• ### Browse All Lessons

##### Assign Lesson

Help Teaching subscribers can assign lessons to their students to review online!

 Tweet # Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle Introduction: In our physical world, it is virtually impossible to know with a certain amount of precision the position and momentum of a moving particle precisely. This applies to our knowledge of moving particles, like electrons, as well as moving objects, such as baseballs and bumblebees. This idea that there is a limit to the precision of the measurements of position and momentum simultaneously is known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

The equation for the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is written as follows:
∆p∆x ≥ h/4π,
where ∆p=change in the momentum of the particle
∆x=change in the position of the particle
h=Planck's constant

In general, based on the relationship shown above, the more accurately the position of a particle is known (or the smaller the ∆x value), the less accurately the momentum of a particle is known (or the larger the ∆p value). Conversely, the larger the ∆x value, the smaller ∆p value. This is because when one of the variables - either ∆p or ∆x - increases, the other value must decrease in order to satisfy the inequality.

Required Video

Related Worksheets: