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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672 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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88 views

Measurement of energy apparently violating the position-momentum Uncertainty Principle in a potential that does not depend on distance?

I am taking a beginning course in QM and I have learnt that the measurement of energy collapses the wavefunction of a particle to one of its energy eigenstates. But some misconceptions regarding this ...
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103 views

How is the motion of electron in p orbital?

Does an electron in p orbital move around nucleus or move randomly in any individual lobe of p orbital. if it were to move around nucleus then does p orbital move along with it?
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RH side of the Uncertainty principle: when is it a number and when an expectation value?

The uncertainty principle between the position $x$ and the momentum $p$ is given by: $$ \sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \hbar/2,$$ whereas for the $x$ and $y$ components of the angular momentum is given by: ...
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271 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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3answers
832 views

Couldn't we measure electrons with good enough technology? [duplicate]

I am a bit confused about the Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle - just read about it in How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, by Chad Orzel. He states that the reason electrons can't be measured is ...
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1answer
42 views

Does Heisenberg's uncertainty hold for any two quantum measurements?

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is most commonly expressed in terms of the uncertainty in measurement of position and momentum of a particle, $$\Delta x\Delta p \geq \hbar$$and uncertainty in ...
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1answer
95 views

A Confusion About Energy-Time Uncertainty Relations

In all the textbooks that I have seen, energy-time relation is written in the following way:$$\Delta E \cdot \Delta t \geqslant \frac{\hbar}{2}$$ Here is my interpretation of this principle: The ...
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1answer
69 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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1answer
256 views

Question on Quantum Harmonic Oscillator

My textbook claims that the uncertainty in position of the particle in a quantum harmonic oscillator is $\frac{A}{\sqrt{2}}$ and the uncertainty in the particle momentum is $\frac{p}{\sqrt{2}}$ ...
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3answers
832 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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222 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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1answer
302 views

Quantum entanglement, quantum measurement, spin and position

By uncertainty principle, we know that determining particle's position at some location is limited. So we cannot determine the position of a particle at some exact point location as this would make ...
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1answer
47 views

Range of a mediating particle

My book describes the derivation of the formula $R\approx\hbar/2mc$ by: $$(\Delta E)(\Delta t)\geq\hbar/2$$ The violation of energy conservation is $\Delta E=mc^2$ to create the particle’s mass. Also, ...
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1answer
115 views

How relevant is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

I was originally surprised to see that, $$\Delta x \cdot \Delta p \gt {{\hbar} \over 2}$$ But, then I realized that $\hbar/2=5.27 \cdot 10^{-35}$. According to this other question, the smallest ...
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1answer
81 views

Heisenberg uncertainty principle applied to large bodies?

Suppose I have a ball of a certain radius inside a box (with the length bigger than the radius) such that the ball fits in the box. The ball has a large mass (1 Kg). Heisenberg uncertainty principle ...
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1answer
137 views

Do all quantum systems have zero point energy ?

I understand that it is possible to write an uncertainty relation between the Hamiltonian of a system and time, where the time uncertainity is defined by the amount of time it takes an arbitrary ...
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2answers
151 views

Why uncertainty principle on a large scale doesn't impose limitations on precision?

The question is By choosing reasonable numerical values for mass and velocity, show that $\Delta x \Delta p >=\frac{ \hbar}{2}$ doesn't impose any limitations on the precision with which the ...
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1answer
119 views

Trapping an electron

Imagine that one could theoretically trap a single electron in a small box, with walls that somehow prevent the electron from passing through and out of the box. Now, the box begins to move in on ...
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1answer
50 views

Velocity of measurement

As per to Heisenberg uncertainty we will not be able to calculate the position and momentum at same instant because by the time we calculate the next of the one, it changes (i.e.) the changes are very ...
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1answer
155 views

Could the uncertainty principle create matter in the Universe?

According to quantum mechanics we have the uncertainty principle: $$\Delta E \ \Delta t \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$$ Near the beginning of the Universe $\Delta t$ is very small and therefore $\Delta E$ is ...
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1answer
95 views

Relationship between Quantum superposition and Uncertainty principle

I'm an amateur in quantum mechanics. I am confused after reading the following in the wikipedia article about quantum superposition: If the operators corresponding to two observables do not ...
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79 views

Decrease of uncertainty of momentum with increase of width of infinite well in QM(intuition)

Why does the uncertainty in the momentum decrease with the increase of the width for an energy eigenstate in the classic problem if the infinite well in Quantum Mechanics? I have worked out the ...
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1answer
110 views

What does it mean that an electron's position is described by probability?

