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Heisenberg uncertainty of spatially gated electromagnetic fields.

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A Heisenberg uncertainty relation is derived for spatially-gated electric ΔE and magnetic ΔH field fluctuations. The uncertainty increases for small gating sizes, which implies that in confined spaces, the quantum nature of the electromagnetic field must be taken into account. Optimizing the state of light to minimize ΔE at the expense of ΔH and vice versa should be possible. Spatial confinements and quantum fields may alternatively be realized without gating by interaction of the field with a nanostructure. Possible applications include nonlinear spectroscopy of nanostructures and optical cavities and chiral signals.

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