Here we use Cauchy-Schwartz inequality, other facts about inner products and basic probability to derive the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle for incompatible observables and . We assume some state vector which has not been given time to evolve between measurements and we will abuse notation by viewing and as random variables for their given eigenvalues given state vector .
What we are after is the following:
When we get: which is how it is often stated.
The proof is a bit easier when we make the expected values of and equal to zero; we do this by introducing a new linear operator and ; note that . The following are routine exercises:
1. and are Hermitian
If one is too lazy to work out 3:
Now we have everything in place:
We now can take the modulus of both sides:
This means that, unless and are compatible observables, there is a lower bound on the product of their standard deviations that cannot be done away with by more careful measurement. It is physically impossible to drive this product to zero. This also means that one of the standard deviations cannot be zero unless the other is infinite.