School of Mathematical Sciences

Department Colloquium

TIDY Distinguished lecture in Mathematical Physics

Schreiber 008, 11:10

PLEASE NOTE THE SPECIAL DATE AND TIME

University of York

The Uncertainty Principle, conceived by W. Heisenberg in 1927, epitomises the fundamental philosophical

Abstract:

implications of quantum mechanics and its radical departure from classical physics. For decades, there

has been an air of vagueness and perhaps even mystique around its formulation and interpretation, which

may have contributed to the media hype in 2012 when it was announced that the principle had been

experimentally violated. In this lecture I survey precise mathematical formulations of Heisenberg's principle

in all its guises as a statement about (a) uncertainties, (b) unsharpness, (c) measurement inaccuracies, and

(d) disturbance due to measurement. Recent claims about the failure of the principle are shown to be

untenable and found to have arisen from the unwarranted extrapolation of classical physical intuitions about

measurement inaccuracies.

Coffee will be served at 11:00 before the lecture

at Schreiber building 008