Tagged Questions

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 can't we use entanglement to defy Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle?

In principle, it is possible to entangle any property of two particles, including speed and momentum. Surely then, this could be used to defy the Uncertainty Principle, which states that the momentum ...
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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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How Uncertainty Principle, Vacuum fluctuations and Energy Conservation coexist in QFT?

Recently I had a debate about the uncertainty principle in QFT that made me even more confused.. Because we use Fourier transforms in QFT, we should have an analogue to the usual Heisenberg ...
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Does a ball thrown in the air really stop at its apex, and if it does, wouldn't that violate the uncertainty principle?

When throwing a ball straight up, most experts say that it momentarily comes to a stop at its apex before its return fall. If it stops, wouldn't we know its velocity and position and wouldn't this ...
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Do electrons have definite and single value of momentum and position?

Do electrons (individually) have definite and single value of momentum and position or do they simultaneously have multiple position (a spread) at a time? In other words, according to the uncertainty ...
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Is there any uncertainty between mass and proper length or time?

I was trying to naively draw a parallel between special relativity and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. I try to understand uncertainty principle as a consequence of 4-position and 4-momentum ...
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Showing that position times momentum and energy times time have the same dimensions

I've been asked to show that both the position-momentum uncertainty principle and the energy-time uncertainty principle have the same units. I've never see a question of this type, so am I allowed to ...
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Semiconductors and localization of the electrons

When looking at the band diagram of a semi-conductor, direct conclusion of the invariance under discrete translations, for a filled state with an electron, one does know precisely it's momentum, so my ...
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Application of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

I've the following application of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. If a beam of particles in localised in the $x$-direction by a long slit, what is the uncertainty in position? Firstly, I ...
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Was uncertainty principle inferred by Fourier analysis?

I would like to know: did Heisenberg chance upon his Uncertainty Principle by performing Fourier analysis of wavepackets, after assuming that electrons can be treated as wavepackets?
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A thought experiment with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Could the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle turn out to be false? Thought Experiment Ponder, for a moment, if I had a cube with 10cm sides which I'll name The Box. By some ...
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Conjugate Variables, Noether's Theorem and QM

What is the underlying reason that the same pairs of conjugate variables (e.g. energy & time, momentum & position) are related in Noether's theorem (e.g. time symmetry implies energy ...
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In QM, does random data “come from anywhere”? Also, what are the properties of the data?

I have only taken a basic quantum mechanics course (this book, so you know where I'm coming from), but I've been wondering about something. If we set up a quantum system in a known state and take a ...
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Quantum uncertainty of particle falling in black hole

A stationary observer at infinity sees a particle of mass m falling in a supermassive Schwarzschild black hole. He observes an increasing redshift and sees the particle ceasing to progress when it ...
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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 doesn'...
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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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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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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 electron....
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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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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 it,...
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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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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 ...