Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker

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Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, 1983

Carl Friedrich Weizsäcker , from 1916 Freiherr von Weizsäcker , (born June 28, 1912 in Kiel , † April 28, 2007 in Söcking am Starnberger See ) was a German physicist , philosopher and peace researcher .



Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker comes from the Palatinate - Württemberg family Weizsäcker . His parents were Ernst von Weizsäcker (1882–1951) and Marianne von Graevenitz (1889–1983), daughter of the royal adjutant general Friedrich von Graevenitz . Carl Friedrich had three younger siblings, including the later Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker . In 1916, Carl Friedrich Weizsäcker's grandfather and his entire family were raised to the baron status by King Wilhelm II of Württemberg with the bestowal of hereditary nobility . Weizsäcker did not use this title in public.

On March 30, 1937, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker married the Swiss historian Gundalena Inez Eliza Ida Wille (1908–2000), the daughter of Oberstkorpsommander Ulrich Wille , whom he had met in 1934 while working as a journalist. Gundalena Wille did her doctorate with Carl Jacob Burckhardt . The marriage resulted in three sons and a daughter: Carl Christian (* 1938), Ernst Ulrich (* 1939), Elisabeth (* 1940) and Heinrich Wolfgang (* 1947). Weizsäcker's second daughter Dorothea Brenner (* 1942) is a medical specialist.

Ulrich Sigmund Robert Georges Wille
(* 1877, † 1959)
Inez Rieter
(* 1879; † 1941)
2nd wife:
Klara Bachmann
Ernst Heinrich Freiherr von Weizsäcker
(* 1882, † 1951)
Marianne von Graevenitz
(* 1889; † 1983)
Gundalena Inez Eliza Ida Wille
(* 1908; † 2000)
Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Weizsäcker
(* 1912; † 2007)
Ernst Viktor Weizsäcker
(* / † 1915)
Adelheid Marianne Viktoria Freiin von Weizsäcker
(* 1916; † 2004)
Heinrich Viktor Freiherr von Weizsäcker
(* 1917, † 1939)
Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker
(* 1920; † 2015)
Carl Christian Freiherr von Weizsäcker
(* 1938)
Ernst Ulrich Michael Freiherr von Weizsäcker
(* 1939)
Bertha Elisabeth Raiser , b. Baroness von Weizsäcker
(* 1940)
Heinrich Wolfgang Freiherr von Weizsäcker
(* 1947)
Dorothea Brenner
(* 1942)

School time and studies

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker grew up in Stuttgart from 1915 , in Basel from 1922 and in Copenhagen from 1925 and graduated from Bismarck-Gymnasium in Berlin in 1929 .

Weizsäcker met Werner Heisenberg as a teenager in Copenhagen in 1927 . Under its influence, he chose physics as a subject. From 1929 to 1933 he studied physics , astronomy and mathematics in Berlin , Göttingen and Leipzig , a. a. with Werner Heisenberg, Friedrich Hund ( doctoral supervisor ) and Niels Bohr .

career path

He completed his habilitation in 1936 and in the same year joined the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin as a research assistant . From 1940–1942 he worked on the German uranium project (see next section). He then held the chair for theoretical physics at the Reich University of Strasbourg until 1944 .

From 1946, Weizsäcker headed a department at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Göttingen. He was an honorary professor at the Georg August University of Göttingen and was accepted into the Göttingen Academy of Sciences in 1950. Together with Gerard Peter Kuiper he worked on the protoplanetary hypothesis of the formation of the solar system and on the theory of turbulence .

In 1957 he was appointed to a chair for philosophy at the University of Hamburg . In addition to theoretical and physical questions related to quantum theory, he worked on problems relating to the biological and social origins of humans.

In 1970, the Starnberg Max Planck Institute was founded for Weizsäcker to research the living conditions in the scientific and technical world . Until his retirement in 1980 he ran the institute together with the philosopher Jürgen Habermas .

