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Some Certainty in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

Research has injected some certainty into Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle!

See Science Daily article

Might this (below) be a simplified explanation as to what is going on?

Measuring anything will indeed in some way(s?) affect the measured. It may sound ridiculous, but if you use a ruler to measure the length of .... say a piece of wood, when you 'shade' the wood with your measuring ruler, you reduce the number of photons which would have otherwise interacted with that portion of the wood had you not measured it. Now of course it'd be extremely tough to determine any changes in the wood. We don't see Heisenberg changes in our macro world.

But in Hiesenberg's sub-atomic quantum world, changes are there and can be detected. What the article seems to be getting at is that the degree of measurement matters. Too much measurement - in the subatomic realm - e.g. the use of too many measuring photons, and you can get a relatively large rapid change in what you are measuring ...... i.e. a highly non-linear tipping point. The idea of building up a net measurement of something by taking multiple tiny 'sneaky peaks' over time is pretty novel!

How about a Chinese "death by a thousand cuts" analogy? Make a few cuts over a long period and not much happens, but instead make too many cuts over too short time a period and you get a 'quantum' state change ... death!
Hm.. That's quite novel. Nice thinking. This principle is a great thing in itself, and being a student, I find it highly interesting. The whole topic of Quantum mechanics is a very interesting one. Smile
This principal can be applied to anything. There is a misunderstanding about the way the observer measures things.
Don't forget that Mathematics is itself only an approximation of reality.
chasbeen wrote:
There is a misunderstanding about the way the observer measures things.

Could you please expand on what you mean by this?
If you subscribe to the heterodox interpretations of Quantum Mechanics then it's even more interesting philosophically to consider other ways of "measurement". Is there any other medium of measurement other than light? Think about it .... for a blind person, sound is the means of measurement right? So what if we are hyper-blind to something else that is yet undiscovered? Perhaps that (or some other "hidden parameter") could give us more certainty.

Anyway, the philosophy of the uncertainty principle is indeed interesting. If you consider a particle in some wavefunction state at a certain point in time, measuring it collapses the state and gives us the value measured. So by virtue of the act of measurement we have made the position of a wave more certain. And there are tons of other nice intuitive explanations and philosophical expansions.

I like your analogy to the Chinese cuts. This is indeed an interesting area in both philosophy and science.
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