Thursday, September 02, 2010

Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle Demonstrated With Electron Diffraction Experiment

In my entry discussing the misconception of the HUP, I tried to illustrate it using a single-slit diffraction. Many people do not realize that this single-slit diffraction is the HUP effect staring right in their faces. So this phenomenon can certainly be observed at the macroscopic scale.

A new paper in Eur. J. Phys. tries to do the same thing, but this time, using electron diffraction from a circular opening.[1]

Abstract: An experiment analogous to the classical diffraction of light from a circular aperture has been realized with electrons. The results are used to introduce undergraduate students to the wave behaviour of electrons. The diffraction fringes produced by the circular aperture are compared to those predicted by quantum mechanics and are exploited to present and discuss the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

The discussion in the paper is very similar to what I tried to convey. Hopefully, people will have a clearer understanding of the HUP from this.


[1] G. Matteucci et al., Eur. J. Phys. v.31, p.1287 (2010). You may also obtain the paper for free during the first 30 days of online publication at this link.


Ptrslv72 said...

Man, check the typo in the title! ;-)

ZapperZ said...

Nope, too lazy.