# Problem understanding Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

Ok, I'm asking it, even in case of being closed and irrelevant.

It's about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and a very dualism of the way of information exchange in the software development world.

The problem is easy: you want to know something. In IT, we have two different ways. Either we refer to that thing, periodically, to get the information, or we ask that thing to transfer information to us on any update.

The more I read about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, of course as a lay-person in Physics, the more I understand that it's describing a fundamental limitation in the way we can know/measure the properties of a particle, not the true nature of the particle. In other words, based on this mathematical formula our precision is not dependent upon the measuring device anymore. No matter how more precise we become, we can't find out the true value of complementary values both at the same time.

Yet what has obssessed my mind, is lingual analysis of this proposition. If we follow that model of IT, is it possible that particles someday send us their true values?

Like instead of a mom trying to find out the weight of her baby, the baby tells mom how much does he weigh. Instead of scientists trying to find out the exact position and momentom of a given particle, particles talk to scientists and tell them where they are and how much momentom do they have right in that moment (of course fictional, yet just a thought experiment).

Do I miss something in understanding Heisenberg's uncertainty principle? Can we say that just because we can't find out the true values of a given particle, it doesn't mean that true values do exist. In other words, uncertainty is not in the particle itself, but in the way we can know about it.

Uncertainty principle is a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known.

My undertanding is there is no fundamental limit to the precision of the true/real value of certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p.

Note: I can't find out my answer from these question:

Can the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle be explained intuitively?

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

• See physics.stackexchange.com/q/114133/5788. Your premise is wrong; the uncertainty principle is a basic fact of the world. Particles can't have simultaneously defined position and momentum, it has nothing to do with measurement. The concept just doesn't apply. Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 21:31
• You seem to use the term "true" a lot. What is your definition of that? In what sense would a value that cannot be measured with arbitrary precision be "false"? Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 21:34
• Saed. Others have tried to indicate why you are wrong. You are. Heisenberg is the nature of quantum waves, not a deep statement of measuring limits. Others were confused on this many years ago also, and tried to construct a logical explanation that the physical entity (position, momentum, etc) is an exact number, but we can't get to it. It was initially called a hidden variable, and Einstein and others thought they'd proven that it was that way and quantum theory is a measurement approximation. They were wrong. It's been proven with actiual experiments that real hidden variables don't exist. Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 6:01
• Saeed. More. You Can read about those arguments in Wikipedia, at en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_variable_theory but the bottom line is that Bells theorem proved that they don't exist (some fine points on local vs nonlocal) , And there's been measurements showing it not possible. There's arguments here and there on entanglement that are related, but the simplistic arguments like yours have already been proven wrong. Analyzing physics like an IT person may mean you'll never understand any physics, and you maybe never understood IT. If you are really interested read some reputable physics Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 6:11

The problem with your idea, the transmittance of the "true value" by some kind of mechanism, is that this true value does not exist. The uncertainty principle is not a statement about the impossibility of measuring something - the uncertainty principle is a statement about the nature of the possible wave functions.

You can actually see that the "eigenstates" of momentum and position in an infinite space are not properly normalisable and are thus not physically allowed wave functions. So the functions which would give us exact position and momentum are not functions which could serve as wave functions.

So if we take Quantum mechanics at face value and expect the uncertainty relation to hold in all realms of physics (which is not in any way obvious as it is usually derived for quantum mechanics, of which we know that it does not give a complete picture of the world), then we can expect for the transmittance of those "true values" never to occur because no particle can exist that has only one "true value".

• +1 sorry, you have written a nice reply, but I love paragraphs. : ) The OP has written a post based on logic, sematics and on a classical world view and you have (rightly) replied in physics terms.
– user108787
Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 22:13
• @CountTo10 the post is easier to read now, so I am thankful for the edit - I am often not thinking enough about the form and presentation ... Anyway, thank you for the compliment :) Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 22:19
• What I am trying to say in my comment is much better expressed in the first paragraph of Shane's reply. Thank you very much for answering the post, because it helped me better understand the issue, which I had never really thought deeply about before. All the best on the site in the future, my account will be deleted in a few hours, as I find it interferes with my own study. It's a terrific site, but too addictive for me :).
– user108787
Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 22:34
• @CountTo10 I am very sorry to hear that and I'd be happy if you might consider whether a temporary abstinence would not suffice. Otherwise, I wish you all the best for your studies :) Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 22:36
• @Countto10. Please count to 10 or 100 before quitting the site. You've been a source of clarity in many of the answers and discussions, and I hope you reconsider. I understand, this site is addictive, it happens to me some also, but you can just decide to control it and limit your involvement to maybe just a day or two a week. And just go to questions that intrigue you honestly, forget about up or downvoted and reputation, and just try it at times on what you want to learn. I'd also consider not bothering with obviously wrong questions or answers, takes too long to convince some people Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 5:54

1. Your question minces terms about "existence" and measurement in ways that Heisenberg sought to outline and detail in a way that was not confusing. You need to go through the actual literature pertaining to Heisenbergs work instead of perusing Wikipedia to gain your understanding of some of the most challenging fields of quantum physics. By your own admission, you are a lay-person in the realm of Physics. I certainly do not mean to be condescending but you are not going to understand quantum uncertainty by reading a Wiki or Yahoo answers after smoking a doobie.

2. a second underlying tenet of this principle are the facts that a. you change something when you measure it (albeit at a level that may be inperceptible by your equipment) and you cannot possibly produce a "reading" fast enough for it to be accurate because, in the time it took your equipment to render it's measurement, it is not longer valid because the quantum state is now different.

• +1 by reading a Wiki or Yahoo answers after smoking a doobie nicely put, but you will think you understand it, until the next exam arrives. Nice answer.
– user108787
Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 22:38

One of the nicest and most intuitive explanation of the Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is from Feynman, who, discussing a wave train whose length is $\Delta x$, see figure, says:

"Here we encounter a strange thing about waves; a very simple thing which has nothing to do with quantum mechanics strictly. It is something that anybody who works with waves, even if he knows no quantum mechanics, knows: namely, we cannot define a unique wavelength for a short wave train. Such a wave train does not have a definite wavelength; there is an indefiniteness in the wave number that is related to the finite length of the train."

The longer the train, the more precise the wavelength, and vice versa. This proves that there is a fundamental limit of the precision between functions that are conjugate (complementary) pairs, that is, Fourier transform of each other.