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Defeating Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the schrodinger's-cat-is-next dept.

Data Storage 160

eldavojohn writes "As we strive closer and closer to quantum computing, physics may need to be improved. A paper released in Nature Physics suggests that the limit defined by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle can be beaten with quantum memory. From the article, 'The cadre of scientists behind the current paper realized that, by using the process of entanglement, it would be possible to essentially use two particles to figure out the complete state of one. They might even be able to measure incompatible variables like position and momentum. The measurements might not be perfectly precise, but the process could allow them to beat the limit of the uncertainty principle.' Will we find out that Heisenberg was shortsighted in limiting the power of quantum physics or will the scientists be surprised to find that such a theoretical scenario — once conducted — performs unexpectedly in Heisenberg's favor?"

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1st and second post :-) (5, Funny)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109834)

1st and second post simoultaneously :-)

Re:1st and second post :-) (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109848)

I was able to observe your post, but not how fast you typed it. The limit remains unbroken, I guess.

Re:1st and second post :-) (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110086)

This post is now diamonds.

Re:1st and second post :-) (1)

Squeeonline (1323439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110842)

Interesting, because I saw an exact same first post, but I was unable to observe it. However, I did see how fast it was typed. Between us, we broke the limit right?

Re:1st and second post :-) (1)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111682)

I installed a Heisenberg Uncertainty Compensator on my post, so you can know everything about it.

Re:1st and second post :-) (2, Funny)

mseidl (828824) | more than 4 years ago | (#33112046)

What does this mean for my cat? Is it dead, alive or a perl programmer?

Re:1st and second post :-) (4, Funny)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110194)

We have yet to hear from Schrödinger's cat [wikipedia.org] on this.

Re:1st and second post :-) (4, Funny)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110804)

Its response is in your inbox, and until you open it, the Cat both approves and disapproves of this development.

Re:1st and second post :-) (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111332)

The cat always posts as AC.

Re:1st and second post :-) (5, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111704)

Report just in: It wants and does not want a cheeseburger.

Re:1st and second post :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111714)

Shrodinger's cat responds with "MEOW!" and vacuous silence. Anyone care to observe what happened here?

Re:1st and second post :-) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110332)

Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle is total bs

Re:1st and second post :-) (2, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111344)

How can you be so certain?

Sounds as if... (4, Funny)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109846)

the uncertainty principle is in doubt.

Re:Sounds as if... (5, Funny)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109912)

well, it is and it isn't.

Re:Sounds as if... (4, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110522)

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

Re:Sounds as if... (0)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110024)

I'd say there is some uncertainty around that principle.

Re:Sounds as if... (1)

Beat The Odds (1109173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110092)

This really makes old sayings come to life.....

Expect the unexpected!

Re:Sounds as if... (1)

rjch (544288) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110240)

The cats of the world will be most pleased to hear this.

Re:Sounds as if... (1)

gijoel (628142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110712)

YYYYYYYEeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!

Quantum Memory Overlords (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33109860)

I for one welcome our new quantum memory overlords.

Oh, and does it run linux? or is it big enough for windows? ...

etc...

And they will call this device... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33109866)

...the Heisenberg Compensator.

Re:And they will call this device... (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110196)

Maybe if we reversed the polarity and introduced random fluctuations to the phase frequency...

Re:And they will call this device... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110216)

Haven't you learned anything? If you do that, you'll find out that this isn't reality and that we're all stuck in the Holodeck!

Re:And they will call this device... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111054)

To be honest, the yellow android dressed as Sherlock Holmes over there was also a pretty big hint.

Re:And they will call this device... (1)

woodcutter (147550) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111238)

no, no, listen to a Time Lord instead: reverse the polarity of the neutron flow

Yay! Transporters for all! (0)

jx100 (453615) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109870)

Now we know how the Heisenberg Compensators work.

Re:Yay! Transporters for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110070)

DAMN YOU!!! I wanted to post this. To the last I grapple with thee. From Hell's Heart I stab at thee. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!

Re:Yay! Transporters for all! (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110784)

Oh calm down Jean-Luc. It's not like you've any real interest in Engineering.

