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Quantum Uncertainty

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Quantum Uncertainty

Project Leader: James Arnemann

Members: Jesus Gallegos, Jose Castro, Matthew Constantino

Classical World

- Waves and Particles
- Deterministic
- Continuous
Quantum World

- Particle-Wave Duality
- Probabilistic
- Discrete

- You cannot know both the momentum and the position of a particle with exact certainty
- ΔpΔx≥ħ/2 (uncertainty principle)
- Δp = Change in momentum
- Δx = Change in position
- ħ = h/2π

- ½ ofunpolarizedlight will go through a polarizer polarized in one direction
- No light polarized in one direction will go through a polarizer in an orthogonal (perpendicular) direction

0

prob. light comes thru

- When a slanted polarizer is inserted, half goes through that one, and half goes through the third

1/8

prob. light comes thru

½ prob. light comes thru

¼

prob. light comes thru

- Laser pointers make dots

Δx

- When a laser passes through a slit, its position changes
- There is an uncertainty in position (Δx)
- This causes uncertainty in momentum (Δp)
- If Δx gets small, Δp must be bigger
- Remember ΔxΔp must be larger than or equal to ħ/2

- But, when the light does pass through the slit…

Δp

Δp

Δp

Δp

- The smaller Δx is the bigger Δp must be
- The smaller the slit the more the light spreads

- ΔxΔp≥ħ/2 (uncertainty principle)
- We can never know both variables with complete certainty
- In trying to measure the position, we inevitably change the momentum and vice-versa
- It took a whole lot of math to understand this however, math is a tool to help us conceptualize these abstract ideas