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Encyclopedia > Werner Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg

Werner Karl Heisenberg
Born December 5, 1901(1901-12-05)
Würzburg, Germany
Died February 1, 1976 (aged 74)
Munich, Germany
Residence Germany
Nationality German
Field Physicist
Institutions University of Göttingen(1924)
University of Copenhagen(1926-27)
University of Leipzig(1927-41)
University of Berlin(1941)
University of St. Andrews(1955-56)
University of Munich (1958)
Alma mater University of Munich
Academic advisor   Arnold Sommerfeld
Notable students   Felix Bloch
Edward Teller
Rudolph E. Peierls
Friedwardt Winterberg
Known for Uncertainty Principle
Quantum Mechanics
Notable prizes Nobel Prize for Physics (1932)

Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901February 1, 1976) was a celebrated German physicist and Nobel laureate, one of the founders of quantum mechanics and acknowledged to be one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century. He was born in Würzburg, Germany and died in Munich. Heisenberg was the head of the German nuclear energy project, though the nature of this project, and his work in this capacity, has been heavily debated. He is most well-known for discovering one of the central principles of modern physics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Image File history File links 180px-Werner_Heisenberg. ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Würzburg Residenz. ... is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... The Georg-August University of Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, often called the Georgia Augusta) was founded in 1734 by George II, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover, and opened in 1737. ... The University of Copenhagen (Danish: Københavns Universitet) is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Copenhagen, Denmark. ... The University of Leipzig (German Universität Leipzig), located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony (former Kingdom of Saxony), Germany, is one of the oldest universities in Europe. ... There is no institution called the University of Berlin, but there are four universities in Berlin, Germany: Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) Technical University of Berlin (Technische Universität Berlin) Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin) Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der... University of St Andrews The University of St Andrews was founded between 1410-1413 and is the oldest university in Scotland and the third oldest in the United Kingdom. ... With approximately 48,000 students, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (German: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München or LMU) is one of the largest universities in Germany. ... With approximately 48,000 students, the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (German: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München or LMU) is one of the largest universities in Germany. ... Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld (December 5, 1868 in Königsberg, East Prussia – April 26, 1951 in Munich, Germany) was a German physicist who introduced the fine-structure constant in 1919. ... Felix Bloch (October 23, 1905 – September 10, 1983) was a Swiss physicist, working mainly in the USA. // A stamp from Guyana commemorating Felix Bloch. ... Image File history File links Nobel_prize_medal. ... Edward Teller (original Hungarian name Teller Ede) (January 15, 1908 – September 9, 2003) was a Austria-Hungary-born American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as the father of the hydrogen bomb. ... Sir Rudolf Ernst Peierls, (June 5, 1907, Berlin – September 19, 1995, Oxford), was a German-born British physicist. ... Friedwardt Winterberg Friedwardt Winterberg (b. ... In quantum physics, the outcome of even an ideal measurement of a system is not deterministic, but instead is characterized by a probability distribution, and the larger the associated standard deviation is, the more uncertain we might say that that characteristic is for the system. ... For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to quantum mechanics. ... Image File history File links Nobel_prize_medal. ... List of Nobel Prize laureates in Physics from 1901 to the present day. ... is the 339th day of the year (340th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... Hannes Alfvén (1908–1995) accepting the Nobel Prize for his work on magnetohydrodynamics [1]. List of Nobel Prize laureates in Physics from 1901 to the present day. ... For a less technical and generally accessible introduction to the topic, see Introduction to quantum mechanics. ... Würzburg Residenz. ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ... The German nuclear energy project was an endeavor by scientists during World War II in Nazi Germany to develop nuclear energy and an atomic bomb for practical use. ... In quantum physics, the outcome of even an ideal measurement of a system is not deterministic, but instead is characterized by a probability distribution, and the larger the associated standard deviation is, the more uncertain we might say that that characteristic is for the system. ...

Contents

Family

He was the son of Dr. August Heisenberg, professor of Byzantine studies at the University of Würzburg, Germany and Annie Heisenberg (née Wecklein). In 1937, he married Elisabeth Schumacher with whom he had seven children, including neurobiologist and geneticist Martin Heisenberg. [ recorded in this] The University of Würzburg is a university in Würzburg, Germany, founded in 1402. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


Quantum mechanics

As a student, he met Niels Bohr in Göttingen in 1922. A fruitful and life long collaboration developed between the two. Niels Henrik David Bohr (October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962) was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1922. ... Göttingen marketplace with old city hall, Gänseliesel fountain and pedestrian zone Göttingen ( ) is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany. ...


He invented matrix mechanics, the first formalization of quantum mechanics in 1925, which he developed with the help of Max Born and Pascual Jordan. His uncertainty principle, developed in 1927, states that the simultaneous determination of two paired quantities, for example the position and momentum of a particle, has an unavoidable uncertainty. Together with Bohr, he formulated the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Matrix mechanics is a formulation of quantum mechanics created by Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, and Pascual Jordan in 1925. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Max Born (December 11, 1882 in Breslau – January 5, 1970 in Göttingen) was a mathematician and physicist. ... Pascual Jordan (October 18, 1902 in Hanover - July 31, 1980 in Hamburg) was a German physicist. ... In quantum physics, the outcome of even an ideal measurement of a system is not deterministic, but instead is characterized by a probability distribution, and the larger the associated standard deviation is, the more uncertain we might say that that characteristic is for the system. ... The Copenhagen interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics formulated by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg while collaborating in Copenhagen around 1927. ...


He received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1932 "for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen" . Hannes Alfvén (1908–1995) accepting the Nobel Prize for his work on magnetohydrodynamics [1]. List of Nobel Prize laureates in Physics from 1901 to the present day. ... Allotropy (Gr. ...

Heisenberg in 1932, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
Heisenberg in 1932, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics

In the late 20s and early 30s, Heisenberg collaborated with Wolfgang Pauli, and along with Paul Dirac, developed an early version of quantum electrodynamics. However, at the time, nobody could get rid of the infinities plaguing the theory, and it was only after World War II that a technique called renormalization was invented to take care of the infinities. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Hannes Alfvén (1908–1995) accepting the Nobel Prize for his work on magnetohydrodynamics [1]. List of Nobel Prize laureates in Physics from 1901 to the present day. ... This article is about Austrian-Swiss physicist Wolfgang Pauli. ... Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, OM, FRS (IPA: [dɪræk]) (August 8, 1902 – October 20, 1984) was a British theoretical physicist and a founder of the field of quantum physics. ... Quantum electrodynamics (QED) is a relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics. ... Figure 1. ...


After the discovery of the neutron by James Chadwick in 1932, Heisenberg proposed the proton-neutron model of the atomic nucleus and used it to explain the nuclear spin of isotopes. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Sir James Chadwick, CH (20 October 1891 – 24 July 1974) was an English physicist and Nobel laureate who is best known for discovering the neutron. ... The nucleus of an atom is the very small dense region, of positive charge, in its centre consisting of nucleons (protons and neutrons). ... In physics, spin refers to the angular momentum intrinsic to a body, as opposed to orbital angular momentum, which is generated by the motion of its center of mass about an external point. ... Isotopes are atoms of a chemical element whose nuclei have the same atomic number, Z, but different atomic weights, A. The word isotope, meaning at the same place, comes from the fact that isotopes are located at the same place on the periodic table. ...


During the early days of the Nazi regime in Germany, Heisenberg was harassed as a "White Jew" for teaching theories that Albert Einstein, a prominent Jew, had conceived. Teaching these theories was in contradiction to the Nazi-sanctioned Deutsche Physik movement. After a character investigation that Heisenberg himself instigated and passed, SS chief Heinrich Himmler banned any further political attacks on the physicist. Nazism, or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ... Deutsche Physik (literally: German Physics) or Aryan Physics was the name given to a nationalist movement in the German physics community in the early 1930s against the work of Albert Einstein, labeled Jewish Physics. ... SS or ss or Ss may be: The Schutzstaffel, a Nazi paramilitary force Steamship (SS) (ship prefix) The United States Secret Service A submarine not powered by nuclear energy (SS) (United States Navy designator), see SSN A Soviet/Russian surface-to-surface missile, as listed by NATO reporting name Shortstop... Heinrich Luitpold Himmler ( ; 7 October 1900–23 May 1945) was commander of the Schutzstaffel (SS) and one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and the Nazi hierarchy. ...


