 views

Two explanations of non-zero atomic radius

I have came across two separate explanations for why atoms have a positive atomic radius (as opposed to electrons "collapsing" into the nucleus). The first is via Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, ...
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86 views

can one measure energy to a finite accuracy?

Can one measure energy to a finite accuracy in bounded amount of time? I don't know much about QM, but someone told me that the energy-time uncertainty principle says that it would take infinite ...
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312 views

Entropy and the uncertainty principle

According to the second law of thermodynamics, the total entropy of the Universe must always increase after any interaction (as I understand). So in the hydrogen atom, the electron has a high ...
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1k views

Didn't we mess up with the temperature?

The following passage has been extracted from the book "The Feynman Lectures on Physics-Vol l": The mean kinetic energy is a property only of the "temperature." Being a property of the "...
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1answer
954 views

What exactly does the Hamiltonian operator tell us?

I'm confused about how energy and time are linked. On the one hand, the Hamiltonian seems to describe the time evolution of the system because in the time dependent Schrodinger equation, $$ \hat H \...
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An ideal condition in Heisenbergs uncertainity principle

We all know that the Heisenberg uncertainity principle implies $\Delta x\, \Delta p\geq\frac{\hbar}{2}.$ But is there an ideal condition where we can measure $\Delta x$ to a particular precision and ...
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2answers
86 views

Why is uncertainty $\geq {\hbar}/{2} $ [duplicate]

Almost all uncertainties (for example the position-momentum uncertainty or time-energy uncertainty) are greater than ${\hbar}/{2} $. But what is the derivation of this uncertainty by Heisenberg? Is ...
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Uncertain if invoking uncertainty principle for wave function is handwaving [duplicate]

Why doesn't the electron collapse onto the proton in a hydrogen atom? One explanation seems to be given by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which follows from the purely physical assertion that ...