Werner Heisenberg

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Werner Heisenberg 1933
Werner Heisenberg's signature

Werner Karl Heisenberg (born December 5, 1901 in Würzburg , † February 1, 1976 in Munich ) was a German physicist .

Heisenberg gave the first mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics in 1925 . In 1927 he formulated the Heisenberg uncertainty principle , which meets one of the fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics - namely, that certain measurements of a particle, such as its location and its pulse are not simultaneously determine as accurately as desired. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 for the founding of quantum mechanics .

He is considered one of the most important physicists of the 20th century.

Heisenberg was involved in the uranium project that was to be used to build a German atomic bomb. He also dealt extensively with the philosophical implications of quantum mechanics.


Werner Heisenberg was born into a family of scholars. His father was the Byzantinist August Heisenberg , his mother Annie was the daughter of the classical philologist and rector of the Maximiliansgymnasium in Munich , Nikolaus Wecklein . His older brother Erwin (1900–1965) studied in Berlin and became an industrial chemist in Bitterfeld. Werner Heisenberg was a new scout . He attended the Maximiliansgymnasium in Munich, which was headed by his grandfather until 1913.

He actually wanted to study mathematics and had already attended courses at the University of Munich before his studies , including mathematical methods in the then emerging modern physics . He aimed to skip undergraduate mathematics. To this end, he spoke to the well-known mathematics professor Ferdinand von Lindemann , who, however, was extremely critical of the application of mathematics in physics. In his autobiography The Part and the Whole , Heisenberg described the meeting as a disaster: After Lindemann's little dog had yelled at him angrily as he entered, the hard-of-hearing professor asked about Heisenberg's reading. When he heard about Hermann Weyl's Raum, Zeit, Materie (a book on general relativity ), he ended the conversation with the gruff remark: "Then you are already spoiled for mathematics anyway."

Heisenberg's habilitation in 1924

He completed his physics studies in Munich under Arnold Sommerfeld with a minimum period of three years. Under Sommerfeld, he worked on a difficult topic in older quantum theory, the anomalous Zeeman effect. In June 1922, Sommerfeld took him to Niels Bohr's lectures in Göttingen (Bohrfestspiele) . He received his doctorate in 1923 on the stability and turbulence of fluid flows at Sommerfeld. Because of his inadequate knowledge of experimental physics, he only passed the oral doctoral examination through energetic intervention by Sommerfeld, the experimental physicist Wilhelm Wien wanted to fail him (he therefore only received the third highest degree cum laude of four possible degrees in the doctoral examination), after Vienna with he had already been dissatisfied during the experimental physics internship. One of the exam questions on which he failed at the time was the resolution of the microscope and other optical instruments (discussed in detail by Vienna in his lectures), which Heisenberg later used as an example for his uncertainty relation. Heisenberg became Max Born's assistant in Göttingen in 1924 and worked in spring (March / April) and autumn 1924 (September 1924 to early April 1925) and again in autumn 1925 with and at the institute of Niels Bohr in Copenhagen , which was then an international meeting place for Physicists who dealt with quantum theory. In July 1924 he completed his habilitation in Göttingen. In the following years he founded theoretical quantum mechanics with Max Born and Pascual Jordan .

Friedrich Hund , Werner Heisenberg and Max Born on the occasion of
Hund's 70th birthday in 1966 in Göttingen

At the age of only 25, Heisenberg was appointed professor at the University of Leipzig in 1927 , which he and Friedrich Hund made a center of theoretical physics, especially nuclear physics; In 1932 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics . The seminar “Heisenberg with a dog” achieved international recognition and attracted students from many countries. Hund was friends with Heisenberg and, like other leading German physicists, defended him against the threatening campaign sparked by Johannes Stark , which was also directed against modern theoretical physics. Heisenberg was the godfather of Hund's youngest son. Visitors to the Leipzig Institute in the 1930s include well-known physicists such as Victor Weisskopf , Shin'ichirō Tomonaga , Lew Landau , Ugo Fano , Markus Fierz , Gian-Carlo Wick , John C. Slater , George Placzek and Ettore Majorana .

From 1942 to 1945. Heisenberg headed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin-Dahlem and also taught as a professor at Berlin University , where he leads the uranium project of the Army Ordnance Office was involved. This time was later resented by many American and exiled German physicists in particular. Looking back, he said:

“In the first few years the question the physicist was asked was not whether he wanted to make bombs or not. Rather, the question was: Do you want to acquire enough knowledge of this dangerous area that you can perhaps decide in a while whether bombs can be made, whether energy can be produced? "

From 1945 to 1946 Heisenberg was interned with the other leading researchers of the National Socialists' uranium project as part of Operation Epsilon in Farm Hall in England. In post-war Germany he became director of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Göttingen in 1946 (until 1958), and from 1958 to 1970 he was director of the Max Planck Institute for Physics (now also known as the Werner Heisenberg Institute ) in Munich. Heisenberg was also President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and also influential as a government advisor on science policy. In 1949 he became a corresponding member of the mathematical and natural science class of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , and in 1959 he was elected a full member.