Working as a physicist

Nuclear physics

As a research assistant at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, von Weizsäcker worked in the 1930s on the binding energy of atomic nuclei ( Bethe-Weizsäcker formula , droplet model ; 1935) and the core processes that supply energy inside stars ( Bethe-Weizsäcker Cycle ; 1937/1938). In 1936 he gave the first accurate interpretation of nuclear isomers as different metastable states of the atomic nucleus. In 1937 his book Die Atomkerne was published in Leipzig .

Nuclear technology and nuclear weapons

Weizsäcker recognized the possibility of making atomic bombs even before the beginning of World War II . Like Heisenberg and Otto Hahn, he belonged to the German " uranium project " for research into nuclear fission . As part of the uranium project, for example, he reported to the Heereswaffenamt about the possibility of generating energy from uranium-238. The element 239 Pu created by the accumulation of a neutron - called 239 Eka-Re (Re: Rhenium ) by him and correspondingly in today's name Neptunium - could be used "for building very small machines", "as explosives" and "for converting other elements" be used. At that time, like the other German nuclear physicists, he had no precise knowledge of the properties of the transuranic elements. Weizsäcker's draft patent is known from the spring of 1941. In addition to claims on nuclear reactors, it contains a “method for the explosive generation of energy and neutrons”, which “is brought to a place in such quantities, e.g. B. in a bomb ". This patent draft was not accepted by the patent office and was revised and expanded within the uranium association working group at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (including Karl Wirtz ). The expanded list of patent claims for a “uranium machine” from August 1941 no longer gives any indication of a bomb. In the patent application, he also corrected the use of neptunium after it became known to him through an article in Physical Review by Edwin McMillan and Philip Abelson on neptunium from 1940, one of the last non-secret publications in the USA, that the isotope in question was neptunium 239 is unstable and breaks down into the element with atomic number 94 (eka-osmium and later called plutonium). According to Karl Wirtz in his later answer to the patent office, the use of element 94 was the essentially new thing in the patent. As Jeremy Bernstein noted, the patent proposal was very vague and shows, overall, an almost complete ignorance of the properties of plutonium, including Weizsäcker's assumption that the separation would be chemically easy to accomplish.

In 1957, Weizsäcker said in an interview that illusory hopes of political influence had prompted him to work on research into nuclear weapons. “Only by divine grace” he was saved from the temptation to actually build the German atomic bomb. This grace consisted in "that it was not possible". The German war economy could not provide the necessary resources. Regarding the scientific and technical ambitions of the group, he said: “We wanted to know whether chain reactions were possible. No matter what we would do with knowledge - we wanted to know. "

Weizsäcker's intention and actual actions have been discussed for decades. Weizsäcker accompanied Heisenberg to a meeting with Niels Bohr in 1941 in Copenhagen, which was then occupied by Nazi Germany. According to Weizsäcker's own later testimony, it was both a matter of forging an alliance of physicists that would prevent the construction of nuclear weapons beyond the borders of the war opponents. Bohr interpreted the conversation with Heisenberg , which was opened in private, but apparently as an invitation to participate in the construction of a German nuclear weapon. Von Weizsäcker and Heisenberg, on the other hand, both spread the version until their death that they wanted to prevent its development and that Bohr's interpretation was based on a misunderstanding. The meeting between Heisenberg and Bohr, especially the controversial content of the conversation, are the subject of a contemporary play ( Copenhagen by Michael Frayn ). In German-speaking countries, u. a. Weizsäcker's involvement in the work on the German atom bomb is the theme of the novel Waiting for a Call by Birgit Rabisch , published in 2009 .

In 1945 von Weizsäcker was one of the German scientists interned by the Allies as part of the Alsos mission in Farm Hall (southern England) and later in Alswede . Otto Hahn , Max von Laue , Werner Heisenberg , Walther Gerlach , Erich Bagge , Horst Korsching , Kurt Diebner , Karl Wirtz and Paul Harteck were also interned .