Re:Yay! Transporters for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110152)

By using two particles for every single particle which needs to be transported? So "five to beam down" means they have ten bodies worth of matter laying around somewhere.

Re:Yay! Transporters for all! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110264)

Now you know know where the dimension full of evil people with goatees comes from.

Re:Yay! Transporters for all! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110626)

New Jersey?

Re:Yay! Transporters for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110652)

Two particles for every single particle... except for the evil goatee particles. There is only one each of those.

meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33109876)

uncertainty is about defeating determinism. i don't see this small exception to break uncertainty - you still can't determine the precise state of the universe with this.

EPR (2, Informative)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109898)

Wasn't this the whole basis for the EPR paradox? Using two different measurements of location and momentum with entangled particles to build a complete state?

If not, what am I missing?

Re:EPR (1)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110072)

But... Think about simultaneity. How do you ensure that the momentum and position were recorded at the same time? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativity_of_simultaneity [wikipedia.org]

Re:EPR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111678)

That's a good point. For that matter, when an entangled particle is observed, it's counterpart's wavefunction collapses "instantaneously" but instantaneously in which reference frame? Only the reference frame of the observer?

Re:EPR (3, Informative)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111014)

Yes, it was. The point being that after you do any measure your state is no more correlated and the second measure does not project the state of the first.

I read the arxiv version of the paper (later I will have to go down to the library to get the journal one) and it seems that they simply reframe a lot of common knowledge in a different terminology. It is not like they show incompatible observables measured at the same time. Measuring position and momentum of different particles is not a problem since they do commute.

P.S. The article defines Paul Dirac as "another physicist". Just look at his page on Wikipedia for Landau's sake.

self-correcting system (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33109916)

Somewhat off-topic.
I'm glad Science is a self-correcting system. It is always improving and refining its previous claims. I wish religion was like this, but the whole institution would collapse if people started pointing out the fallacies.

Re:self-correcting system (0, Offtopic)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110218)

A true religion has no fallacies, and God does not fear scrutiny from the very same brilliant minds he himself created.

Physics is just fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33109918)

It is reality that needs to be improved.

So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (2, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109928)

Who knows? Maybe both?

Re:So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (5, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110036)

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is still a fundamental cornerstone in quantum physics. Incompatible observables remain incompatible. What the article says isn't that the principle is wrong, but that there is a work-around for a technical problem which the principle was causing. Much the same way the invention of airplanes did not imply gravity is wrong.

That's all I can say without seeing some math.

Re:So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (5, Funny)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110344)

That's all I can say without seeing some math.

2+2=5. There you've seen some math, now please continue.

Re:So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33112152)

That's all I can say without seeing some math.

2+2=5. There you've seen some math, now please continue.

2+2=5. That's not math; that's accounting.

Re:So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110606)

That's all I can say without seeing some math.

So in other words, Math or GTFO!

Re:So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110936)

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is still a fundamental cornerstone in quantum physics. Incompatible observables remain incompatible. What the article says isn't that the principle is wrong, but that there is a work-around for a technical problem which the principle was causing. Much the same way the invention of airplanes did not imply gravity is wrong.

That's all I can say without seeing some math.

And more likely than not the Heisenberg uncertainty principle will prove to be a limit (in the mathematical sense) to the precision of the measurements just as classical mechanics can function as a limit to quantum mechanics. So, as more possible states are entangled the precision will improve but not to such a degree that it will violate the principle.

Re:So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111096)

I also would like to see the math. Too bad there is none in the paper... They just write inequalities and say "it can be violated" but the counterexample is missing. I wonder how that got out of peer review.

Re:So was Heisenberg right or wrong? (1)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111180)

well, the summary makes it pretty clear: the theory remains the same (Heisenberg's "principle" is a very specific statement derived from the theory for a certain problem). It's just that in some pathological cases, by entangling particles, they can measure what one of them is doing (I assume they lose information about another part of the system).
I think I heard of this before, about some laser pulses that they wanted to get some noise out of: they just split one pulse into one with less quantum noise, while the other had more. It was some years ago, so I may be wrong.

