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Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Living in an Uncertain World

By November 30, 2012

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Heisenberg Uncertainty Relationship equationsIt's often been said that we live in an uncertain world ... but certainly when we're talking about the quantum world, that's a true statement. The laws of quantum physics tell us about a world that is completely at odds with our classical understanding of reality.

Perhaps one of the most challenging concepts to our understanding of the universe is embodied in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which places fundamental physical limits (though small ones) upon the degree of precision that we an obtain about an object's physical state. The more precisely you try to measure the position of a particle, the less precisely you can measure that same position's momentum at the same time!

These relationships are shown in the equations to the left, but their physical meaning has implications about the limits of our notion of absolute time and space, because if we are unable to ever measure it, then there's a very real sense in which we're unable to know for sure what's ever happening there!

Comments

December 17, 2012 at 10:42 am
(1) dugie says:

I am a layman and not the brightest bulb in the package, but to my brain
is like saying that something does not exist until you try to find it?

December 21, 2012 at 12:57 am
(2) Gus Pehur says:

See the 2012 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics.

December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm
(3) Charlie T says:

This has nothing to do with measurement. Quantum uncertainty is an inherent property (if property is the ribht term).

December 24, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(4) Benji Bear and Friends says:

One of the questions is whether the world is a complete real thing that is just hidden or whether aspects of the past are somehow unwritten?

January 4, 2013 at 12:27 am
(5) lunduke.com says:

Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.

Any tips?

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