Biographies

Heisenberg and the uncertainty principle

Heisenberg and the uncertainty principle

German physicist Werner Karl Heisenberg It is known above all for formulating the uncertainty principle, a fundamental contribution to the development of quantum theory.

He Begining of uncertainty It states that it is impossible to accurately measure the position and linear momentum of a particle at the same time.

Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932. His research and discoveries exerted a profound influence on the physics and philosophy of the twentieth century.

Werner Karl Heisenberg was born on December 5, 1901 in Würzburg and studied at the University of Munich. In 1923 he was an assistant to the German physicist Max Born at the University of Göttingen, and from 1924 to 1927 he obtained a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation to work with the Danish physicist Niels Bohr at the University of Copenhagen.

In 1927 he was appointed professor of theoretical physics at the University of Leipzig. Later he was a professor at the universities of Berlin (1941-1945), Göttingen (1946-1958) and Munich (1958-1976). In 1941 he served as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physical Chemistry, which in 1946 was renamed the Max Planck Institute of Physics.

He was in charge of the scientific investigation of the German atomic bomb project during World War II. Under his direction an attempt was made to build a nuclear reactor in which the chain reaction was carried out so rapidly that it produced an explosion, but these attempts were not successful. He was imprisoned in England after the war. He died in 1976.

Heisenberg, one of the first theoretical physicists in the world, made his most important contributions in the theory of atomic structure. In 1925 he began to develop a quantum mechanics system, called matrix mechanics, in which the mathematical formulation was based on the frequencies and amplitudes of the radiations absorbed and emitted by the atom and on the energy levels of the atomic system.

The uncertainty principle played an important role in the development of quantum mechanics and in the progress of modern philosophical thinking. In 1932, Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Among his numerous writings are The physical principles of quantum theory, Cosmic radiation, Physics and philosophy and Introduction to the unified theory of elementary particles.

◄ PreviousNext ►
Jan Hendrik Oort and the comet cloudGeorge Gamow and atomic energy