Uncertainty application

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Alvaro Chumpitaz 4D
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:17 am

Uncertainty application

Postby Alvaro Chumpitaz 4D » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:17 pm

Is it possible to calculate the uncertainty of a photon? Or does the fact that it lack mass prevent that?

Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Uncertainty application

Postby 205296774 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:34 pm

Photons, being light, do not have mass so you will never be able to use the momentum equation. With that said, I think it is safe to say that you can't calculate the uncertainty. I went to a drop-in session today, and the UA confirmed this specific point as well.

Hope this helps!

Ally Huang- 1F
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Uncertainty application

Postby Ally Huang- 1F » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:37 pm

The uncertainty principle is mostly used for the uncertainty of position and momentum of objects with a mass. It states that if we know with a high certainty the momentum of an object, we cannot know with high certainty the position of an object. More specifically the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is (delta x)(mass)(delta v)>=h/4pi. Since the mass of a photon is essentially 0, the equation would no longer work mathematically, therefore you cannot apply the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to photons.

Sally Qiu 2E
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Uncertainty application

Postby Sally Qiu 2E » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:47 pm

in order to use the uncertainty equation, you need to have some value for mass. because photons have no mass, you cannot use the momentum equation p=mv and thus, you cannot calculate the uncertainty

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