Friday, January 20, 2012

Revival of "Heisenberg Microscope"

I've often mentioned that one of the most popular misconception in physics is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP). A lot of people think that it has something to do with our instrumentation inability to measure these observables. The concept certainly came out of the infamous "Heisenberg microscope" being given as the example.

Still, incorporating the Heisenberg microscope into the HUP hasn't been empirically shown... till now.

Then, in 2003, Masanao Ozawa at Japan's Nagoya University derived a new universal expression of the uncertainty principle that includes error and disturbance – as well as the standard-deviation terms. Now, Ozawa has joined forces with Yuji Hasegawa and colleagues at the Vienna University of Technology to confirm the calculation using spin-polarized neutrons. Instead of looking at position and momentum, the experiment measures two orthogonal spin components of the neutron – quantities also governed by the uncertainty principle.
But people still need to realize that the standard form of the HUP that we know and love still isn't about such "error and disturbance" effect. It is an inherent property within QM.


1 comment:

Himanshu said...

The best source of information carrier we have is electromagnetic radiation...(best in the sense lightest) but it itself disturbs the observed system....Can we have something other than light (I mean Is there a possibility of discovering?)that flows continuously and not in quanta and transfer almost no momentum?