# Heisenberg Uncertainty

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1 Heisenberg Uncertainty Outline - Heisenberg Microscope - Measurement Uncertainty - Example: Hydrogen Atom - Example: Single Slit Diffraction - Example: Quantum Dots 1

2 TRUE / FALSE A photon (quantum of light) is reflected from a mirror. (A) Because a photon has a zero mass, it does not exert a force on the mirror. (B) Although the photon has energy, it cannot transfer any energy to the surface because it has zero mass. (C) The photon carries momentum, and when it reflects off the mirror, it undergoes a change in momentum and exerts a force on the mirror. (D) Although the photon carries momentum, its change in momentum is zero when it reflects from the mirror, so it cannot exert a force on the mirror. 2

3 Gaussian Wavepacket in Space WAVE PACKET GAUSSIAN ENVELOPE In free space this plot then shows the PROBABILITY OF WHICH k (or ENERGY) EM WAVES are MOST LIKELY TO BE IN THE WAVEPACKET 3

4 Gaussian Wavepacket in Time WAVE PACKET UNCERTAINTY RELATIONS 4

5 Heisenberg s Uncertainty Principle uncertainty in momentum uncertainty in position The more accurately you know the position (i.e., the smaller Δx is), the less accurately you know the momentum (i.e., the larger Δp is); and vice versa 5

6 Heisenberg realised that... In the world of very small particles, one cannot measure any property of a particle without interacting with it in some way This introduces an unavoidable uncertainty into the result One can never measure all the properties exactly 6 Werner Heisenberg ( ) Image in the Public Domain

7 Measuring Position and Momentum of an Electron Shine light on electron and detect reflected light using a microscope Minimum uncertainty in position is given by the wavelength of the light BEFORE ELECTRON-PHOTON COLLISION So to determine the position accurately, it is necessary to use light with a short wavelength incident photon electron 7

8 Measuring Position and Momentum of an Electron By Planc k s law E = hc/λ, a photon with a short wavelength has a large energy Thus, it would impart a large kick to the electron AFTER ELECTRON-PHOTON COLLISION But to determine its momentum accurately, electron must only be given a small kick This means using light of long wavelength scattered photon 8 recoiling electron

9 Light Microscopes incident photon electron Suppose the positions and speeds of all particles in the universe are measured to sufficient accuracy at a particular instant in time It is possible to predict the motions of every particle at any time in the future (or in the past for that matter) An intelligent being knowing, at a given instant of time, all forces acting in nature, as well as the momentary positions of all things of which the universe consists,would be able to comprehend the motions of the largest bodies of the world and those of the smallest atoms in one single formula, provided it were sufficiently powerful to subject all the data to analysis; to it, nothing would be uncertain, both future and past would be present before its eyes. Pierre Simon Laplace 9

10 Review: Probability - a closer look at x Number of People (N) Age (j) Probability of someone with age j: Average age (expected age): where General expected value: 10

11 Review: Probability Number of People (N) Age (j) One distribution is more spread out than the other. Variance Expected (Expected value of j 2 value of j) 2 What we ve been loosely calling Δj is actually 11 Standard deviation

12 Review: Probability A closer look at x e nm Probability of being at position x: General expected value: Expected (average) position: Uncertainty in position: 12

13 Heisenberg Example: Diffraction What is the spread of electrons on the screen? The slit gives information about y bound on Barrier Barrier spread in and if you look closely you will see Intensity 13

14 Classical Hydrogen Atom Classically we know that negatively charged electron is attracted to the proton, and it was suggested that the electron circles the proton. But if an electron is circling, every-time it changes direction it is accelerated, and an accelerating charge emits EM radiation (light). Classically, it can be calculated that the radiation of the electron would cause it to gradually loose its rotational kinetic energy and collapse on top of the proton within 10-9 seconds! 14 Hydrogen Atom

15 Consider a single hydrogen atom: an electron of charge = -e free to move around in the electric field of a fixed proton of charge = +e (proton is ~2000 times heavier than electron, so we consider it fixed). The electron has a potential energy due to the attraction to proton of: where r is the electron-proton separation The electron has a kinetic energy of The total energy is then 15

16 Classically, the minimum energy of the hydrogen atom is the state in which the electron is on top of the proton p = 0, r = 0. Quantum mechanically, the uncertainty principle forces the electron to have non-zero momentum and non-zero expectation value of position. If a is an average distance electron-proton distance, the uncertainty principle informs us that the minimum electron momentum is on the order of ħ/a. The energy as a function of a is then: 16

