This tag is for Heisenberg quantum mechanical uncertainty principle.

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Is there any physical quantity that does not have uncertainty?

I saw this video and I got a thought: Is there any physical quantity that does not have uncertainty? Basic models are: for lenght for time end energy (so for mass too) and I realized that ...
5
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2answers
72 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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6answers
2k views

What is $\Delta t$ in the time-energy uncertainty principle?

In non-relativistic QM, the $\Delta E$ in the time-energy uncertainty principle is the limiting standard deviation of the set of energy measurements of $n$ identically prepared systems as $n$ goes to ...
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1answer
42 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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0answers
41 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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1answer
318 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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0answers
54 views

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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3answers
71 views

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

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
46 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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0answers
39 views

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 ...
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1answer
56 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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1answer
61 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
51 views

Slit width for minimum spot size in electron slit diffraction if involving uncertainity principle

I don't believe the following is an accurate description of the physical but a homework problem to help understanding. A beam of electron of energy 0.025 eV moving along x-direction, passes ...
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1answer
65 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 ...
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1answer
58 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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0answers
40 views

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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2answers
177 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
38 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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2answers
491 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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3answers
98 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 ...
4
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2answers
131 views

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
124 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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2answers
68 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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1answer
87 views

Which position and momentum distributions arise from some wave function?

Consider a particle in one dimension with wave function $\psi(x)$. The probability density function describing how likely it is to find it in a given position is given by ...
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3answers
186 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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3answers
798 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
371 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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1answer
48 views

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 ...
0
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2answers
54 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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0answers
34 views

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 ...
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1answer
38 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
497 views

Uncertainty Principle Intuition

So, as your usual physics undergrad, I read Griffiths's derivation of the general uncertainty principle. I understood it but there was no physical intuition given behind it in the book. It was ...
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3answers
102 views

Measuring position and momentum at the same time?

In a non-relativistic quantum mechanical system in an infinite potential well. I try to measure the energy and the position of the system simultaneously. Since, the respective operators do commute ...
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2answers
73 views

What's the relationship between uncertainty principle and symplectic groups?

What's the relationship between uncertainty principle and symplectic groups? Does the symplectic groups mathematically capture anything fundamental about uncertainty principle?
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748 views

Why is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle not an experimental error since it is the error created by photons striking on elementary particles?

Why is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle not an experimental error since it is the error created by photons striking on elementary particles?
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3answers
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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5answers
2k views

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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2answers
85 views

First-order and second-order wave equations, versus the uncertainty principle

In classical physics, we have second-order equations like Newton's laws, so we need to specify both position (zeroth order) and velocity (first order) of a particle as initial conditions, in order to ...
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0answers
85 views

Introductory derivations of Heisenberg uncertainty principle

I'm not an expert when it comes to quantum mechanics, so correct me wherever I'm wrong, but: I've always been a little bit bothered by introductory derivations of the Heisenberg uncertainty relations ...
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0answers
56 views

Uncertainty principle implies the non-deterministic universe? [duplicate]

Does the uncertainty principle imply the non-deterministic universe, or just the fact that our model of the universe, the one based on observation, can be at most non-deterministic, since we will not ...
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1answer
82 views

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Question: The uncertainty in position is equal to the uncertainty in momentum. What is the uncertainty in velocity? What I did: I know that the uncertainty in position multiplied by uncertainty in ...
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5answers
436 views

Uncertainty principle with two photons

Imagine an experimental setup in which you have to measure the momentum and location of a particle. To measure it we know we will have to affect it, and the uncertainty principle would come into the ...
3
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2answers
661 views

Is single photon perfectly monochromatic?

Now, we do have equipment to generate single photon at a time, and LASERs are nearly monochromatic. While typing the question, am realizing that successive photons in case of single photon ...
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1answer
921 views

Is the Uncertainty Principle valid for information about the past?

My layman understanding of the Uncertainty Principle is that you can't determine the both the position and momentum of a particle at the same point in time, because measuring one variable changes the ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Uncertainty Principle tricked - so why not Newtonian Determinism?

Recently I read that some results are obtained in directions of tricking the uncertainty principle. The relevant link is here: http://www.caltech.edu/content/tricking-uncertainty-principle , and the ...
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1answer
71 views

Question about Heisenberg's uncertainty. [closed]

Heisenberg said that we can't tell precisely both the location of an electron and the momentum of it in the same instant. If we observe one thing, the other is changed. How he concluded this ...
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2answers
681 views

Virtual particles and physical laws

Recently, I was reading about Hawking Radiation in A Brief History of Time. It says that at no point can all the fields be zero and so there's nothing like empty space(quantum fluctuation etc.). Now, ...
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3answers
80 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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3answers
112 views

Quantum entanglement and uncertainty

I have a question about measuring entangled particles and the uncertainty principle. I know that this has been asked before, but I am still not clear on the explanations, so I will try to explain why ...
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3answers
229 views

Uncertainty principle - momentum so precise that uncertainty of position is outside light-cone?

Thought experiment: what happens if we measure momentum of a particle so precisely, that the uncertainty of its position becomes absurd? For example, what if the uncertainty of the position exceeds 1 ...