In February 1952 the European Council for Nuclear Research ( CERN ) was founded. This body, which was responsible for the Geneva large research facility, elected Werner Heisenberg as chairman.

Physicists who did their doctorate at Heisenberg included Felix Bloch , Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker , Hans Euler , Hermann Arthur Jahn , Bernhard Kockel , Erich Bagge , Alfred Wolf, Arnold Siegert, Șerban Țițeica , Heinrich Moritz ("Heimo") Dolch , and Bernhard Püschel , Wang Foh-San , Walter Masing , Detlef Lyons and Edwin Gora, in Göttingen a. a. Wilhelm Macke , Rudolf Schulten , Otfried Madelung , Werner Güttinger , Kurt Symanzik and Peter Mittelstaedt . Close colleagues and colleagues were also his friends Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Friedrich Hund and Wolfgang Pauli , and Heisenberg also had many post-doctoral students such as Edward Teller , Rudolf Peierls , Victor Weisskopf, Ugo Fano, Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, Tullio Regge , Siegfried Flügge , Arnold Nordsieck , Bruno Zumino , Theodor Schmidt and Ettore Majorana . His assistants included Guido Beck and Hans-Peter Dürr , with whom he worked on his unified field theory in the 1960s .

Personal and family

Memorial stone for Heisenberg on Heligoland , where he made decisive progress in the establishment of quantum mechanics in June 1925; he was on vacation on Heligoland because of severe hay fever.

Heisenberg was always very close to nature and sporty. In 1939 he bought Lovis Corinth's former summer home in Urfeld am Walchensee . He had an optimistic disposition and fun to compete in competitions - be it in solving mathematical problems or in table tennis tournaments in the basement of his Leipzig Institute, where he also often with his graduate students Edward Teller played that rather than later father of the hydrogen bomb became known . Heisenberg was musically gifted, first played the cello and later received piano lessons from the pianist Peter Dorfinger in his youth. He played safely from sight and was popular in chamber music groups. There is even a recording of Mozart's D minor piano concerto with a lovers orchestra and Heisenberg as the pianist in his home in Munich on July 3, 1966.

His wife Elisabeth (nee Schumacher, 1914–1998), who worked in the book trade and was the daughter of the Berlin professor of economics Hermann Schumacher , he married in 1937 and had seven children with her, including the later genetics professor and neurobiologist Martin Heisenberg and the Physicist Jochen Heisenberg . His daughter Christine Heisenberg has been married to the writer and psychologist Frido Mann , a grandson of Thomas Mann , since 1966 . One of his grandchildren is the director Benjamin Heisenberg , another the biologist Carl-Philipp Heisenberg .

Werner Heisenberg was a great-grandson of Adolf Zeising , who became known as an author and scholar and, above all, as the founder and disseminator of the doctrine of the golden ratio .

Heisenberg was buried in the forest cemetery in Munich , old part, in grave no. 163-W-29.


Heisenberg was not politically active (and in his basic attitude rather conservative ), but due to his fame as a physicist he had publicity and political weight. After the National Socialists "seized power " in 1933, famous physicists such as Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger emigrated. Heisenberg, on the other hand, stayed in Germany, which he was later often accused of. Between 1933 and 1945, however, he had to defend himself against attacks by the so-called "German Physics" , which was oriented towards the National Socialists and wanted to keep physics free from the allegedly "Jewish infiltration" of quantum physics and Einstein's theory of relativity . The representatives of German physics, above all Johannes Stark and Philipp Lenard , rejected his theories, pointing out that he was a “theoretical formalist” and “spirit of Einstein's spirit”. In 1937, Stark published an article on “White Jews in Science” in the SS newspaper “ Das Schwarze Korps ”, in which he primarily attacked Heisenberg. Since attacks of this kind could quickly become a personal threat during the National Socialist era , Heisenberg used a distant acquaintance of his parents with the Himmler family (his father was a Greek professor, Himmler's father was a Greek teacher in Munich) to stop these attacks.

In the post-war period, Heisenberg was close to Konrad Adenauer , advocated increased nuclear research and the construction of reactors , but at the same time rejected the military use of nuclear energy. Together with seventeen other physicists ( Göttingen Eighteen ) he turned against the planned atomic armament in April 1957 with the Göttingen Manifesto . Heisenberg was also involved in the Tübingen Memorandum , in which the signatories in 1961 spoke out against nuclear armament and in favor of recognizing the Oder-Neisse border . When the student movement also occupied his institute at the end of the 1960s , Heisenberg reacted sensitively and drew comparisons to the National Socialist student movements in the 1930s.


