complementarity principle

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complementarity principle,

physical principle enunciated by Niels Bohr in 1928 stating that certain physical concepts are complementary. If two concepts are complementary, an experiment that clearly illustrates one concept will obscure the other complementary one. For example, an experiment that illustrates the particle properties of light will not show any of the wave properties of light. This principle also implies that only certain kinds of information can be gained in a particular experiment. Some other information that is equally important cannot be measured simultaneously and is lost.


See W. Heisenberg, The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory (1930, repr. 1949); N. Bohr, Atomic Physics and Human Knowledge (1958); B. L. Cline, Men Who Made a New Physics: Physicists and the Quantum Theory (1987).

References in periodicals archive ?
Part V discusses Kenya's application to the PTC to find the case inadmissible under the complementarity principle, and the PTC's and Appeal Chamber's "precedent-setting" response.
Any prosecutor, no matter how prudent, will attract criticism for actions and nonactions conducted under the Rome Statute's complementarity principle.
In counterpart of course we can not see the fringes and the complementarity principle of Bohr will be, as in every quantum experiment, naturally respected.
To accelerate the progress of science towards structuring, we could usefully employ a generalization of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Bohr's complementarity principle, and Korzybski's principle of general uncertainty.
The complementarity principle can be considered an extension of the correspondence principle.
In particular, in a key filing before the ICC, the Kenyan government sought to establish the case against the suspects as inadmissible under the complementarity principle.
The International Criminal Court's (ICC or Court) case regarding the conflict in Darfur, Sudan sheds light on the development and meaning of the complementarity principle under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute).
At the core of the ICC mandate is the complementarity principle.
The Afshar experiment is one in which it is claimed one can both determine both which path a photon has followed and that the photon self interfered in one and same experiment, violating Bohr's complementarity principle, that complementary aspects of a system cannot simultaneously be measured.
Bohr had attempted to use the complementarity principle to explain life on the basis of a similar idea, as Stent puts it, that "life cannot be explained, but must be taken as the starting point of biology.
depends upon an implementation of the complementarity principle that preserves cooperative synergy between the Court and domestic jurisdictions.
This Essay examines the strengths and weaknesses of the complementarity principle.

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