Interpretation of quantum physics

On physical and philosophical aspects of quantum theory , v. Weizsäcker was 18 years old. The results of his early reflections were summarized in 1943 in Zum Weltbild der Physik (last revised edition 1957). A step in the background was a work on the Second Law of Thermodynamics (1939), which emphasized the special role of time in thinking v. Weizsäcker clarified. In 1954 he put forward three hypotheses, the elaboration of which determined his physical work for the next 30 years:

  1. The core of quantum theory is a non-classical logic ( quantum logic ).
  2. Applying this logic to your own statements defines the so-called second and multiple quantization process .
  3. The application of this procedure to the formally simplest possible question, the binary alternative, gives a quantum-theoretical explanation of the three-dimensionality of spatial space (as well as the relativistic space-time structure and the relativistic quantum field theory) (“ quantum theory of the primordial alternatives ”).

He obtained his first degree in 1958 together with Erhard Scheibe and Georg Süssmann . In particular, it was possible on the basis of this “original theory” to axiomatically reconstruct the force-free quantum field theory. More than ten years passed before the collection of essays The Unity of Nature (1971), an “interim report” on progress, was presented. Here he continues the idea of ​​axiomatically building quantum physics out of the distinction between empirically decidable “original alternatives”. Overall, v. Weizsäcker and the members of his working group developed four reconstructions of abstract quantum theory, u. a. by Michael Drieschner . In 1988 Thomas Görnitz succeeded in combining Weizsäcker's estimate of the magnitude of the Ure of a proton (one proton is 10 40 Ure) using the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy ( black hole ) with established physics.

According to v. Weizsäcker's retirement resulted in the two closely related main works, Structure of Physics and Time and Knowledge .


In 1943 Weizsäcker developed a theory of the formation of planets and began to deal with cosmogony . He also developed a theory of fully developed, homogeneous turbulence , partly with Heisenberg (from 1945) , which Andrei Kolmogorow (1941) and Lars Onsager determined independently and at about the same time .

Political activity

Political stance in the time of National Socialism

According to Weizsäcker, he encountered National Socialist rule with "reluctant conformism". He came out of their rule with an “undeservedly clean questionnaire”. Against the background of my own involvement in the development of a German atomic bomb, after the war, the preoccupation with questions of responsibility and ethics in the natural sciences as well as political engagement moved more to the fore.

The Göttingen eighteen

In 1947/48 Weizsäcker took part in meetings of the Imshausen Society , which advised on the renewal of Germany. When it was planned to arm the Bundeswehr with tactical nuclear weapons in 1956/57 , he initiated and formulated the sensational manifesto of the Göttingen Eighteen in 1957 with Otto Hahn and other nuclear researchers . The former Atomic and then defense minister Franz Josef Strauss had left open the question consciously and then-Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to be equipped with tactical nuclear weapons publicly advocated. In 1961, Weizsäcker initiated another manifesto with the Tübingen Memorandum , in which he spoke out with other Protestant scientists and celebrities against nuclear armament and in favor of recognizing the Oder-Neisse border . In its explanation, the motto " Dare more democracy ", which Willy Brandt later took up and originally attributed to him , appeared for the first time .


Weizsäcker headed the Hamburg-based research center of the Association of German Scientists (VDW) from 1964 to 1970 , which was founded by members of the Göttingen Eighteen . Studies on the “food situation in the world” and “consequences of war and war prevention” were developed there (see book of the same name under “works”). In "Consequences of War and War Prevention", the consequences of a possible nuclear war in Germany are assessed in detail for the first time in a freely accessible work. Furthermore, the escalation dangers of the military and deterrent strategies of the Warsaw Pact and NATO at that time are presented. From the requirement of having to live “with the bomb”, Weizsäcker developed practical-philosophical approaches to a “ world domestic policy ”.

Weizsäcker sat on the administrative board of the German Development Service from 1969 to 1974 . At the end of the 1960s, during a business trip for DED, an encounter with the Indian pundit Gopi Krishna took place , which led to the establishment of the “Research Society for Western Science and Eastern Wisdom”. The research society organized regular publications and meetings on topics that were still little publicized at the time, such as Eastern mysticism and its relationship to Western ideas of rationality .

In 1969 Weizsäcker traveled through India and had a spiritual experience in the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai , in which "all questions were answered" and the substance of which, in his own words, was always with him.

MPI Starnberg

In 1970, Weizsäcker moved to the Starnberg Max Planck Institute, which he had founded for him, together with several employees from the research center of the VDW who were working on the study of the consequences of war and war prevention. These employees included Horst Afheldt , Utz-Peter Reich and Philipp Sonntag . Topics such as the danger of nuclear war , environmental degradation and the North-South conflict were at the center of the research, which tried to stay outside of daily politics.

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, 1982

Christian pacifism

After his retirement in 1980, the evangelical Christian Weizsäcker, as a lecture traveler and author, represented “radical pacifism as the only Christian possible”. He called for a world assembly of Christians and arranged his perception of the modern age in numerous books (book title). The books express an increasingly religious - but not traditionally Christian - effort to strive for the unity of a world that threatens to fall apart into selfish interests and conflicting cultures. In his opinion, science and political morality are inextricably linked in the age of the atomic bomb , information technology and genetic manipulation . For him they rest on the “source of religious experience”: “Not optimism, but I have hope to offer.” One of the works of this creative period is entitled Change of consciousness .

Since the beginning of the 1980s he has also increasingly turned to his physical-philosophical interests (see section Working as a physicist ).

In the 1980s and 1990s he met Tendzin Gyatsho , the 14th Dalai Lama, several times . In exchanging ideas, the physicist and the Buddhist saw clear parallels between the two teachings, and it was viewed by both as very fruitful.

Awards and honors

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, 1993

In 1957 Weizsäcker was awarded the Max Planck Medal . In 1961 he was accepted into the order Pour le Mérite for sciences and arts . 1963 awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade . In 1970 he received the Austrian Medal of Honor for Science and Art , in 1973 the Great Cross of Merit with Star and Shoulder Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany, in 1982 the Leopoldina Medal of Merit and the Ernst Hellmut Vits Prize of the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster ( Westphalia ) and 1983 the Heinrich Heine Prize of the city of Düsseldorf . On January 18, 1985, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker was made an honorary citizen of the city of Starnberg . In 1988 he was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize for scholarly prose and in 1989 the lavish Templeton Prize for "Progress in Religion". Also in 1989 he received the Theodor Heuss Prize “for his globally recognized, diverse and committed contributions to the issues of humanity: Peace - Justice - Safeguarding Creation” ( conciliar process ) . For his work on energy generation in stars, he was nominated four times for the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Weizsäcker was also the recipient of the Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt , the Prix Arnold Reymond of the University of Lausanne, the Erasmus Prize of the City of Herdam, the Hansian Goethe Prize and the Karl IV Prize of the City and University of Prague.

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker was awarded the following honorary doctorates:

He was a member of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina , the Göttingen Academy of Sciences , the Saxon Academy of Sciences , the Austrian Academy of Sciences , the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , the Bavarian Academy of Beauty Arts , the German Physical Society , the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques , the American Physical Society , the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , the Pour le Mérite Peace Class , the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts , the German Academy for Language and Poetry , the Joachim-Jungius society of sciences e. V. and the Hamburg Institute for Human Sciences .

From 1959 to 1969 he was a member of the Advisory Board of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation .

Heisenberg proposed him for the Nobel Prize in 1964 (and Georg Süssmann in 1965).

In 1979, Weizsäcker rejected Willy Brandt 's candidacy for Federal President . His brother Richard was the German Federal President from 1984 to 1994 .

In the meantime, two grammar schools, in Ratingen and in Barmstedt , have been named after Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker.

The Donors' Association for German Science lends since 2009 with the Leopoldina biennial € 50,000 doped Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker Award for "socially important outstanding scientific contribution to resolving problems."

There is a Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Foundation as well as Knowledge and Responsibility - Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Society e. V.

An asteroid discovered in 1991 was named (13531) Weizsäcker .


Individual publications (selection)

Title chronological after first publication:

before 1940
  • Determination of the position of an electron through a microscope , In: Zeitschrift für Physik Vol. 70, 1931, 114–130, from Springer
  • The atomic nuclei - basics and applications of their theory. Academic Publishing Company, Leipzig 1937.
  • Modern atomic theory and philosophy. In: Die Chemie ( Angewandte Chemie , new series), 1942, ISSN  1521-3757 , 55 (13/14), pp. 99-104 and 55 (15/16), pp. 121-126.
  • To the world view of physics. Hirzel, Leipzig / Stuttgart 1943.
  • The Infinity of the World - A Study of the Symbolic in Science. In: Die Chemie (Angewandte Chemie, new series), 1944, 57 (1/2), pp. 1–6 and 57 (3/4), pp. 17–22.
  • The history of nature . Twelve lectures (held in Göttingen 1946), Hirzel, Leipzig / Stuttgart / Zurich 1948; New edition Hirzel, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-7776-1398-3 .
  • The conceptual structure of theoretical physics . Lecture from the summer semester 1948, typescript, Göttingen 1948.
  • The responsibility of science in the atomic age . Two lectures (held in Bonn 1957 and Göttingen 1956/1957), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1957.
  • Atomic Energy and Atomic Age . Twelve lectures (held in Göttingen 1956/57 and in the third program of the NDR), Fischer Bücherei, Frankfurt am Main 1957. Reprint 2016, ISBN 978-3-596-31418-8 .
  • Live with the bomb . The current prospects of limiting the threat of nuclear war. Special print Die Zeit , Hamburg 1958, DNB 455443939 .
  • The terms of peace . Speech on the occasion of the award of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, with the laudation by Georg Picht . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1963.
  • The scope of science . First volume: Creation and the origin of the world. The story of two concepts . Hirzel, Stuttgart 1964.
After 1990

Collected works and letters

  • CF v. Weizsäcker in context. Collected works on CD-ROM, ed. Michael Drieschner, Worm, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-932094-79-8 .
  • Dear friend! Dear opponent! Letters from five decades, Hanser, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-446-20150-5 .


