Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

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Prior to the scientific work of Physicist Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976), it was thought that the location and momentum of a particle could be precisely measured in time and space. However, all this changed in 1927, when Heisenberg published his work now known as the ‘Uncertainty Principle’, ‘Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle’, or ‘Heisenberg’s Indeterminacy Principle’. From this point of time onwards, it was understood that the location and momentum of a particle (such as an electron) could not be precisely measured. The scientific universe experienced a paradigm shift which suggested that the world of matter at the atomic or sub-atomic level, could not be ‘known’ through the use of conventional science. Why is this thought to be the case? It is thought to be the case because a particle can not be a) ‘observed’, b) ‘measured’ and c) ‘predicted’. The so-called ‘quantum theory’ of reality suggests that the principles of material science – which rely upon observation, measurement and the prediction related to repeated experimentation – does not, and cannot be applied to low-level physics, despite the fact that such methods continue to function in high-level physics, and remain valid for the macro-world of ordinary, or everyday observable phenomena.

If Heisenberg’s ‘uncertainty principle’ is correct, why does the macro-world remain determinate and apparently ‘certain’? In other words, why has logic and reason, (and the development of modern science), all emerged from the apparent ‘certainty’ of the world of observable matter? Today, all school children are taught that an electron is both a ‘particle’ and a ‘wave’. Through the ‘double slit’ experiment (whereby a stream of light is fed through an ever narrowing slit), it can be demonstrated that when the slit is ‘wide’, light behave as if it consisted of particles, but when the slit is narrowed – there is a point where the light beam narrows – but then suddenly expands outwards into a wave-like formation. This being the case, why doesn’t the macro-world experience terminal ‘indeterminacy’? Whilst Louis De Broglie (1892-1987) was re-assessing Albert Einstein’s famous equation of E=MC2, he discovered that a particle wavelength is inversely related to its momentum. Waves are not observable in the macro-world, because Planck’s Constant (h) is so small, and the momentum of macro-objects so large, that any wavelength possessed by a macro-object is infinitesimally small. However, as sub-atomic particles possess very small momentum (again, interpreted through Planck’s Constant) , the wavelengths of sub-atomic particles are more readily observable. Therefore, the material world as it appears to the human senses, manifests as a ‘real’ and ‘constant’ construct. Gravity operating on the ‘mass’ of the macro-world might well generate the conditions for a material world appearing to be ‘stable’ to human perception. Of course, the physical environment is the arena of evolution through natural selection, and so the human senses correspond directly to the sense-objects that they are designed to ‘sense’. As the human brain evolved to make sense of this ‘immediate’ environment, it did not develop the ability to ‘sense’ or ‘see’ the micro-world. The human brain evolved for the purpose of generating meaningful movement through the evolutionary environment – with ‘thought’ being a by-product of this development. Although human-beings have had to develop technology to peer into the sub-atomic world, nevertheless, the human-mind has been able (through mathematics) to ‘infer’ the likelihood of a quantum reality.

The macro-world behaves through strict physical laws – laws which are used everyday in the production and maintenance of advanced and progressive science and technology. Particles are measurable and their location clearly known. Heisenberg mathematically discovered that the micro-world did not behave like this. Albert Einstein contributed greatly to modern science, but did not think quantum reality was correct. Many today state that Albert Einstein was wrong, but I disagree with this. Albert Einstein – being a great scientist – simply tried to prove quantum theory ‘wrong’, as a means to confirm its validity. After-all, his theory of relatively greatly advanced the ‘science’ of quantum understanding. More to the point, despite Heisenberg’s breakthrough, it could be ‘wrong’ because humanity is currently viewing the situation through the rubric of false assumptions and interpretations. How can a material universe be built on an immaterial foundation? Furthermore, quantum theory cannot, and does not explain the existence of the macro-world. As it is the macro-world that humanity exists within, and has built the edifice of its science and spirituality upon, it should be the quantum physicists who should be trying to explain why it is that their view of the world cannot explain material reality. Whatever the case, in reality, Heisenberg arrived at his interesting observation through the practice of a strict material mathematics and science. In the sense of good and reliable research – as Heisenberg would agree – ‘certainty’ of logical methodology is of the greatest importance. It was by observing the nature of material reality that Heisenberg arrived at his famous ‘uncertainty principle’.

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