There are two basic facts that I have difficulty reconciling:(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

(a) the magnetic and electrical components make up a complementary pair of variables

(b) Maxwell's equations describe the magnetic component in terms of the electrical one and vice-versa

My question is definitely not original and assuredly not even very clever, and so should have a standard and elementary answer out there somewhere. I could formulate it as follows:

Suppose one determined one of these components with a measurement. That should make the other one completely indeterminate, including its rate of change. But then what sense would the corresponding equation make? Otherwise put, given a precise measurement of one of the variables, Maxwell's equations should give us the other variable, which is impossible. What is wrong with this formulation?

I assume that part of the answer is that the uncertainty principle is a statistical principle, but Maxwell's equations are not, so this makes it even more difficult to fit them both together, even though the Uncertainty Principle, if I understand my history (also not certain), was derived from Maxwell's equations.

Thanks for any help.

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Heisenberg versus Maxwell?

Loading...

Similar Threads - Heisenberg versus Maxwell | Date |
---|---|

I Two dimenstional Heisenberg Hamiltonian for spin 1/2 system | Tuesday at 2:16 PM |

B Where is the mistake -- violation of Heisenberg uncertainty | Jan 16, 2018 |

B Heisenberg's indetermination principle and Ccopenhagen interpretation | Oct 13, 2017 |

Fock space versus Heisenberg Algebra | Aug 13, 2011 |

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - h/(4.Phi) versus h/(2.Phi) | Mar 3, 2005 |

**Physics Forums - The Fusion of Science and Community**