ws25 - WORKSHEET 25 Fall 1995 In the theory of quantum...

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WORKSHEET 25 - Fall 1995 In the theory of quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (also called the indetermi- nacy principle) states that experiment cannot simultaneously determine the exact value of a component of momentum, p x say, of an object and also the exact value of its corresponding coordinate, x . Instead our precision of measurement is inherently limited by the measurement process itself such that p x x h 4 π where the momentum p x is known to within an uncertainty of ∆ p x and the position x at the same time to within an uncertainty ∆ x . Here h is a constant, known as Planck’s constant. (Note that momentum is the mass of the object times its velocity.) a) Suppose you are trying to control the position of an object to greater and greater accuracy. According to this theory, what can be said about your knowledge of the object’s momentum? What about it’s velocity? What if the object is heavier? lighter?
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