Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (S/F)

Disambiguation Links – Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (C/N)

Developed in 1927 by Werner Heisenberg (for whom it is sometimes named), the uncertainty principle is any variety of mathematical inequalities which assert a fundamental limit to the precision that certain pairs of properties can be known simultaneously. The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely its momentum can be known, and vice versa. The uncertainty principle has been historically confused with the observer effect, which notes that measurements of certain systems or environments cannot be made without affecting them in some way; if a scientist goes into the forest to study animals in their natural environment, his very presence affects how the animals behave, thus contaminating his observations to some degree.

During the John Hammond-organised expedition to Isla Sorna in 1997, Dr. Ian Malcolm incorrectly references Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle when explaining to Dr. Sarah Harding that “whatever you study, you also change”. This was brought up after Dr. Harding suggested to photographer Nick Van Owen that he stopped smoking while on the island, in order to prevent contamination of the island’s flora and fauna. Technically speaking, Dr. Malcolm was referring the observer effect.

Source: The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, 1997.