Work during the War

Nuclear fission was discovered in Germany in 1938. Heisenberg remained in Germany during World War II, ostensibly to help rebuild German science after the extensive brain drain that occurred in the 1930s as a result of Nazi policies banning Jews from government jobs, which led to the expulsion of Jewish physics professors from the state universities. Heisenberg by all accounts was loyal to Germany, but not the Nazi regime. The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics (of which he was the Director) was appropriated by the Nazi Heereswaffenamt (Army Ordnance Board). He belonged to a team led by Walther Bothe to develop one of Germany's many nuclear weapon/nuclear power programs, but the extent of his cooperation in the development of weapons has been a subject of much controversy. Heisenberg's work consisted of various efforts to create sustained fission reactions. A rival atomic bomb project was led by Kurt Diebner for Heereswaffenamt, who, with Paul Harteck worked on uranium enrichment and a uranium-based atomic bomb. Neither team was successful before the end of the war, because of various factors including complications from various invasions toward the end of the war and lack of funding from the government. An induced nuclear fission event. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (in German Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft) was the name of a number of scientific institutes in Germany before World War II. After 1945 they were re-organised and renamed as Max Planck Institutes. ... Nazism, or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the totalitarian ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Waffenamt (WaA) was the German Army Weapons Agency. ... Walther Wilhelm Georg Bothe (January 8, 1891 – February 8, 1957) was a German physicist, mathematician, chemist, and Nobel Prize winner. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. ... This article is about applications of nuclear fission reactors as power sources. ... Prof. ... Paul Karl Maria Harteck (20 July 1902 in Vienna, Austria – 22 January 1985 in Santa Barbara, California) was a German physical chemist. ... General Name, symbol, number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, period, block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Standard atomic weight 238. ...


There has been speculation that Heisenberg had moral qualms and tried to slow down the project. Heisenberg himself may have attempted to paint this picture after the war, and Thomas Powers' book Heisenberg's War and Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen adopted this interpretation. This is because during a June 1942 meeting with Albert Speer, the minister for Nazi munitions, Heisenberg did not champion the project in a way which got it much attention or funding (which Samuel Goudsmit of the Alsos project interpreted as being partially because Heisenberg himself was not fully aware of the feasibility of an atomic bomb). At best, he tried to hinder the German project; at worst, he was just unable to create an atomic bomb. Michael Frayn (born 8 September 1933) is an English playwright and novelist. ... Copenhagen is a play by Michael Frayn, based around an event that occurred in Copenhagen in 1941, a meeting between the physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. ... Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, commonly known as Albert Speer ( ; March 19, 1905 – September 1, 1981), was an architect, author and high-ranking Nazi German government official, sometimes called the first architect of the Third Reich. His two bestselling autobiographical works, Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: the Secret Diaries... Samuel Goudsmit (1902–1978) was a Dutch-American physicist famous for jointly proposing the concept of electron spin with George Eugene Uhlenbeck. ... Operation Alsos was an effort at the end of World War II by the Allies (principally Britain and the United States), branched off from the Manhattan Project, to investigate the German nuclear energy project, seize German nuclear resources, materials and personnel to further American research and to prevent their capture...


The debate about Heisenberg's views on the use of atomic weapons is centered on the period from 1939–1942, during which time Germany made a decision not to pursue a nuclear weapons programme. During this period, several events give insight into Heisenberg's role in that decision. At various points evidence during the period suggested that Heisenberg was deliberately steering Germany's research efforts toward developing nuclear energy, rather than nuclear weapons. Some evidence suggests that Heisenberg attempted to communicate these views to the Allies. For example, in April 1941 a German Jewish physicist, Fritz Reiche, arrived in the United States bearing a message from Heisenberg's colleague and friend Fritz Houtermans which was relayed to American officials in the following handwritten note: Friedrich Georg Houtermans (January 22, 1903 - March 1, 1966) was a physicist born in Zoppod near Danzig (today Gdansk, Poland). ...

"a reliable colleague [Houtermans] who is working at a technical research laboratory asked him [Reiche] to let us know that a large number of German physicists are working intensively on the problem of the uranium bomb under the direction of Heisenberg, that Heisenberg himself tries to delay the work as much as possible, fearing the catastrophic results of a success." (Thomas Powers, Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb.)

Next, there was Heisenberg's visit with an old friend Niels Bohr in occupied Copenhagen in September 1941, the purpose of which has been the subject of great debate. Further, German scientist Hans Peter Jensen visited Niels Bohr in Copenhagen during 1943, of which Bohr wrote that Jensen For other uses, see Copenhagen (disambiguation). ...

"talked [about] efforts to increase the production of heavy water in Norway and hinted in this connection that the German physicists were only considering general technical energy generation."[1]

Finally, in May 1943, the German spy Erwin Respondek passed a report to Sam Woods, an American consular official in Zurich, that Heavy water is dideuterium oxide, or D2O or 2H2O. It is chemically the same as normal water, H2O, but the hydrogen atoms are of the heavy isotope deuterium, in which the nucleus contains a neutron in addition to the proton found in the nucleus of any hydrogen atom. ...

