Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle Post Assessment Q#18

$\Delta p \Delta x\geq \frac{h}{4\pi }$

IsabelMurillo3J
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:51 pm

Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle Post Assessment Q#18

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.
Does anyone know the steps I have to take to solve this problem? Specifically on how to get the values of delta p and delta x? Thanks in advance!

Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:01 pm
Been upvoted: 2 times

Re: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle Post Assessment Q#18

Step 1) I like to first determine what variable I need to solve for. We are looking for the uncertainty in the speed of the electron, which is delta v.

Step 2) We are told that the uncertainty in the position of the electron is 1% of the hydrogen atom radius (0.05nm).

0.01 x 0.05 nm = 0.0005 nm

Convert this to meters because the unit for uncertainty in position is meters.

0.005 nm x (10^-9 m / 1nm) = 5 x 10^-13 m

Step 3) Since we are talking about an electron, the mass will be 9.11 x 10^-31 kg.

Step 4) Plug the values into the Heisenberg uncertainty equation:

$(9.11 x 10^{-31}) (\Delta V) \cdot (5x10^{-13}) \geq \frac{h}{4\pi }$

Delta v will be greater than or equal to 1 x 10^8 m/s