Not All Is Uncertain As A Consequence Of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

746 words - 3 pages

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a fundamental concept in quantum mechanics that paved the road to understanding many uncertainties in the ability of an observer to measure more than one variable simultaneously. The Uncertainty Principle refers to the fact that the accuracy in one measurement, within some range of certainty, comes at the cost of accuracy in another measurement (Rohrlich 147-51). Not all experimental values are uncertain because we can determine “x” and “y” precisely, just not at the same time. It is, therefore, incorrect to summarize the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle saying, “everything is uncertain.”
It is wrong to summarize Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle ...view middle of the document...

As a simple illustration of this point, consider a series of ocean waves that rise and fall at constant intervals. Each wave has a position and is a certain distance from the wave behind it. We can accurately measure the position of one of these waves by treating it like a wave pulse and recording its location. Yet, in narrowing our observation to one wave we can no longer know the distance between each wave since a pulse has no adjacent reference points. This causes a fundamental uncertainty about the wave position and frequency of waves rising at a given time point.
One may argue, however, that since the quantum particles that make up all matter can only be described using wave-functions and probabilities, then nothing about matter can be known for certain (Rohrlich 178-80). Furthermore, any experimental measurement yields a range of values when repeated, which adds further uncertainty to observations of physical phenomena. These are valid sources of uncertainty, however, neither is a direct consequence of the Uncertainty Principle as defined above. Beyond this, it is possible to be certain that a value falls within a probability range and this is enough to describe many physical events. Therefore, not all sources of uncertainty present in the quantum mechanical realm are attributable to Heisenberg’s principle. Implying Heisenberg showed “everything...

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