December 8, 2022

π-Corrected Heisenberg Limit

One of the cornerstones of quantum theory is a fundamental limit to the precision with which we can know certain pairs of physical quantities, such as position and momentum : the famous Heisenberg limit.

Researchers in Poland and Australia have proven that the Heisenberg limit as it is commonly stated is not operationally meaningful, and differs from the correct limit by a factor of π.

The team did not adopt the classical frequentist approach but a Bayesian approach which accepts the notion of probabilities representing the uncertainty in any event or hypothesis and attributes a given probability distribution known as the prior.

As well as their fundamental impact in quantum theory, these results may also affect some areas of practical metrology and quantum sensing, especially based on nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond.

The paper has been published in Physics Review Letters. (

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