"the Kaiser Wilhelm group [where Heisenberg was chief of theoretical work in Berlin] purposely raised 'difficulties' to slow down work on the project." (Powers, id.)

According to some Heisenberg critics, the German war efforts stalled in 1940 not because of moral qualms, but because Heisenberg had made a gross overestimate of the "critical mass" of fissionable material (Uranium 235) required for a bomb. An estimate of this amount was crucial to the decision about proceeding with a serious nuclear weapons program because of the enormous difficulty and expense of separating the U235 from the U238 that makes up the vast bulk of natural uranium and the length of time it would take to develop a reactor capable of transmuting the uranium into plutonium. According to some critics, Heisenberg had miscalculated the "critical mass" by not taking into account the "drunkard's walk" trajectory of the slow neutrons emitted, thereby overestimating the amount needed as being in the order of tons, not kilograms as was in fact the case. Uranium-235 is an isotope of uranium that differs from the elements other common isotope, uranium-238, by its ability to cause a rapidly expanding fission chain reaction, i. ... Uranium-238, is the most common isotope of uranium found. ... General Name, symbol, number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, period, block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Standard atomic weight 238. ... General Name, Symbol, Number plutonium, Pu, 94 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery white Standard atomic weight (244) g·mol−1 Electron configuration [Rn] 5f6 7s2 Electrons per shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 24, 8, 2 Physical properties Phase solid Density (near r. ... Example of eight random walks in one dimension starting at 0. ... Properties In physics, the neutron is a subatomic particle with no net electric charge and a mass of 940 MeV/c² (1. ... Look up ton in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... “Kg” redirects here. ...


However, the contention that Heisenberg had wrongly determined in 1940 that a uranium bomb was not technically feasible is at odds with other evidence. First, during the 1941 visit with Bohr, Heisenberg stated that

"in the preceding years [Heisenberg] had devoted [him]self almost exclusively to the question and were quite certain that it could be done," and that he "felt certain that the war, if it lasted sufficiently long, would be decided with atomic weapons."[2]

According to Bohr's later notes,

"Heisenberg said explicitly that he did not wish to enter into technical details but that Bohr should understand that he knew what he was talking about as he had spent 2 years working exclusively on this question."

It is unclear why Heisenberg would report to Bohr in 1941 that his research efforts had led him to conclude that a usable nuclear weapon was feasible if, in fact, a miscalculation in 1940 had led him to conclude that it was not feasible.


Second, after the war, Heisenberg and other German physicists were taken by the British to Farm Hall, where their conversations were monitored. The transcripts, however, are ambiguous and subject to debate. At points, it appeared that Heisenberg had miscalculated the critical mass of uranium required for an atomic bomb—covert eavesdropping revealed that, on hearing of the Allied bombing of Hiroshima, he was at first convinced it was a propaganda trick, so sure was he that the critical mass was impracticably large. Some historians have questioned the reliability of the transcripts, as Heisenberg probably knew he was being monitored. The Farm Hall transcripts were made during and after the second world war in Britain over the possibility of Germany producing an atomic bomb during the war. ... Supercritical redirects here. ... Citizens of Hiroshima walk by the A-Bomb Dome, the closest building to have survived the citys atomic bombing. ... For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ...


Indeed, there are indications that Heisenberg had made the correct calculation earlier. In June 1942, Heisenberg answered a question about the size of the fissionable core of a bomb by holding his hands to suggest something the size of a football or pineapple, which would have been roughly right. Indeed, after presenting the "incorrect" calculation to the Farm Hall scientists (including those sympathetic to the Nazi regime), one of Heisenberg's confidants, Otto Hahn, questioned Heisenberg's remark that "tons" of U-235 were needed for a bomb, "But tell me why you used to tell me that one needed 50 kilograms of 235 in order to do anything. Now you say one needs two tons."[3] Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, 1913, at the KWI for Chemistry in Berlin Otto Hahn (March 8, 1879 – July 28, 1968) was a German chemist and received the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. ...


Later, Heisenberg told Hahn, Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, 1913, at the KWI for Chemistry in Berlin Otto Hahn (March 8, 1879 – July 28, 1968) was a German chemist and received the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. ...