17 If we insist on placing the electron right on top of the proton (a=0), the potential energy is still -, just as it is classically, but the total energy is: Quantum mechanics tells us that an ATOM COULD NEVER COLLAPSE as it would take an infinite energy to locate the electron on top of the proton 17

18 The minimum energy state, quantum mechanically, can be estimated by calculating the value of a=a o for which E(a) is minimized: E [ev] 0.5 AS A FUNCTION OF a THE TOTAL ENERY LOOKS LIKE THIS a [Å] By preventing localization of the electron near the proton, the Uncertainty Principle RETARDS THE CLASSICAL COLLAPSE OF THE ATOM, PROVIDES THE CORRECT DENSITY OF MATTER, and YIELDS THE PROPER BINDING ENERGY OF ATOMS 18

19 One might ask: If light can behave like a particle, might particles act like waves? YES! Particles, like photons, also have a wavelength given by: de Broglie wavelength The wavelength of a particle depends on its momentum, just like a photon! The main difference is that matter particles have mass, and photons don t! 19

20 Nobel Prize Alfred Nobel was born in1833 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was a chemist, engineer, and inventor. In 1894 Nobel purchased the Bofors iron and steel mill, which he converted into a major armaments manufacturer. Nobel amassed a fortune during his lifetime, most of it from his 355 inventions, of which dynamite is the most famous. In 1888, Alfred was astonished to read his own obituary in a French newspaper. It was actually Alfred's brother Ludvig who had died. The article disconcerted Nobel and made him apprehensive about how he would be remembered. This inspired him to change his to bequeathed 94% of his total assets (US\$186 million in 2008) to establish the five Nobel Prizes. Today the Nobel Foundation has US\$560 million. Winners receive a diploma, medal, and monetary award. In 2009, the monetary award was US\$1.4 million. Alfred Nobel Image in the Public Domain 20

21 Do particles exhibit interference? Position On Screen Partition With Slits Screen Firing bullets at a double -slit with one slit closed Firing electrons at a double -slit with one slit closed 21

22 What about the other slit? Again, you just get a rather expected result 22

23 What if both slits are open? With bullets, you get what appears to be a simple sum of the two intensity distributions.??? With electrons, you find an interference pattern, just like with light waves??? Huh? Come again? So, forms of matter do exhibit wave behavior (electrons) and others (bullets) don t? What s going on here? 23

24 Electron Diffraction Wall Screen Intensity Graph 24

25 Double-Slit Experiment: act of observation affects behavior of electron Detector Detector Wall Screen Intensity Graph 25

26 Another Heisenberg Uncertainty Example: Particle in a Box MACROSCOPIC NANOSCALE e - 1 nm What is the minimum kinetic energy of the electron in the box? A quantum particle can never be in a state of rest, as this would mean we know both its position and momentum precisely Thus, the carriage will be jiggling around the bottom of the valley forever 26

27 Example: Engineering Color Cell staining Photo by J. Halpert, Courtesy of M. Bawendi Group, EECS, MIT. Taking color away from chemists and giving it to electrical engineers RGB Display Everything here is a spherical nanoparticle of CdSe!! Image courtesy ONE-lab and M. Bawendi Group, EECS, MIT. 27

28 Quantum Confinement another way to know Δx Transmission Electron Microscopy shows the crystalline arrangement of atoms in a 5nm diameter CdSe nanocrystal quantum dot +e +e +e r electron can be anywhere in dot Source unknown. All rights reserved. This content is excluded from our Creative Commons license. For more information, see 28

29 Colloidal Semiconductor Nanoparticles Core Shell Core Quantum Dot Red: bigger dots! Blue: smaller dots! Photo by J. Halpert, Courtesy of M. Bawendi Group, EECS, MIT. 29

30 active device region contains a single QD monolayer ~5nm thick Ordered QD Monolayer Quantum Dot Devices nm Source unknown. All rights reserved. This content is excluded from our Creative Commons license. For more information, see Devices: QD-LEDs QD-Photodetectors QD-Solar Cells QD-Floating Gate Memories Advantages: Color, Pattern, Stability, Detectivity Tunable Stacks, Efficiency Enable Device Scaling Image courtesy ONE-lab and Moungi Bawendi Group, MIT 30

31 Summary Photons carry both energy & momentum. Matter also exhibits wave properties. For an object of mass m, and velocity, v, the object has a wavelength, λ = h / mv Heisenberg s uncertainty principle: uncertainty in momentum uncertainty in position 31

32 MIT OpenCourseWare Electromagnetic Energy: From Motors to Lasers Spring 2011 For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use, visit:

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