Uncertainty principle and Wave-particle duality

  1. May 26, 2009 #1
    Please, can someone explain how uncertainity principle explains the wave-particle duality nature of matter and radiation.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 26, 2009 #2
    Hi there,

    Where do you get that from???
     
  4. May 26, 2009 #3

    DrChinese

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    General idea is that the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) allows a trade-off between non-commuting operators. Typcially, you might consider position and momentum. Thus, for a photon: exact knowledge of its position leads to it acting as a particle (and momentum can take a range of values). On the other hand, a wave is not localized (as to position) but its momentum can be known exactly. Wave-like behavior can exhibit interference effects. So there is the trade-off.
     
  5. May 26, 2009 #4

    Matterwave

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    Usually it's the other way around. You can get the Uncertainty principle by noting the wave nature of particles.
     
  6. May 26, 2009 #5

    DrChinese

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    [Austin Powers-like voice]Or is it really the particle nature of waves? [/Austin Powers-like voice]

    :smile:
     
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