The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

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The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tells us that while it is possible to measure the position and velocity with reasonable accuracy, we cannot measure both an atom's position and velocity at the same time. The reason for this is simple. For instance, to find the position of an atom, we must shine a beam of light which come in small packets, or quanta, also known as photons. The individual photons of each wavelength have an energy inversely related to their wavelength.


The greater the resolution we want, the smaller the wavelength of light we must use. But the smaller the wavelength, the larger the energy of the packets. If we bombard an atom with a high-energy photon in order to observe it, we may ascertain exactly where the atom was when the photon hit it, but the observation process itself, that is, hitting the atom with the photon will clearly transfer significant energy to the atom, thus changing its speed and direction of motion by some amount. That is the case with our current 'scanning systems'.


1) But what if we invented new scanning systems which wouldn't cause the same problem, that is, without probing particles with other particles?


2) What if we could measure an atom's position and velocity at the same time with something that has no energy at all? Is it possible in theory?


3) Also, if future new physics are introduced, would the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle be broken, disproved, modified or overcomed?


4) What about freezing up the atoms prior to measuring the atom/molecule's position and velocity at the same time?


5) Would that do the trick, if not, why?


Whitestar
 

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James R
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Bear in mind that the Hiesenberg principle is not JUST about measurement. It is about how accurately position and momentum can be defined. In other words, beyond the limits specified by the principle it actually makes little sense to talk about exact positions or momenta.

Keeping that in mind, let's think about your questions:

1) But what if we invented new scanning systems which wouldn't cause the same problem, that is, without probing particles with other particles?
Can you think of any way to do that?

2) What if we could measure an atom's position and velocity at the same time with something that has no energy at all? Is it possible in theory?
Only if you can find something with no energy, which I think is impossible.

3) Also, if future new physics are introduced, would the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle be broken, disproved, modified or overcomed?
Who knows? Future physics may overturn everything we think we know. This is looking into a crystal ball.

4) What about freezing up the atoms prior to measuring the atom/molecule's position and velocity at the same time?
Freezing them up would change their velocities, wouldn't it?
 
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James R said:
Freezing them up would change their velocities, wouldn't it?

But how does freezing an atom or molecule changes their velocity? If you can freeze an atom/molecule to absolute zero, shouldn't it freeze an atom/molecule in place?


Whitestar
 
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James R
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If you can freeze an atom/molecule to absolute zero, shouldn't it freeze an atom/molecule in place?
Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying.

The problem with freezing an atom to absolute zero is simply that it can't be done. If it could be, then we could violate the uncertainty principle.
 
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James R said:
Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying.

The problem with freezing an atom to absolute zero is simply that it can't be done. If it could be, then we could violate the uncertainty principle.

Yes, but why can't we reach absolute zero?


Whitestar
 
James R
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Yes, but why can't we reach absolute zero?
Because doing so would violate the uncertainty principle!

Circular, I know, but that's the way the universe seems to work.
 
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The third law of thermodynamics:
It is impossible by any procedure, no matter how idealized, to reduce any system to the absolute zero of temperature (0 K/−273.15°C/−459.67°F) in a finite number of operations.

They can come close... but not absolute.
 
DaveC426913
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Atoms, when reduced to abs zero, form what is called a Bose-Einsteinian Condensate - in effect, they stop becoming individual atoms and form an amorphous blob - defeating an attempt to measure them.

An atom reduced - even theoretically - to abs zero will still not freeze its electrons and protons. It does not literally stop in place and become a well-behaved hard ball.


"if future new physics are introduced, would the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle be broken, disproved, modified or overcomed?"

It is possible, but it is important to be aware that it is not simply a matter of getting better at measuring. For HUP to be overturned would require a radical new understanding of our universe, not simply better measuring techniques.
 
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James R
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Even a Bose-Einstein condensate has a temperature greater than zero.
 
i like whitestar's idea

If you cooled atoms down to say 1 degree Kelvin, clearly their oscillations and jittering would slow down as well. That said, if you then bombarded them with high energy photons, wouldn't it make measuring the 'cooled' atoms position and velocity much easier, that say, firing photons at hotter atoms?

Surely, Heisenberg's Principle would not be violated, but in effect, the limit to how precisely one could know the exat position and velocity of the 'cooled' atom's electron(s) would be more refined and accurate.

What do you think?
 
DaveC426913
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James R said:
Even a Bose-Einstein condensate has a temperature greater than zero.
Yes, I did not mean to imply otherwise. I merely meant to point out that, even before you reach abs zero, the effect happens and their position/velocity can't be measured.
 
DaveC426913
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Chaos' lil bro Order said:
If you cooled atoms down to say 1 degree Kelvin, clearly their oscillations and jittering would slow down as well. That said, if you then bombarded them with high energy photons, wouldn't it make measuring the 'cooled' atoms position and velocity much easier, that say, firing photons at hotter atoms?

Surely, Heisenberg's Principle would not be violated, but in effect, the limit to how precisely one could know the exat position and velocity of the 'cooled' atom's electron(s) would be more refined and accurate.

What do you think?
It is not merely a matter of a round, hard ball coming to a stop. Atoms actually lose their identity as individuals - each one physically "spreads out" and blurs, until the properties of position and velocity no longer apply.
 
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DaveC426913 said:
It is not merely a matter of a round, hard ball coming to a stop. Atoms actually lose their identity as individuals - each one physically "spreads out" and blurs, until the properties of position and velocity no longer apply.

1) Are you saying that atoms "spreads out" or becomes blurry once they reach absolute zero, or before they reach absolute zero?

2) Could some extremely advance technology overcome this in the far future?


Whitestar
 
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Math Is Hard
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DaveC426913 said:
Atoms, when reduced to abs zero, form what is called a Bose-Einsteinian Condensate - in effect, they stop becoming individual atoms and form an amorphous blob - defeating an attempt to measure them.
Just curious - is this Bose-Einsteinian Condensate considered a state of matter? How close to abs zero does the temperature have to get for this effect to occur?
 
dave, So then what becomes of the electrons at 0 degrees kelvin? Can you site experiments or data to back up your claims?
 
dave, Do the quarks comprising the atom blur out and flatten too? What actually happens here?

Please don't answer with an analogy unless its scientific in nature, ty.
 
James R
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A BEC is a state of matter. It occurs when the particles get close enough together for their quantum wavepackets to start to overlap sufficiently.

In practice, BECs in dilute atomic vapours, occur at about 1 nK above absolute zero (thats 0.000 000 001 degree about absolute zero).
 
Math Is Hard
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James R said:
A BEC is a state of matter. It occurs when the particles get close enough together for their quantum wavepackets to start to overlap sufficiently.

In practice, BECs in dilute atomic vapours, occur at about 1 nK above absolute zero (thats 0.000 000 001 degree about absolute zero).
Thanks. :smile: I had no idea.
 
this thread is reminding of eistein/bohr arguement on this same principle. it is a joke.:rofl: but exaggarated :redface:
but i found its first half in the book 'einstein's cosms' by dr. kaku! dont know if it is true :confused:

einstein=oh! cmmon god doesnt play dice.
bohr=stop god telling what to do. :devil:
e=cmmon :uhh:
b=stop telling me what to do. :tongue2:
e= :cry: :surprised

gurkha-war-horse
 
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I believe BEC Matter under its condensed condition is where the Molecules of the Atomic structure loose their electron valence identities and the vector spaces between atoms begin to shrink, as the Atoms approach 0 K they share their most inner electron orbits with each other, This is probably being caused by internal field collapse which allows the Atoms to become more dense in nature, It is probable that if the Atoms did reach absolute 0 K that Atoms would in fact become a singularity type particle function and behave like a singularity.

I have seen Gold Atoms up close in an electron microscope and I can say they look like cotton balls or cumulous clouds.

Gerald L. Blakley
 

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James R said:
The problem with freezing an atom to absolute zero is simply that it can't be done. If it could be, then we could violate the uncertainty principle.
Why? The momentum and position operators would still not commute.
 
James R
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You could simultaneously know the velocity of the atom (zero) and its exact position (plenty of time to determine that since the atom isn't moving), which would violate the uncertainty principle.
 
selfAdjoint
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James R said:
You could simultaneously know the velocity of the atom (zero) and its exact position (plenty of time to determine that since the atom isn't moving), which would violate the uncertainty principle.
On the contrary, the particle isn't a little ball or speck that has a position whether we observe it or not. You can onlly get a position for it by an observation that collapses the function to one of the eigenvalues of the observation operator. And the working of the uncertainty principle is that if you knew the momentum exactly, there would BE no definite eigenvalues to collapse to; you would be unable to get a measurement of position at all.
 
In my above posting of the Gold Atoms.

1.Atoms are not uniformed, They're irregular in shape.
2.The Atomic Clouds move with a whispy type TO and FRO irregular movement in XYZ, Although the Atom stays in it captured position it will have irregular whispy type movements in its position.
3.Atoms are foggy Clouds, You cannot see the Nucleus, With the fundimental knowledge that Atoms move in very small irregular XYZ positions this would indicate that the Nucleus is also moving internally with an irregular XYZ type movement caused by internal electron field inductions (Moving Field).
4.If one was small enough to stand on the Nucleus of an Atom, It would look like you were standing on a very cloudy planet with the forcast of eternal Overcast.
5.The Atomic clouds share their electrons, this causes Atoms to form Chainmail type structures Atomically.
6.When an Atom approaches 0 K the Chainmail type spaces begin to disapear and the Atoms begin to form what appears to be a solid structure with no spaces inbetween Atoms.

With knowing all this, uncertainty principle still holds true.

Gerald L. Blakley
 
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