Uncertainty principle and Wave-particle duality

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

    Where do you get that from???
     
  4. DrChinese

    DrChinese 5,664
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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. Matterwave

    Matterwave 3,859
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Usually it's the other way around. You can get the Uncertainty principle by noting the wave nature of particles.
     
  6. DrChinese

    DrChinese 5,664
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

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

    :smile:
     
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