1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Clarification of homework question meaning

  1. Mar 2, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Suppose you measured the x-component of position of an electron to an accuracy
    matching it’s de Broglie wavelength, i.e., Δx = lambda/2. What is the relative
    uncertainty in the electron’s x-component of momentum, Δp/p?

    2. Relevant equations

    ΔxΔp >= h(bar)/2

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I just wanted to clarify that relative uncertainty is Δp, not Δp/p. My professor writes these questions and is currently sick, so I feel like he may have not been thinking completely clearly... I am finding Δp, and not the ratio Δp/p? I am pretty sure I merely need Δp.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2012 #2
    I'm pretty sure that your professor does want you to find what the relative uncertainty is (which is Δp/p).

    The key to this problem is that Δx depends on p.
  4. Mar 2, 2012 #3
    ooh, okay, I got it now, thanks!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook