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Werner Heisenberg

Caption: Werner Heisenberg

Werner Heisenberg (5 December 1901 – 1 February 1976) developed the uncertainty principle. Werner Karl Heisenburg was a bright and talented man. For one, he taught himself calculus. His name associates with his Theory of Quantum Mechanics, as well as the Principle of Uncertainty. The Principle of Uncertainty and the Theory of Quantum Mechanics play major roles in contributing to the studies of the atom of his time, as well as studies today. Werner Heisenburg, without a doubt, did not leave the world of the living without giving something for all to remember.

Early Life

Werner Heisenbug was born on December 5th, 1901, in Wurzburg, Germany.<ref>(1932) Werner Heisenberg The Nobel Prize in Physics 1932. Retrieved: September 28, 2009, from http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1932/heisenberg-bio.html</ref> He was one of the sons of Dr. August Heisenburg and Annie Wecklein, and believed in Lutheran religion.<ref>(2009) Werner Heisenburg. Retrieved: October 1, 2009, from http://www.nndb.com/people/488/000071275/</ref> His father was a professor, and thus influenced Heisenburg’s education. Werner Heisenburg was a distinguished pianist in classical music, becoming involved in music as a child. He also succeeded in teaching himself calculus. He attended the Maximilian school at Munich until 1920, when he entered the University of Munich to study physics under Sommerfeld, Wien, Pringsheim, and Rosenthal. During his first two years of studies, he published four physics research papers. Heisenberg, age 20 at this time, became one of the top contributors to theoretical physics research.<ref>(2009) Werner Heisenburg. Retrieved: October 1, 2009, from http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761575759/heisenberg.html</ref> Heisenberg finished his undergraduate and graduate work in three years, and in 1923 presented his doctoral dissertation on turbulence in streams of fluid. In the winter of 1922-1923, Werner Heisenburg left to Gottingen to study physics under Max Born, Franck, and Hilbert. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Munich in 1923, and became assistant to Max Born at the University of Göttingen. In 1924 he recieved the venia legendi at that University. From 1924 to 1925 he worked with Rockefeller Grant and Niels Bohr at the University of Copenhagen, and in 1926 he was appointed Lecturer in Theoretical Physics at the university under Niels Bohr. Heisenburg was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Leipzig in 1927, at only the age of 26. In 1941 he was appointed the Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, as well as the Professor of Physics at the University of Berlin. <ref>(2007) Werner Heisenburg Biography. Retrieved: September 28, 2009, from http://www.notablebiographies.com/He-Ho/Heisenberg-Werner.html</ref>


One of Werner Heisenburg's major contributions was his Theory of Quantum Mechanics, published in 1925. The theory is a fundamental branch of theoretical physics, and helped the discovery of allotropic forms of hydrogen, and affecting future particle theories. It is formulated in a mathematical language, and makes predictions for the relative probabilities of the various possible outcomes.<ref>(2009 June 15) Quantum Mechanics. Retrieved: September 28, 2009, from http://www2.slac.stanford.edu/vvc/theory/quantum.html</ref> Heisenburg won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932.<ref>Werner Heisenburg. Retrieved October 1, 2009, from http://nobelprizes.com/nobel/physics/1932a.html</ref> Another contribution was his Principle of Uncertainty. The principle states that "The more precisely the position of a particle is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa." Though sometimes stated differently, the meaning of the Principle of Uncertainty remains the same; the act of measuring one magnitude of a particle, be it its mass, its velocity, or its position, causes the other magnitudes to blur.<ref>(2009 August 15) Uncertainty Principle. Retrieved: September 28, 2009, from http://www.thebigview.com/spacetime/uncertainty.html</ref>

Uncertainty Principle

main article: Uncertainty principle

Uncertainty principle states that certain pairs of physical properties, like position and momentum, cannot both be known to arbitrary precision.

Later Life

Werner Heisenburg never stopped making differences, both in the world and in his personal life as well. In 1937 Heisenberg married Elisabeth Schumacher, and had seven children. Their family lived in Munich.<ref>(2005 August 03) Werner Karl Heisenburg. Retrieved: October 1, 2009, from http://www.mphpa.org/classic/HF/Biographies%20-%20Men/heisenberg.htm</ref> In 1955 and 1956 Heisenberg wrote and published Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science. He also published the autobiographical Physics and Beyond, as well as several other books that dealt with the philosophical and cultural significance of atomic and nuclear physics.<ref>Cassidy, David C. Werner Heisenberg; A Bibliography of His Writings. Retrieved: October 1, 2009, from http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/bibliography/intro.htm</ref> Heisenberg retired in 1970, and in 1973 his health started to fail. Heisenburg died on February 1, 1976, in Munich, Germany. The cause of his death is still undetermined, though some sources claim that he had died of cancer. <ref>Liukkonen, Petri. (2008) Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976). Retrieved: October 1, 2009, from http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/heisenb.htm</ref>

Some people contribute to the world in their own ways to make it a better place for others. Werner Karl Heisenburg was one of those people. He worked hard in academics, and did his best to become a very-well educated man. He came up with the Theory of Quantum Mechanics and the Principle of Uncertainty, and thus made a large impact on science, particularly in the study of the atom. Werner Heisenburg was, and always will be, a man that would not be forgotten when it comes to the studies of the atom.


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