8/15/2005

The Uncertainty Principle

The principle says that the product of the uncertainty in the position of a particle and the uncertainty in a momentum of the particle is greater than or equal to Planck’s constant.
The implications of the seemingly simple formula are immense.
If we know the position of the particle to very high precision, then we cannot know its momentum better than some given level of accuracy no matter how hard we try and no matter how good our instruments may be.

Conversely, if we know the momentum of a particle to good accuracy, then we cannot know the position well. The uncertainty in the system can never go away or be diminished below the level prescribed by the formula of Heisenberg.

read more about the implications of the uncertainty principle go to http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/p08c.htm

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