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What is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: Explained in Simple Words

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Channel: Science ABC
Categories: Physics   |   Science  
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Heisenbergs uncertainty principle says that if we know everything about where a particle is located, we know nothing about its momentum. Conversely, if we know everything about its momentum, then we know nothing about where the particle is located. In other words, this principle means that we cannot measure the position and momentum of a particle with absolute precision or certainty.
But waves, as you know, dont exist in one specific place. However, you can certainly identify and measure specific characteristics of a wave pattern as a whole, most notably, its wavelength, which is the distance between two consecutive crests or troughs. Particles that are as small or even smaller than atoms have large enough wavelengths to be detected, and can therefore be measured in experiments.
Thus, if we have a wave whose wavelength and momentum can be measured accurately, then its impossible to measure its specific position. Conversely, if we know the position of a particle with high certainty, then we cannot accurately determine its momentum. This is what Heisenbergs uncertainty principle is all about.

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