  • Helmut Korch: On the Critique of Physical Idealism CF v. Weizsäcker. VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1959, DNB 452538548 .
  • Klaus Michael Meyer-Abich (Ed.): Physics, Philosophy and Politics. For Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker on his 70th birthday. Hanser, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-446-13622-3 .
  • Mathias Schüz : The unity of the real. Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker's path of thought. Neske, Pfullingen 1986, ISBN 3-7885-0287-8 .
  • Günter Altner and others: The end of patience: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker's “Time is of the essence” in the discussion. Hanser, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-446-15015-3 .
  • Martin Wein : The Weizsäcker. Story of a German family. DVA, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-421-06389-3 .
  • Peter Ackermann, Wolfgang Eisenberg, Helge Herwig (eds.): Experience of thinking - perception of the whole . Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker as a physicist and philosopher. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-05-500620-8 .
  • Thomas Görnitz : Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, a thinker on the threshold of the new millennium. Freiburg 1992, ISBN 3-451-04125-1 .
  • Ulrich Bartosch : World Domestic Policy. On the theory of peace by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-428-08461-6 .
  • Michael Schaaf: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. Physicist and philosopher in the shadow of the atomic bomb. Censis-Report-21-96, Hamburg, June 1996.
  • Ulrich Bartosch, Jochen Wagner (ed.): World domestic policy. International conference on the occasion of the 85th birthday of Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker in the Evangelical Academy Tutzing. LIT, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-8258-3359-3 .
  • Wolfgang Krohn , Klaus Michael Meyer-Abich (Hrsg.): Unity of nature - draft of history. Encounters with Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. Hanser, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-446-19119-4 .
  • Elisabeth Kraus: From the fission of uranium to the Göttingen Declaration. Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and the responsibility of the scientist. Königshausen and Neumann, Würzburg 2001, ISBN 3-8260-1987-3 .
  • Jan Ross, The Wisdom of the Bomb - The 20th Century in a Life and Work . The physicist and philosopher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker turns ninety. In: The time . No. 27, 2002.
  • Konrad Lindner: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker wandering into the atomic age. A dialogic self-portrait. mentis Verlag, Paderborn 2002, ISBN 3-89785-270-5 .
  • Dieter Hattrup : Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. Physicist and philosopher. Primus, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-89678-506-0 .
  • Michael Drieschner: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. An introduction. Panorama, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-926642-67-X .
  • Till Bastian : high tech under the swastika. From the atomic bomb to space travel. Militzke, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-86189-740-7 (on 6 patent applications: see p. 219f.).
  • Arnold-Sommerfeld-Gesellschaft (Ed.): Physics, Information and Information Systems. Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker on his 90th birthday. Leipziger Uni-Verlag, Leipzig 2006, ISBN 3-86583-098-6 .
  • Martin B. Kalinowski, Hartwig Spitzer (ed.): On the opening of the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Center for Natural Science and Peace Research. Hamburg University Press, Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-937816-40-1 .
  • Stephan Albrecht u. a. (Ed.): On the responsibility of science - Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker in honor: Contributions of the 1st Hamburg Carl-Friedrich-von-Weizsäcker-Forum . Lit, Berlin / Münster, ISBN 978-3-8258-1769-5 (Weltinnenpolitische Colloquien, Vol. 3).
  • Holger Lyre : Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker . In: Burkhard Mojsisch , Stefan Jordan (Hrsg.): Philosophenlexikon. Reclam, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-15-010691-4 .
  • Robert Lorenz: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. From dictator to peace philosopher. In: Stine Marg , Franz Walter (Hrsg.): Göttingen heads and their work in the world. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2012, ISBN 978-3-525-30036-7 , pp. 110-116.
  • Richard von Schirach : The night of the physicists. Heisenberg, Hahn, Weizsäcker and the German bomb . Berenberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-937834-54-2
  • Ino Weber: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. A life between physics and philosophy . Crotona, Amerang 2012, ISBN 3-86191-025-X
  • Klaus Hentschel & Dieter Hoffmann (Eds.): Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker - Physics, Philosophy and Peace Research , Stuttgart: Wiss. Verlagsgesellschaft, 2014 (= Acta Historica Leopoldina, No. 63).
  • Michael Schaaf: Heisenberg, Hitler and the bomb. Conversations with contemporary witnesses. (In it an interview with Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and numerous letters from him) GNT, Diepholz 2018, ISBN 978-3-86225-115-5 .
  • Michael Schaaf: Weizsäcker's contributions to nuclear physics in: Josef Makovitzky and László Imre Komlosi: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker: physicist, philosopher, humanist. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 2019, ISBN 978-3-00-062340-0
  • Frédérique DantonelWeizsäcker, Carl Friedrich Frhr. from. In: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL). Volume 34, Bautz, Nordhausen 2013, ISBN 978-3-88309-766-4 , Sp. 1506-1521.


  • 1976: Ways out of danger . Film by Ebbo Demant about Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. Germany (SWF).
  • 1976: Klaus Peter Dencker in conversation with Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. A production by Saarland Radio / Television (15 minutes).
  • In the television film End of Innocence , the character Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker is portrayed by Götz Schubert .
  • 2015: The figure Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker is portrayed by David Zimmerigart in the 6-part Norwegian television series from the NRK Kampf ums Schwers Wasser ( Kampen om tungtvannet ) .

