Exact meaning of the Uncertainty Relations

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

In another thread I quoted a paper Bill pointed me to. It included the statement "It is the measurement results that fluctuate, not the underlying object." Bill indicated that this was a misconception but would need a new thread to discuss it.

So please discuss...

Thanks Andrew
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Simon Bridge
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It is usually more helpful to see this [Heisenberg's uncertainty] as the uncertainty in Nature Herself rather than as the uncertainties in the measurements.
I think there is a point here where you end up mired in philosophy though.

Please see:
https://www.physicsforums.com/insights/misconception-of-the-heisenberg-uncertainty-principle/
http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/57030/why-is-heisenbergs-uncertainty-principle-not-an-experimental-error-since-it-is
http://www.oberlin.edu/physics/dstyer/TeachQM/misconnzz.pdf
 
  • #3
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Thanks Simon, I have had a quick look at the links and will study them in more carefully later. I am not sure though that they get me much closer to understanding the meaning of Heisenberg's uncertainty (HUP) in the context of vacuum fluctuations in QFT. It is interesting that in Zee's QFT in a Nutshell and Lancaster and Blundell's QFT for the Gifted Amateur the references to HUP or quantum fluctuations are either non-existent or relate to virtual particles!

I think what I am struggling with is does the QFT vacuum (ground) state fluctuate (which I am told here it does) and if so is this due to the HUP or some other effect?
If I have understood correctly the Lamb Shift in the hydrogen atom is taken a experimental proof of the vacuum fluctuations.

Clearly I need to study more. Thanks for your input.

Regards Andrew
 

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