Someone assfuck the writer please (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33109944)

Why do people have to pitch stories like this as ego conflicts? If they get around the uncertainty principle, they'll be erasing it no more than classical mechanics. It's like Relativity is just a more accurate description, an improvement, a super theory on top of Newtonian physics. It doesn't 'defeat' Newton. We use his work as a valid framework all the time anyways. And when we need to go beyond it, we take up Einstein's work. Similarly, getting around the uncertainty principle won't really 'defeat' Heisenberg's work, it'll just build on it. These writers just sound stupid when they frame stories as simple binary conflicts.

Re:Someone assfuck the writer please (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110340)

When someone sets a theoretical limit and then you outline a way to surpass that limit (in this case, predicting the outcomes for both possible choices of measurement to arbitrary precision), what would you call that if your method of surpassing that limit is sound? You would call that "building" on that limit?

Someone assfuck the writer please

Ah, I see you're looking for an academic discussion here.

Re:Someone assfuck the writer please (1)

Abuzar (732558) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110902)

>> Someone assfuck the writer please

> Ah, I see you're looking for an academic discussion here.

No, I'm not looking for an academic discussion. Am just posting my pov.
And I like using colorful language, and assfucking is colorful language.
Assfucking is also fun. Well, I like.

> You would call that "building" on that limit?

Yup :-)

Re:Someone assfuck the writer please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111548)

Yup :-)

So you ARE an idiot.

Re:Someone assfuck the writer please (0)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110416)

Newton didn't say "these rules can never ever be broken, even if travelling at the speed of light".

Einstein didn't say "These rules of relativity apply to absolutely everything no matter how big or small and you can never ever find anything that behaves differently" ... I'm pretty sure he was quite open to the idea that relativity wasn't encompassing everything.

Heisenburg DID say that you CANNOT know these things, that they CANNOT be measured, that it actually kinda seems like you CAN.

This is the difference. Newton/Einstein weren't really ruling anything out. Heisenburg kinda was. That changes how wrong they can be.

Re:Someone assfuck the writer please (1)

Abuzar (732558) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111018)

> Heisenburg DID say that you CANNOT know these things, that they CANNOT be measured,
> that it actually kinda seems like you CAN.
>
> This is the difference. Newton/Einstein weren't really ruling anything out. Heisenburg kinda
> was. That changes how wrong they can be.

That interpretation is too fine-grained. You're splitting hairs.

Re:Someone assfuck the writer please (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111376)

Heisenburg DID say that you CANNOT know these things, that they CANNOT be measured, that it actually kinda seems like you CAN.

This is the difference. Newton/Einstein weren't really ruling anything out. Heisenburg kinda was. That changes how wrong they can be.

close but not quite.

A better way to phrase it is Heisenberg showed that you can take all the measurements you want of either individual measurement but (more or less) the standard deviation of a combined measurement is always going to be some small number, which turns out to be irrelevant for big things (cars, etc) yet comparatively huge for little things like electrons.

Newton certainly ruled things out. Regardless of weight or density, organic or inorganic source, soul or soulless, gravity accelerates stuff downward around 10 m/s/s. F=MA, who cares about V. F=MA who cares about mass density. Einstein wrote a hell of a lot of interesting papers so I suppose he was on both sides of everything at one point or another, but one example was the photoelectric paper helped ruled out the "ultraviolet catastrophe" of blackbody radiation.

Re:Someone assfuck the writer please (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111064)

On /. we need some simplifications, otherwise we don't know which laws of physics are better for us and society in general. Lets say Newton = good, contributed his laws under GPL. Heisenberg = evil, even used Mono-based calculator once. Now, we will do everything we can to make Heisenberg's work irrelevant.

Replacement vs. Refinement of Theory (2, Interesting)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111680)

Physics is not merely an evolutionary process; occasionally, the models are simply wrong, and must be replaced. For example, consider epicycles. For the purpose of calculation, they were adequate, if expensive. However, a simpler and better theory was found, and they were replaced entirely. Unfortunately, history has shown us that most people will bitterly defend the accepted theory, rather than consider possible alternatives.