Web links

Commons : Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Paul Sauer : Württemberg's last king. The life of Wilhelm II. Stuttgart 1994, p. 271
  2. DNB entry
  3. Dr. Elisabeth Raiser presented a film about her mother Gundalena von Weizsäcker: A strong life in contradictions accessed on March 23, 2017
  4. ^ Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker: Metastable states of the atomic nuclei. In: Natural Sciences . Vol. 24, No. 51, 1936, pp. 813-814 ( doi : 10.1007 / BF01497732 ).
  5. ^ Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker: A possibility of generating energy from uranium 238, July 17, 1940; Online archive of the Deutsches Museum, accessed on June 8, 2012
  6. a b C. F. v. Weizsäcker, draft patent, spring 1941; partly reprinted and analyzed in Reinhard Brandt, Rainer Karlsch: Kurt Starke and Element 93: Was the search for the transuranium elements delayed? In: Rainer Karlsch, Heiko Petermann (eds.): Pros and Cons "Hitler's bomb" - studies on atomic research in Germany. Cottbus studies on the history of technology, work and the environment, Volume 29. Waxmann, Münster 2007, pp. 293–326.
  7. ^ Edwin McMillan, Philip Abelson, Radioactive element 93, Phys. Rev., Volume 57, 1940, 1185
  8. Jeremy Bernstein, Plutonium, a history of the worlds most dangerous element, Joseph Henry Press 2007, pp. 84f
  9. ... and don't lead us into temptation: From split atom to split conscience - the story of a weapon that endangers humanity . In: Der Spiegel . No. 19 , 1957, pp. 45–53 ( online - cover story, here p. 52).
  10. See also Michael Schaaf: Heisenberg wanted to help Bohr. A new document on the meeting of the two physicists in Copenhagen in 1941, Berliner Zeitung, April 5, 2002
  11. Lübbecke and the British Control Commission in 1945. Retrieved September 25, 2018 .
  12. Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker: Structure of the physics. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 1985, foreword, p. 17.
  13. Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker: Structure of the physics. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 1985, Chapter 7: Preliminary considerations for quantum theory, p. 319ff.
  14. Unity of nature. Section II, 5 The quantum theory.
  15. Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker: Structure of the physics. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich / Vienna 1985, Chapter 8: Reconstruction of the abstract quantum theory, p. 330ff.
  16. Thomas Görnitz: Abstract Quantum Theory and Space-Time Structure I. Ur Theory and Bekenstein-Hawking Entropy, International Journal of Theoretical Physics. Vol. 27, No. 5, 1988 pp. 527-542
  17. "Self-Presentation" in the Garden of the Human. P. 566 f.
  18. ^ The Göttingen Declaration 1957 at
  19. The Garden of the Human. Contributions to historical anthropology (1977); therein “Self-Presentation”, p. 594ff.
  20. ↑ Act together! - The Dalai Lama and Carl Friedrich Weizsäcker in conversation , ed. on behalf of the German Evangelical Church Congress by Rüdiger Runge, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 1994; Common images can be found in the flyer In the service of peace, Buddhism and Tibet (PDF; 201 kB)
  21. ^ Peace Prize of the German Book Trade - 1963 Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker , accessed on December 2, 2013.
  22. Announcement of awards of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In: Federal Gazette . Vol. 25, No. 43, March 9, 1973.
  23. ^ Michael Schaaf: Weizsäcker's contributions to nuclear physics in: Josef Makovitzky and László Imre Komlosi: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker: physicist, philosopher, humanist. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, 2019, ISBN 978-3-00-062340-0 , pp. 19-28.
  24. For the background to the Nobel Prize nominations see: Michael Schaaf: Weizsäcker, Bethe and the Nobel Prize. Acta Historica Leopoldina, No. 63 (2014), pp. 145–156.
  25. a b c Author's biography at Hanser Verlag, March 7, 2011.
  26. Michael Schaaf: Weizsäcker, Bethe and the Nobel Prize. Acta Historica Leopoldina, No. 63 (2014), pp. 145–156.
  27. Science Prize: Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Prize ( Memento of November 2, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed June 10, 2011.
  28. Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker Foundation , knowledge and responsibility - Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Society e. V.
  29. Mark Walker on nuclear research at the MPI for Physics (PDF; 412 kB) (note 22)