uncertainty principle

noun

Definition of uncertainty principle 

: a principle in quantum mechanics: it is impossible to discern simultaneously and with high accuracy both the position and the momentum of a particle (such as an electron)

called also Heisenberg uncertainty principle

Examples of uncertainty principle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Werner Heisenberg won the 1932 Nobel Prize for helping to found the field of quantum mechanics and developing foundational ideas like the Copenhagen interpretation and the uncertainty principle. Lee Phillips, Ars Technica, "Turbulence, the oldest unsolved problem in physics," 10 Oct. 2018 This is also an unusually literate movie, one that cites Heisenberg’s own famous uncertainty principle the better to bring it to bear on the scenario itself. Robert Rodat, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Catcher Was a Spy’ Shares a Peculiar History Lesson," 21 June 2018 The uncertainty principle The take-away from all this: No alternative source of collision damage coverage — your auto insurance, your credit card or a third-party — completely isolates you from risk. Ed Perkins, USA TODAY, "Nine nasty truths about car rental insurance," 26 Oct. 2017 But the uncertainty principle works for other quantities, too. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "What Is 'Nothing', Really? Possibly Everything," 20 Oct. 2017 The uncertainty principle couples that to the phase. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Miniature trampoline may let microwave and optical qubits communicate," 28 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uncertainty principle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of uncertainty principle

1929, in the meaning defined above

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26 Nov 2018

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The first known use of uncertainty principle was in 1929

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