As Feynman once said, "If I were forced to sum up in one sentence what the Copenhagen interpretation says to me, it would be 'Shut up and calculate!'." Anyone with common sense would consider the currently accepted interpretation of quantum mechanics to be nonsense. Useful nonsense perhaps, but certainly not a suitable description of the world that just needs some refinement.

Can't wait for results (0)

allusionist (983106) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109952)

I would love to see the results of this experiment. No matter how it turns out, we're going to learn SOMETHING about how the world works - either giving new evidence to reinforce old uncertain ideas or shattering them with new possibilities.

Perhaps I'm wrong on this... (1, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#33109954)

... but I thought entanglement meant for properties such as spin and polarisation, not position and momentum? Quite obviously 2 particles can't share the same position so measuring 1 will do you no good in finding out the position of the other but do they share momentum?

Re:Perhaps I'm wrong on this... (2, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110588)

Generally entangled particles are created at the same place. For example, certain decay processes will fire off two complementary particles in opposite directions, at the same speed, in order to conserve momentum. If you measure the location of one of those particles, you know that the other must be the same distance from the origin point, in the opposite direction, so you know it's position as well.

Re:Perhaps I'm wrong on this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110594)

You know nothing about sex. Or maybe you are just very subtle.

Re:Perhaps I'm wrong on this... (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110624)

If you can measure the direction two entangled particles are travelling, and you know they travelled in a straight line from the point they were entangled and went their seperate ways... can you triangulate? "Or something", ya know, if you have two readings, maybe you can infer a third using geometry?

Re:Perhaps I'm wrong on this... (4, Interesting)

joeyblades (785896) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110900)

The uncertainty principle originally made statements about what can be known about position and velocity. You cannot measure both position and velocity simultaneously above a certain degree of accuracy. The more accurate your measure of velocity, the less you know about position, and visa versa. Since most purists will hold this up as the true test of any theory wanting to refute the uncertainty principle, the theorists felt the need to suggest that this, theoretically could be invalidated, as well. Hence the mention of momentum.

The fly in the ointment seems to be this part of the theory:

...maximally entangling a particle with a quantum memory, meaning all states and all degrees of freedom in the particle would be tied to all of the quantum memory's states.

I'm not sure how many states and degrees of freedom would be required. The total is infinite for both, but perhaps these can be limited to ranges. Still the size of the quantum memory would be huge, I think. Also, there is the non-trivial trick of entangling the particle's states and degrees of freedom with the quantum memory states...

I don't think Heisenberg will be turning over in his grave very soon...

Re:Perhaps I'm wrong on this... (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111248)

As observables they can be entangled. It does not mean they must have the same value, just that there is an anomalus correlation between the values.

Moreover some particles can be in the same position. It can be bosons or fermions with different spin/momentum.

Related Funny On Top Gear Last Night (5, Funny)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110004)

They demoed the Ferrari 458, and one of the "features" that Jeremy Clarkson highlighted was that the dash mounted display could show you either the speedo or the GPS Sat Nav, but not at the same time - my immediate thought was "Heh, someone at Ferrari has a sense of humour and knows what the Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle is." :)

Re:Related Funny On Top Gear Last Night (2, Funny)

Chih (1284150) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110272)

They demoed the Ferrari 458, and one of the "features" that Jeremy Clarkson highlighted was that the dash mounted display could show you either the speedo or the GPS Sat Nav, but not at the same time - my immediate thought was "Heh, someone at Ferrari has a sense of humour and knows what the Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle is." :)

OH GOD NO please don't show me the speedo!

Re:Related Funny On Top Gear Last Night (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111208)

Agreed. I've seen a few Ferrari owners, and if you need a Ferrari to pick up chicks then the speedo probably isn't going to be visible anyway.

In fact, the Uncertainty Principle might apply to whether a speedo is present in all those folds of flab.

Only one way to tell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110016)

Perform an experiment and see if you can get a result that contradicts the uncertainty principle. It's science, not religion. Heretics welcome.

