Reciprocity in the uncertainty relations

Philosophy of Science 40 (1):52-58 (1973)
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A philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics presupposes a clear understanding of what is asserted by this theory. The aim of this paper is to help clarify one specific theorem of quantum mechanics, namely the so-called uncertainty relations. The surprisingly wide spread belief that these relations generally imply a reciprocal or inversely proportional relationship between the respective uncertainties is shown to be mistaken. Several reasons why this mistaken belief has been embraced are suggested. The conditions under which one could say that the uncertainty relations imply an inversely proportional relationship between uncertainties are specified



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