"Quite honestly I have never worked it out as I never believed one could get pure 235. I always knew it could be done with 235 with fast neutrons. That's why 235 only can be used as an explosive. One can never make an explosive with slow neutrons, not even with the heavy water machine [the German nuclear reactor], as then the neutrons only go with thermal speed, with the result that the reaction is so slow that the thing explodes sooner, before the reaction is complete."

Ultimately, upon seeing the reports of the bombing of Hiroshima, Heisenberg told his friend, von Weizsäcker Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, 1993 Carl Friedrich Freiherr (Baron) von Weizsäcker (28 June 1912, Kiel – 28 April 2007, Söcking near Starnberg) was a German physicist and philosopher. ...

"I was absolutely convinced of the possibility of our making an uranium engine [reactor] but I never thought that we would make a bomb and at the bottom of my heart I was really glad that it was to be an engine and not a bomb. I must admit that."

Whatever the cause, it is clear that on 4 June 1942, Heisenberg met with German Minister Albert Speer concerning possible uses of Heisenberg's nuclear research, and particularly its potential suitability for the development of nuclear weapons. Notwithstanding Heisenberg's September 1941 report to Bohr that he felt certain nuclear weapons could be constructed and powerful enough to conclude the war if it lasted long enough, during this meeting with Speer he highlighted the technical difficulties and vast time and materials required to separate the uranium needed for the project. is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1942 (MCMXLII) was a common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer, commonly known as Albert Speer ( ; March 19, 1905 – September 1, 1981), was an architect, author and high-ranking Nazi German government official, sometimes called the first architect of the Third Reich. His two bestselling autobiographical works, Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: the Secret Diaries... Niels Henrik David Bohr (October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962) was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1922. ...


It was this meeting, and Speer's report on it to Hitler, that effectively scuttled any military applications for his work, and limited Heisenberg's work during the remainder of the war to theoretical uses of nuclear energy. As Speer wrote, Hitler redirects here. ...

"Difficulties were compounded, Heisenberg explained, by the fact that Europe possessed only one cyclotron, and that of minimal capacity. Moreover, it was located in Paris and because of the need for secrecy could not be used to full advantage."

Curiously, albeit perhaps tellingly, Heisenberg did not mention the cyclotron in Copenhagen as a possible source for enriching uranium. A pair of Dee electrodes with loops of coolant pipes on their surface at the Lawrence Hall of Science. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... For other uses, see Copenhagen (disambiguation). ...


Biography and controversy

In 1956, journalist Robert Jungk published a book titled Brighter Than a Thousand Suns, which painted Heisenberg as having single-handedly and purposely derailed the German project for moral reasons. To justify the claim, in the Danish edition of the book, Jungk printed an excerpt from a personal letter from Heisenberg. The excerpt, however, was taken heavily out of context, and in the full letter Heisenberg was far more demure about whether he had taken a strong moral stance. After reading the excerpt, Bohr was understandably flustered that Heisenberg was (apparently) claiming to have purposely derailed the Nazi bomb project, as it did not match his own perception of Heisenberg's war work at all. Robert Jungk (1913-1994) was an Austrian writer and journalist who wrote mostly on issues relating to nuclear weapons. ...


Some historians of science have taken Bohr's draft letters as evidence against Heisenberg's contention that he had met with Bohr to signal that Germany's scientists would not pursue the development of nuclear weapons. Others have argued that Bohr profoundly misunderstood Heisenberg's intentions at the 1941 meeting, and that his reaction to Jungk's work was overly passionate. Significantly, Bohr's draft letters confirm virtually all of Heisenberg's recollection to Jungk of the substance of the meeting. However, as a piece of evidence the letters cannot provide an answer to the question of why Heisenberg broached the topic of nuclear weapons—but not their technical aspects—with Bohr, or whether Bohr formed the correct "impression" of what Heisenberg wanted to say. Heisenberg's motives will most certainly continue to be debated, but it cannot be questioned that he knew Bohr was going to be escaping to the allies when he spoke to him in 1941, and that Heisenberg was risking his life by speaking to anyone about atomic power or atomic weapons.


It is also thought that Italian scientist Gian Carlo Wick approached Heisenberg in January 1944 as an emissary for the OSS as part of Operation Sunrise, to negotiate the capitulation of Nazi scientists to the Allies' Operation Alsos. Allied intelligence through Stockholm continued to sound the alarm about Nazi uranium research right up to war's end, but this was part of Diebner's project, not Heisenberg's. Gian-Carlo Wick (1909-1992) was an Italian theoretical physicist. ... The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency and was the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Special Forces, and Navy SEALs. ... Military history records no less than four events called Operation Sunrise. ... Operation Alsos was an effort at the end of World War II by the Allies (principally Britain and the United States), branched off from the Manhattan Project, to investigate the German nuclear energy project, seize German nuclear resources, materials and personnel to further American research and to prevent their capture... For other uses, see Stockholm (disambiguation). ... Kurt Diebner (13 May 1905 – 13 July 1964) was a German physicist. ...