About time! (0)

powerlord (28156) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110018)

Its about time we started work on moving technology into the 25th century and beyond.

After the "Heisenberg Compensator" I suggest we try to move forward on injectors.Dilythium

Re:About time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111470)

Corrections

It is the 24th Century. You do not inject Di-Lithium, you inject matter and anti-matter streams onto the facets of Di-LIthium crystals in the reactor core.

This is slashdot, get it right or don't post.

ArXiv link (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110038)

Nature:Physics is pay-for, but this appears to be the same paper on arXiv:

http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.0950

So they plan... (-1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110040)

So they plan to defeat this principle, which says you can't know both the momentum and position of a particle, by measuring another particle?

Newsflash: You can't measure THAT particle, either, for exactly the same reasons.

Re:So they plan... (2, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110338)

So, perhaps if you took two entangled particles, and measured the momentum of one, and the position of the other, you could extrapolate the total state of one of them. JUST LIKE THE SUMMARY SAYS

Re:So they plan... (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111856)

...or more likely if you measure the position of one, then it will affect the momentum of the other and so you cannot infer the momentum of the first ....

Just like the Summary says ....

Re:So they plan... (1)

ivan_w (1115485) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111940)

Except theory says that once you've measured one, the wave function collapses and the 2 particles are no longer entangled.

Because this seems to indicate that information has traveled at a velocity greater than the speed of light, Einstein (and others) weren't too happy with it.. Hence the EPR paradox.

Einstein believed there was a locally hidden variable. However that was dismissed by Bell's inequality theorem.

Re:So they plan... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33112094)

Achievement Unlocked: You've just invented the Heisenberg Compensator.

Next step? Transporters.

Re:So they plan... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110446)

It's more like this:

I want to know the name and date of birth of a particular person, but I'm only allowed to ask one question per person. If that person has a twin, I can ask the person i'm curious about their name, and the twin their age, thus circumventing the one question limit in this case.

It's sort of a cheat, it probably can't be used to get arbitrarily accurate information regarding a particle of interest, and it may only work on a small subset of particles (they need to have entangled partners).

Heisenberg vs Schrödinger death match! (1, Funny)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110054)

Well, I let that darn Schrödinger guy cat-sit while I'm on vacation and everytime I call him, he refuses to tell me if "mittens" is dead or alive. And when I call Heisenberg, all he says is that my cat is really fat, not if it's moving. Hopefully this new discovery will help all of us pet owners who let their neighborhood physicists cat-sit.

Re:Heisenberg vs Schrödinger death match! (3, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110068)

It's just like Thunderdome - except two man enter, one man may or may not leave.

Re:Heisenberg vs Schrödinger death match! (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111260)

"Two robots enter, one robot leaves... Then later the other robot leaves, after being declared the winner."

Oh come on!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33110062)

There should be something like the godwin-law for self-startreking articles! It's way to obvious to just turn on the heisenberg compensator :-P

We need more of this. (0)

jameson (54982) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110134)

While we're modifying physics, may I submit feature requests for anti-gravity and faster-than-light travel, please?

Also, do they have a public bug tracker up yet? I think I found a division-by-zero bug involving a cat and butter, but I'm having trouble reproducing it (as I am running out of band-aids.)

Slightly OT: did anyone see top-gear yesterday? (0, Redundant)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110156)

Yesterday on the BBC during top-gear there was a review of the new Ferrari 458

Apparently one of the LCD displays in the cockpit functions as EITHER the speedo, or the satnav. So you either know where you are, or how fast you are going.

Looks like the Ferrari engineer in charge of the 458 cockpit was a Heisenberg fan :P

Re:Slightly OT: did anyone see top-gear yesterday? (0, Offtopic)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110278)

Looks like the Ferrari engineer in charge of the 458 cockpit was a Heisenberg fan :P

You left a dupe of a highly-scored comment left ten minutes before yours. My god, it's full of dupes. Thanks for helping make slashdot grate.

Re:Slightly OT: did anyone see top-gear yesterday? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110494)

well, thats what i get for actually working while reading/posting slashdot..

