The Uncertainty Principle

“The Uncertainty Principle” T-Shirt, designed by Jon Wozencroft. Printed in white ink on a black Fruit of the Loom Super Premium T-Shirt. Position of design: Center Chest.

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Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle [1927]

If a simultaneous measurement is made of the position and momentum of a particle, then, no matter how accurate the measurements, there is always uncertainty in the values obtained. The product of the uncertainties is of the same order as Planck's constant. A similar uncertainty exists with the simultaneous measurement of energy and time. The uncertainty arises because the act of observing the system interferes with it in an unpredictable way. Uncertainty is only important at the atomic and subatomic levels and at this level throws the principle of causality into doubt.

Werner Karl Heisenberg [1901-1976] German physicist, who, with Erwin Schrödinger 1887-1961], was the main architect of quantum mechanics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1932. He remained in Germany throughout the Nazi period [1933-1945] in charge of Germany's attempt to make the atomic bomb at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin. After the war he became the director of the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen.

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The Uncertainty Principle

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