References

  1. ^ Document 8. Translation
  2. ^ Document 6. Translation
  3. ^ Declassified files reopen "Nazi bomb" debate, The Bulletin Online. (Web archive 2007-08-10)
  • David C. Cassidy, "Uncertainty: The Life and Science of Werner Heisenberg", (W. H. Freeman) ISBN 0-7167-2503-7
  • James Glanz, "New Twist on Physicist's Role in Nazi Bomb". The New York Times, February 7, 2002.
  • Mark Walker, German National Socialism and the Quest for Nuclear Power, 1939-1949 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1990). ISBN 0-521-36413-2 (Hardcover) ISBN 0-521-43804-7 (Paperback)
  • Thomas Powers. Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb (Knopf) ISBN 0-394-51411-4 (Hardcover) ISBN 0-316-71623-5 (Paperback)
  • Paul Lawrence Rose. Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project, 1939-1945: A Study in German Culture. University of California Press, 1998, ISBN 0-520-21077-8
  • Heisenberg, Werner. Across the frontiers  ; translated from the German by Peter Heath. (Ox Bow Press, 1990) ISBN 0-918024-80-3 (Hardcover) ISBN 0-918024-81-1 (Paperback)
  • -- Encounters with Einstein: and other essays on people, places, and particles. Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 1989) ISBN 0-691-02433-2
  • -- Introduction to the unified field theory of elementary particles. 1966
  • -- Natural law and the structure of matter English version by the author. 1970 Warm Wind Books (July 1, 1981) ISBN 0-900615-27-3
  • -- Nuclear physics. 1953
  • -- et al ,On modern physics. English translation by M. Goodman and J.W. Binns. 1961
  • -- Philosophic problems of nuclear science. Translated by F. C. Hayes. 1952; Ox Bow Press (June 1, 1979) ISBN 0-918024-14-5 (Hardcover) ISBN 0-918024-15-3 (Paperback)
  • -- Physical principles of the quantum theory, translated into English by Carl Eckart and Frank C. Hoyt ... 1930
  • -- Physicist's conception of nature. Translated from the German by Arnold J. Pomerans. Greenwood Press Reprint (March 9, 1970) ISBN 0-8371-3107-3
  • -- Physics and beyond; encounters and conversations. Translated from the German by Arnold J. Pomerans. 1971 ISBN 0-04-925020-5
  • -- Physics and philosophy : the revolution in modern science, introduction by F.S.C. Northrop. 1999 ISBN 1-57392-694-9 (Paperback) ISBN 0-06-130549-9 (also Paperback)
  • -- Tradition in science. 1981 Continuum Intl Pub Group (November 1, 1982) ISBN 0-8264-0063-9
  • -- Two lectures. 1949
  • -- et al. Uncertainty principle and foundations of quantum mechanics : a fifty years' survey, edited by William C. Price, Seymour S. Chissick. 1977
  • -- The Part and The Whole about his life, his friendship with Bohr, and the evolution of quantum physics.

The book The part and the whole, written by Werner Heisenberg, the famous German physicist who discovered the uncertainty principle, tells, from his point of view, the history of exploring atomic science and quantum mechanics in the first half of the 20th century. ...

External links

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Werner Heisenberg
Persondata
NAME Heisenberg, Werner
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Heisenberg, Werner Karl
SHORT DESCRIPTION Physicist
DATE OF BIRTH December 5, 1901
PLACE OF BIRTH Würzburg, Germany
DATE OF DEATH February 1, 1976, age 74
PLACE OF DEATH Munich, Germany

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Werner Karl Heisenberg (December 5, 1901 – February 1, 1976) was a celebrated German physicist and Nobel laureate, one of the founders of quantum mechanics.
Heisenberg was the head of Nazi Germany's nuclear energy program, though the nature of his work in this capacity has been heavily debated.
In it, Bohr relates that Heisenberg, in their 1941 conversation, did not express any moral problems with the bomb making project, that Heisenberg had spent the past two years working almost exclusively on it, and that he was convinced that the atomic bomb would eventually decide the war.
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