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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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 ...
22
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5answers
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Isn't the uncertainty principle just non-fundamental limitations in our current technology that could be removed in a more advanced civilization?

From what I understand, the uncertainty principle states that there is a fundamental natural limit to how accurately we can measure velocity and momentum at the same time. It's not a limit on ...
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2answers
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Is the uncertainty principle just saying something about what an observer can know or is it a fundamental property of nature?

I ask this question because I have read two different quotes on the uncertainty principle that don't seem to match very well. There are similar questions around here but I would like an explanation ...
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6answers
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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 ...
4
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3answers
833 views

Uncertainty principle and measurement

I would like to really understand how the uncertainty principle in QM works, from a practical point of view. So this is my narrative of how an experiment goes, and I'm quickly in trouble: we prepare ...
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9answers
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Can we theoretically balance a perfectly symmetrical pencil on its one-atom tip?

I was asked by an undergrad student about this question. I think if we were to take away air molecules around the pencil and cool it to absolute zero, that pencil would theoretically balance. Am I ...
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9answers
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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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3answers
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Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle scientific proof

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that: $$\sigma(x)\sigma( p_x )\ge \frac {\hbar}{2}.$$ What is the scientific proof of this principle? Operators Uncertainty
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2answers
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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
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How does non-commutativity lead to uncertainty?

I read that the non-commutativity of the quantum operators leads to the uncertainty principle. What I don't understand is how both things hang together. Is it that when you measure one thing first ...
5
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1answer
939 views

What physical significance has the Heisenberg Group?

I read that the canonical commutation relation between momentum and position can be seen as the Lie Algebra of the Heisenberg group. While I get why the commutation relations of momentum and momentum, ...
10
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6answers
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Will Determinism be ever possible?

What are the main problems that we need to solve to prove Laplace's determinism correct and overcome the Uncertainty principle?
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1answer
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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 ...
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4answers
812 views

Is uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement? [duplicate]

Is the uncertainty principle a technical difficulty in measurement or is it an intrinsic concept in quantum mechanics irrelevant of any measurement? Everyone knows the thought experiment of measuring ...
7
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2answers
836 views

Why don't quantum effects invalidate the speed of light barrier?

While proving that no matter can reach the speed of light (a fact which I call the kinetic energy barrier), Einstein uses the fact that he can calculate the velocity and position of an electron. ...
12
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2answers
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Meaning of the anti-commutator term in the uncertainty principle

What is the meaning, mathematical or physical, of the anti-commutator term? $\langle ( \Delta A )^{2} \rangle \langle ( \Delta B )^{2} \rangle \geq \dfrac{1}{4} \vert \langle [ A,B ] \rangle \vert^{2} ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
559 views

Is quantum uncertainty principle related to thermodynamics?

Would like to ask a question, but first i would like to say Hello Everybody in a way that plays the system, since some geniouses decided that one should not be able to say hello in a question. The ...
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4answers
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Why is the Bohr's idea of defined circular orbits overruled?

If we consider a thought experiment for determining position of an electron by using photons of light. According to principles of optics, if we use light of wavelength $\lambda$, then the position of ...
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2answers
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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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Could the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle turn out to be false?

While investigating the EPR Paradox, it seems like only two options are given, when there could be a third that is not mentioned - Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle being given up. The setup is this ...
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4answers
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Does the uncertainty principle apply to photons?

Wikipedia claims the following: More generally, the normal concept of a Schrödinger probability wave function cannot be applied to photons. Being massless, they cannot be localized without being ...
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8answers
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Why do quantum physical properties come in pairs?

Why do quantum physical properties come in pairs, governed by the uncertainty principle (that is, position and momentum?) Why not in groups of three, four, etc.?
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2answers
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Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: Which formula is correct?

Some websites and textbooks refer to $\Delta x \Delta p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$ as the correct formula for the uncertainty principle whereas other sources use the formula $\Delta x \Delta p \geq \hbar$ ...
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7answers
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Why is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle not an experimental error since it is the error created by photons striking on elementary particles? [duplicate]

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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2answers
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Operators Uncertainty

$\hat A$ is an operator. The uncertainty on $\hat{A}$, $\Delta A$ is defined by: $$\Delta A=\sqrt{\langle\hat A^2\rangle - \langle\hat A\rangle^2}$$ what is difference between $\langle\hat ...
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3answers
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$\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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3answers
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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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1answer
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Heisenberg relation

Given that $A(k)=\frac{N}{k^2+\alpha^2}$, show that $\Delta k \Delta x >1$. Considering the above example, according to my textbook, it is written that I must square the above function and ...
11
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2answers
628 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
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Connection between $\Delta x \Delta p \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$ and $\Delta E \Delta t \geq \frac{\hbar}{2}$

Is there a way to derive second equation from the first one? I mean is there a connection between those two uncertainty relations? \begin{align} \Delta x \Delta p &\geq \frac{\hbar}{2}\\ \Delta ...
3
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2answers
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Energy conservation limited by uncertainty principle

The way I learned it from practicing Fourier analysis and signal processing besides quantum mechanics, is that Energy conservation cannot be achieved in short time scales, and that limits energy ...
3
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2answers
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Noether's theorem vs. Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In continuation of another question about Noether's theorem I wonder whether there exists some kind of relationship between this theorem and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Because both the ...
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3answers
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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 ...
4
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2answers
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The uncertainty principle and black holes

What are the consequences of applying the uncertainty principle to black holes? Does the uncertainty principle need to be modified in the context of a black hole and if so what are the implications ...
3
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0answers
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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 ...
10
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1answer
280 views

Question on Uncertainty Principle

I have read about the uncertainty principle. And it applies to electrons. Then how is it that we can get exact tracks of electrons in cloud chambers?? That is to say that how is it that the position ...
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1answer
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Uncertainty Principle and Energy range for an electron in an atom

I have the following exercise: Use Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and the relation $\Delta u = \sqrt{\langle u^2 \rangle - \langle u \rangle^2}$ to find the range of energy an electron has in an ...
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2answers
657 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 ...
22
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6answers
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Is there something behind non-commuting observables?

Consider a quantum system described by the Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ and consider $A,B\in \mathcal{L}(\mathcal{H},\mathcal{H})$ to be observables. If those observables do not commute there's no ...
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3answers
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Concept of a point particle in quantum mechanics

A point particle is usually thought of as structureless and without dimension. However, given that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle prohibits us from knowing the position of a particle exactly, what ...
14
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3answers
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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 ...
4
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1answer
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Is the number-phase uncertainty relation classical?

For a harmonic oscillator in one dimension, there is an uncertainty relation between the number of quanta $n$ and the phase of the oscillation $\phi$. There are all kinds of technical complications ...
2
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3answers
814 views

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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1answer
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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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2answers
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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 ...
4
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3answers
958 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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1answer
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Minimum Uncertainty Wavefunction derivation

Can anyone point me to a reference (preferably either something online or something a small liberal arts school would be likely to have in its library) that goes through a derivation of the minimum ...
2
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1answer
185 views

Why uncertainity is minimum for coherent states?

While reading for quantum damped harmonic oscillator, I came across coherent states, and I asked my prof about them and he said me it is the state at which $\Delta x\Delta y$ is minimum. I didn't ...
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1answer
239 views

Will photon's energy be exactly same after million years?

If photon will travel for million years without collisions, what subtle effects can be accumulated ? Gravity fields affect trajectory, but is energy completely intact after fly by ? Photon has its ...