I just read an answer to a Phys.SE question about why electrons don't collide with protons where an answering user said: In quantum mechanics, an electron doesn't have a definite position or ...
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1answer
88 views

Momentum and position for free particle

In the section of 'The free particle' in 'Introduction to quantum mechanics, second edition' by Griffiths page 65. He has the wave equation as $$\Psi(x,t) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{2 \pi}} ...
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1answer
49 views

Uncertainty principle clarification

Suppose a mechanical quantum duck is confined in a pond 1m wide. So, what is its uncertainty in position, 0.5m or 1m? As I think, the uncertainty is 0.5m. The reason is that if we choose the middle ...
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1answer
76 views

Is the momentum of a microscopic particle always equal to or less than the error of momentum

In class we tried to show that the electron can't reside inside the nucleus using uncertainty principle . We took the radius of nucleus as error in positon and found the error in momentum. The teacher ...
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2answers
81 views

Uncertainity principle and double slit experiment?

My Understanding of uncertainty principle goes that if some particles are in same state, then their measurement of certain property (say $x$ and $p$) will be different for different particles. ...
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1answer
78 views

Why isn't it possible to determine a particle's position without changing its velocity

So, I think understand the premise of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, but it seems to me that someone would be able to create a device which would be able to measure the position of a particle ...
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1answer
93 views

Why do momentum and position have the same direction in space in the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?

It is known that $\Delta p \Delta x \geq \frac{h}{4\pi}$. I read that the two uncertainties must be along same axes. Why is that so?
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3answers
195 views

Energy of system in eigenstate of Hamiltonian

I know how to find the spectrum of the Hamiltonian to get the allowed energies for a system. If the spectrum is quantized, I can get definite values for each energy level. But when the system is in ...
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2answers
564 views

The uncertainty principle and spin

I realize that this may be a very basic question, but I've been unable to find the answer elsewhere so thanks in advance for the help. Suppose an electron's spin is measured about an axis, and then ...
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1answer
121 views

Can we put $\Delta p, \Delta x, \Delta E, \Delta t$ into one big uncertainty equation?

According to my calculations $x$ * $p$ has unit $[kg m^2/s]$ which is what we would get if we multiply $E$ by $t$ So $$ Et = xp$$ Starting from here, can we some how derive a formula that puts all ...
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1answer
116 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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1answer
122 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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Relationship between Energy and Time [closed]

Is there a relationship between energy and time? What is it?
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202 views

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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314 views

Do the same experiments yield different results due to the principle of uncertainty?

When thinking about small particles and their uncertainity, I've allways rather seen them being all over the place rather than randomly changing location. I would think that, in the same time, you'd ...
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1answer
121 views

Uncertainty Principle Upper-bound?

In quantum mechanics, is there an upper bound for the uncertainty principle? I know that quantum harmonic oscillator (QHO) has the uncertainty relation $\sigma_x\sigma_p = \hbar(n+1/2)$, but I think ...
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99 views

How can a clock work if the uncertainty principle is true?

If the uncertainty principle and Copenhagen Interpretation are true, then how can a clock tick? Supposedly particles can do all sorts of things when not measured, then how can they be formed into ...
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394 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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1answer
383 views

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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1answer
52 views

What is the accuracy when firing an electron at a target?

Consider firing an electron at a target. Let the target be at a distance $d$ and the electron be travelling at a non-relativistic speed $v$. How can we estimate the maximum possible accuracy ...
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1answer
49 views

Interpretations and approximations of uncertainty principle

Just a short question regarding an interpretation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle $$\sigma_x \sigma_p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$$. Question: The uncertainty principle is sometimes written as ...
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1answer
52 views

Uncertainty relation and quantum gravity

Suppose a quantum version of gravity exists (which I don´t think). What will be the quantities in the uncertainty relation connected with this quantum gravity? Some time ago I sent a letter to Lee ...
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1answer
27 views

Distinguish statistical uncertaincy from noise disturbance relation in slit gedankenexperiment

I am just reading the "Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" from L. Ballentine. In section 3.2. he discusses the difference between the observer effect and the statistical ...
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1answer
87 views

Apparent paradox concerning Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

I have just begun my Introduction to Quantum Mechanics course in my undergrad and I am trying to understand the uncertainty principle on a fundamental level. I think the best way to understand the ...
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2answers
93 views

The nature of the uncertainty principle

I have read different proofs of the uncertainty principle. My questions are: The principle depends on a theory of physics (quantum mechanics). Correct? Given the theory, mathematics is used to come ...
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1answer
98 views

Calculating energy eigenvalues when potential is given

So our teacher claimed that if we have a Potential of the form $V(x)= x^\nu$ then the Energy is of the form $E={2\nu \over \nu+2}$ Can anyone break up the math for this problem?