Heisenberg Indeterminacy (Uncertainty) Equation


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Kevin Hernandez 3A
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Heisenberg Indeterminacy (Uncertainty) Equation

Postby Kevin Hernandez 3A » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:13 pm

The hydrogen atom has a radius of approximately 0.05 nm. Assume that we know the position of an electron to an accuracy of 1 % of the hydrogen radius, calculate the uncertainty in the speed of the electron using the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Comment on your value obtained.

How would we determine delta x of this problem?

Grace Boyd 2F
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:01 am

Re: Heisenberg Indeterminacy (Uncertainty) Equation

Postby Grace Boyd 2F » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:19 pm

Delta x is the diameter of the atom, so to begin, you would double the 0.05 nm radius and get 0.1 nm. From there, you multiply 0.1 nm by 0.01 (the decimal form of 1%). Remember to put your nm in meters first! So your equation would be (1.0x10^-10m)(0.01) and that would give you the uncertainty in delta x. Whenever a problem tells you that you know the variable (in this case, position) to a certain percentage of accuracy, you multiply the diameter by the decimal form of the percentage. Hope this helps!

Nancy Dinh 2J
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Re: Heisenberg Indeterminacy (Uncertainty) Equation

Postby Nancy Dinh 2J » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:37 pm

Kevin Hernandez 3A wrote:The hydrogen atom has a radius of approximately 0.05 nm. Assume that we know the position of an electron to an accuracy of 1 % of the hydrogen radius, calculate the uncertainty in the speed of the electron using the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Comment on your value obtained.

How would we determine delta x of this problem?


Actually, because the problem specifically tells us that we know the "position of an electron to an accuracy of 1% of the hydrogen RADIUS", we would use 0.01 * 0.05 * 10^-9 m. However, when it isn't specifically stated, assume that you use the diameter.


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