# 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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### Can the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle be explained intuitively?

I have heard several pseudoscientific explanations about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and find them hard to believe. As a mathematician mainly focusing on functional analysis, I have a ...
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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### 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): ...
8answers
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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 ...
6answers
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### Does Heisenberg's uncertainty under time evolution always grow?

Recently there have been some interesting questions on standard QM and especially on uncertainty principle and I enjoyed reviewing these basic concepts. And I came to realize I have an interesting ...
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### Heisenberg's uncertainty principle - $\Delta p$

So I was reading this paper, "Limits to Binary Logic Switch Scaling—A Gedanken Model". The following is the paper's abstract: In this paper we consider device scaling and speed limitations on ...
1answer
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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 ...
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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### If I drop a leaf twice from the height of a tree in a completely controlled environment, will the trajectory in each case be the same?

Putting my question in other words, can earth form again if a similar initial universe condition is given? The uncertainty principle says that we cannot tell with certainty the position of a particle ...
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?
1answer
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### 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 ...
3answers
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### Eigenstate of position+momentum?

I'm studying Quantum Mechanics on my own, so I'm bound to have alot of wrong ideas - please be forgiving! Recently, I was thinking about the quantum mechanical assertion (postulate?) that states with ...
5answers
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### Are there any practical applications of the uncertainty principle

I believe GPS works because of extremely small time differences between the satellites. Because of how small the time differences are, it needs to take into account gravity's effect on time. ...
2answers
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### How do tracking detectors in particle accelerators create the pretty pictures we see?

I have read several sources about tracking detectors used in particle accelerators like LHC, but still have not found a more detailed source that can still be understood by a layperson like myself. I ...
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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 ...
4answers
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### Is it possible for $\Delta x$ ($\sigma_x$) of any free particle wave packet to be decreasing at any time?

Consider any wave packet describing a free particle (so no potential or other forces acting on it). Then it can be shown that $\Delta p$ does not change in time. However, my question is what happens ...
4answers
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### What does it mean “not to have a definite trajectory”?

In a comment to my question someone stated the following: "photons do not travel at some definite number of oscillations per second. In fact, they do not "travel" at all, no more than electrons ...
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### Is the uncertainty principle axiomatic or derived?

To take an example, Feynman Lectures Vol 3 13-1 Let's think of an electron which ban be in either one of two positions [...] There are two possible states of definite energy for the electron. ...
6answers
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### Does the HUP alone ensure the randomness in QT?

This answer of mine has been strongly criticized on the ground that it is no more than a philosophical blabbering. Well, it may well be. But people seem to be of the opinion that HUP alone does not ...
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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### 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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### 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 ...
3answers
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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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### 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 ...