Given the Heisenberg uncertainty principle doesn't this mean that to observe the location of something the velocity of the something becomes more uncertain and vice versa now if the universe is deterministic then the state of something at a particular point in time should determine the future and fate of that something. If we have a complete model formed from theories about the observations we have. Given the knowledge of the state of something we should be able to calculate using the model the fate of that something and we would also be able to determine its outcome. However doesn't the the Heisenberg principle mean we can never know with any certainty the actual state of something at any particular point in time thus the information we use in the model would never be able to determine the precise outcome of anything and more over we would never be able to verify the actual future state of that something because of the uncertainty and thus we would be unable to verify the accuracy of the model. If the hiesenberg principle is correct then doesn't this mean that the pursuit of a complete accurate model is potentially unreachable because we will only be able to verify it to within degrees of certainty.

  • $\begingroup$ We will never be able to verify it with any degree of certainty - to be true, that's an oversimplification. Please see a tutorial such as this. The uncertainty in measurements amplifies at microscopic scales and reduces dramatically at macroscopic scales. For instance, given the momentum of a ball (weighing $0.4kg$), the uncertainty in measuring its position is barely to the order of $10^{-25}m$. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Dhruv Saxena doesn't the difference you calculate to be the discrepancy in the position you observe and the actual position that the something is and there is a sphere of the something's probable and actual location because of the discrepancy. And maybe yes the perception of this is down to scales Newton's interpretation of his observations were at macroscopic levels and the result of his classical theories describe events at that level and the measurement of the result of those is not very disimilar to what is actually going on so his classical view is actually a good description of the real $\endgroup$
    – 8Mad0Manc8
    Jun 11, 2017 at 20:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Dhruv Saxena ality of things is not far from the truth but as you look more closely your observations become probably more different than the actual reality of things and thus the degree of certainty between whats observed and the actual truth becomes greater like you describe I guess what I meant Any like you object to. The degree is dependent upon your level of perspective, $\endgroup$
    – 8Mad0Manc8
    Jun 11, 2017 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ Personally, I'd think that, for a ball that is about $22 inches$ in length, the discrepancy of $10^{-25}m$ in determining its position is utterly insignificant. It doesn't render the Newtonian mechanics futile. I think the question Is the universe fundamentally deterministic? could address quite a lot of arguments that we can make. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 22:19
  • $\begingroup$ I really am sleepy your right classical Newtonian mechanics describes a picture if your calculations are correct then the discrepancy is maybe insignificant to judge that theory is an incorrect description of the reality things but it's veryfictation would be impossible because measurabity is uncertain because of the principle and we cannot honest to goodness say for fact that this model is correct and exact description of the reality of things. When u look more closely as u said the discrepancy are greater and a any other model becomes further from the truth than the newton model. Must sleep $\endgroup$
    – 8Mad0Manc8
    Jun 11, 2017 at 22:37

1 Answer 1


The Universe in not deterministic. Heisenberg's Uncertainty is the minimal amount of uncertaintly in any measurement. It gives rise to probabilities, which we use to lower our uncertainty. This is the best we can do.

Newton was a firm believer that IFF we knew the position and velocity of every particle in the Universe, then yes, we could determine our future and deduce our past.

Unfortunately the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle limits the amount of information we can know about a particle or a system of particles, and thus the Universe in not deterministic.

  • $\begingroup$ The principle does tend conclude that the outcome of events in the universe is indeterminable and also at the risk of controversy the causality we observe and the use of the models we construct from our perception come into question, and if the principle is correct at least it concludes your fate is in your own hands and we are as the red hot chilli peppers put it " this life is more than just a read through" $\endgroup$
    – 8Mad0Manc8
    Jun 11, 2017 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ The models we use are just that: models. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ Heisenberg uncertainty principle then limits what information any observer can perceive and questions the validity of what we perceive and the truth of what is actually going on. Our perception of events is limited by the principle and any inference about from what we observe and what we draw from it is purely only our speculation and can never be actually proved to be true or not. So again it makes it futile to even bother in coming up with a model because any model predisposes causality and it simply isn't there $\endgroup$
    – 8Mad0Manc8
    Jun 11, 2017 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ The Quantum Mechanical Model has the HUP built into it. It is a VERY good model. So good, in fact, experiments have yet to disprove any predicitions that arise from it. This doesnt mean we are even close to completing the model: there are many predicions that we cannot yet prove or disprove, simply because the energy levels arent high enough and the measurement devices aren't precise enough. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ HUP-- Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It's definition is built into the quantum mechanical model, so the model itself deals with probabilities. We use the model because it works so well, and for no other reason. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2017 at 20:04

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