Re:Slightly OT: did anyone see top-gear yesterday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111244)

I hope your real work isn't as piss poor as your ability to plagiarize comments on slashdot.

Re:Slightly OT: did anyone see top-gear yesterday? (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111338)

You can't read, find the position of the thread, and post, contribute to its momentum, at the same time. One hour / 2*pi is about 9.5 minutes.

Physics (2, Informative)

Sevorus (1754146) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110226)

IANAP, but I've read quite a bit over the years, and my understanding was that the uncertainty principle wasn't a limitation in our "measurements" per se, but rather how the world itself works. To take the classic example of momentum and position, for example: the problem isn't that we can't measure both the speed and position of an electron (like our tools aren't "fine" enough or something), but rather that an electron doesn't have both speed and position in the sense that we think about it. If we attempt to measure one of those two aspects, by that measurement we define the electron in a particular way and therefore blur the meaning of the other measurement.

My money is on Heisenberg, but then, I'm just a caveman.

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle? (2, Funny)

lanceran (1575541) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110228)

Is that the one where you don't know whether or not your will get shot for killing meth dealers that work for your boss or something?

obviously (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110372)

Commenting on whether or not the uncertainty principal will be broken is like asking if i get enough fiber in my diet. No one knows for sure.

Bad choice of names? (5, Informative)

Krokant (956646) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110544)

For those interested, the preprint of the Nature article can be found at: http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.0950 [arxiv.org]

However, I don't really see what the fuzz is about. What they are in fact demonstrating is a relationship between conditional von Neumann entropies, which they claim is a measure of "uncertainty" (it is in a specific meaning of the word "uncertainty"). However, there is a difference between von Neumann entropy and the variance of a physical observable as used in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. On the other hand, if you label a physical property such as entropy "uncertainty" and demonstrate a relationship between those entropies, then you can indeed call that an "uncertainty relation" but that's just a cheap way of attracting attention.

Also, I am not sure if it is possible to obtain the Heisenberg uncertainty relation from their equation. I would expect that, for example by entering pure, disentangled states in their equation, that Heisenberg should be recoverable (because of course, Heisenberg also applies to pure states). I don't immediately see how that can happen since the von Neumann entropy for a pure state is zero. Perhaps I am just missing something and perhaps my QM is a bit rusty :).

Re:Bad choice of names? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 4 years ago | (#33112064)

Your QM is a couple semesters ahead of mine. I appreciate the insight though, and think parent should be modded up!

so.. transporters are a go? (1)

lazn (202878) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110578)

Now that we can build Heisenberg compensators?

Meanwhile, Chief O'Brien suggests... (1)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110608)

...that the limit defined by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle can be beaten with Heisenberg Compensators.

Afty0r (1)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 4 years ago | (#33110692)

The measurements might not be perfectly precise

Isn't that the whole point of Heisenbergs Uncertaintly Principle?

That it's not possible to *PRECISELY* measure an attribute of something?

We all know it's possible to measure it reasonably accurately... (otherwise we wouldn't have speeding tickets) but Heisenbergs is not about "reasonably accurate" but "absolutely accurate".

Re:Afty0r (3, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111008)

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle puts a well-defined, quantitative lower limit on the certainty for certain pairs of variables. For example the uncertainty in momentum multiplied by the uncertainty in position for a particle must be greater than or equal to h/4pi. Breaking that limit would break Heisenberg, even if the results still weren't totally totally certain, accurate and precise.

Re:Afty0r (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111030)

Err, limit on the uncertainty I should say.

Re:Afty0r (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#33111106)

That it's not possible to *PRECISELY* measure an attribute of something?

Not exactly. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states precise inequalities that certain PAIRS of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot simultaneously be known to arbitrary precision. You seem to be implying that any observable SINGLE quality can't be precisely known. And its not the the attribute of *something*. The principal is specifically relegated to the region of quantum phenomena. We can, and do, measure both position and velocity of objects in the macro world every day to an arbitrary degree.

Flying Monkey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33111554)

Now we know the first steps that were made to make the Heisenberg Compensators out of Star Trek.

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