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 Observation, in this case, is a quantum mechanics phenomenon embodied by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 22 June 2022 Its title was inspired by German physicist Werner Heisenberg’s 1927 uncertainty principle, which says it’s impossible to precisely measure the velocity of a particle in motion. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2022 But the uncertainty principle, formulated by German physicist Werner Heisenberg in the 1920s, states that there is a fundamental limit to how well the position and momentum of an object such as a drum can be known. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, 6 May 2021 The uncertainty principle, formulated by Werner Heisenberg in 1927, is a consequence of the fuzziness of the universe at microscopic scales. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, 6 Aug. 2014 This same technique of acquiring the minimum amount of information needed for a measurement seemed to offer a way around the uncertainty principle. Clara Moskowitz, Scientific American, 6 Aug. 2014 In a sense, merely looking at a quantum system unavoidably disturbs it, a manifestation of Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle. Quanta Magazine, 2 Oct. 2019 In a sense, merely looking at a quantum system unavoidably disturbs it, a manifestation of Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle. Quanta Magazine, 2 Oct. 2019 In a sense, merely looking at a quantum system unavoidably disturbs it, a manifestation of Heisenberg’s famous uncertainty principle. Quanta Magazine, 2 Oct. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of uncertainty principle

1929, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of uncertainty principle was in 1929

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Dictionary Entries Near uncertainty principle

uncertainty

uncertainty principle

uncertified

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Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Uncertainty principle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uncertainty%20principle. Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on uncertainty principle

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about uncertainty principle

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