November 7th, 2008 — Tags: Physics, Quantum, Science
The other day I ran across this article while reading SciScoop. I found it worth a read. What’s more, it even explains some ideas in this post.
The quantum world is full of complementary variables such as position/momentum and wave/particle. The equations describing quantum mechanics are such that precise knowledge of one complementary variable precludes knowledge of the other–regardless of the measurement technique. Even if we could devise a way of accurately measuring position without affecting momentum, the momentum variable would still be imprecise. This is quantum uncertainty as defined by the Copenhagen interpretation, subject to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle.