Volume 17: Pages 41-45, 2004
Applying the Uncertainty Principle to Single Particle Interactions
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Existing derivations of uncertainty for single particle interactions violate complementarity because they require that the photon exhibit wave and particle behavior simultaneously, and thus singularly. In order to restore physical consistency to quantum theory, a model of the photon is proposed with spatial extension equal to the wavelength. As a result, uncertainty and indeterminacy must be assigned independent meanings. Uncertainty describes the limit in measurability for instantaneous exchanges of momentum and is due to a photon's particle properties. It is causal in origin and provides a model for the kinematics of quantum theory. Indeterminacy, however, is statistical in nature and is attributed to the exchange of momentum by time‐averaged fields. The need for two limitations on measurability is seen as an extension of the duality principle to measurement theory.
Keywords: uncertainty, indeterminacy, complementarity, Heisenberg's microscope experiment, spatial extension, photon, absolute space, kinematics
Received: February 4, 2003; Published online: December 15, 2008