For Heisenberg, physics and philosophy were inextricably linked. Philosophically he was convinced that modern physics agrees with Plato: “Because the smallest units of matter are actually not physical objects in the ordinary sense of the word; they are forms, structures, or, in Plato's sense, ideas that can only be discussed unequivocally in the language of mathematics. ”He sees the symmetries in the basic equation of his unified field theory in Plato's sense.

Heisenberg criticizes the division between matter and spirit in René Descartes as dangerous. "Descartes recognizes that our knowledge of our own thinking is more certain than our knowledge of the outside world. But even his starting position with the triangle: God, world and I simplifies the basis for further philosophizing in a dangerous way. The split between Matter and spirit, or between body and soul, which began with Plato's philosophy, is now complete. " According to Heisenberg, the distinction between force field and substance is lost in modern physics because every force field has a special type of elementary particle.

It was important for him to prove the unity of matter: All elementary particles can be converted into other particles in collisions with sufficient energy, i.e. simply generated from kinetic energy and they can be converted into energy, e.g. B. transform into radiation. As he puts it: "All elementary particles are made of the same substance, made of the same substance, which we can now call energy or universal matter."

The search for the deepest source of all understanding was for him the common origin of religion and science.

Work on the nuclear program

At the beginning of the Second World War , he and other physicists (e.g. Otto Hahn and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker ) were appointed to the Army Weapons Office. Your task in the uranium project should be to find possible uses for nuclear fission . Heisenberg joined the project relatively late, but worked intensively on it and soon assumed a leading role. He and his colleagues came to the conclusion early on that the complex enrichment of the fissile material uranium 235 with the generally available resources could not be done during the likely remaining duration of the war, and informed Albert Speer of this on June 4, 1942 . However, they withheld (or only hinted at) the possibility of building a nuclear weapon with plutonium , in which the separation could take place chemically much more easily and for which only a natural uranium reactor with heavy water was required as a moderator (similar to, for example, the present-day Canadian CANDU reactor type , with the help of which India came into possession of nuclear weapons ). When Speers asked how long it would take them to produce a bomb, he said three to five years - which meant that the project lost its priority.

In the further course the German nuclear physicists only worked on one heavy water reactor, which was relocated to Haigerloch in Swabia at the end of the war . In the experiments of the last days of the war, three years after the successful commissioning of a graphite-moderated reactor by Enrico Fermi in Chicago, it almost succeeded in making the Haigerloch research reactor critical .

The conversation with Bohr in Copenhagen

At the height of the military successes of National Socialist Germany, Heisenberg traveled with Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker to Copenhagen in 1941 to talk to his fatherly friend Niels Bohr about the implications of a German atomic bomb. In addition, according to his later statements, he wanted to get the message to the physicists in America that the German physicists had postponed work on the bomb. Bohr, whose mother was of Jewish origin and who was active in the Danish resistance against the Germans, reacted in shock. He understood Heisenberg's remarks to mean that Germany was actually doing serious research on an atomic bomb, and he refused to talk to anyone else. In 1943 he fled via Sweden to the USA, where he - Hans Bethe remembers  - reconstructed the conversation with the Los Alamos physicists using a sketch of a bomb that was actually a reactor. In retrospect, Heisenberg interpreted his own approach as naive and Bohr's conclusions as based on a misunderstanding. After the war, the members of the American Alsos mission (their member Samuel Abraham Goudsmit wrote a book of the same name about it), who collected the nuclear “legacy” of the German physicists, expressed the suspicion that Heisenberg might not have mastered the physics of nuclear reactors / atomic bombs have. Heisenberg then resisted by emphasizing moral reasons for shutting down the German atomic bomb program.

Bohr reacted irritably when he read this representation in Robert Jungk's book Heller than a thousand suns , which was based on interviews with Heisenberg. He drafted several critical letters to Heisenberg in the 1950s and 1960s, but never sent them off. They were published by the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen in the 1990s . In many cases, the conversation was interpreted as a historical event of extraordinary significance, as Bohr's attitude was believed to have had a strong influence on the decision of physicists in the USA to step up their efforts to develop the American atomic bomb ( Manhattan Project ) . It is unclear whether Bohr's interpretation was actually based on a misunderstanding between the two physicists.

The conversation with Bohr was dramatized by Michael Frayn under the title Copenhagen (1998) in a well-known play that revived the discussion about the Copenhagen conversation and led to the publication of Bohr's letters. Various speculations about the content of the conversation are discussed from the point of view of those involved (Heisenberg, Bohr, Bohr's wife) and possible motives are analyzed.

Heisenberg's former colleague Edward Teller later vehemently defended his doctoral supervisor and expressed the view that Heisenberg had never seriously followed the nuclear weapons project.

Internment in Farm Hall

Heisenberg and several of his colleagues were imprisoned in the English Farm Hall after the war and spent a few months in captivity there . The internment by the British was then continued in the Albersmeyer house in Alswede . The conversations of the German physicists were bugged and later published as Farm Hall Protocols . Heisenberg's reaction to the atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki is also recorded there: After initial disbelief, he quickly reconsidered the path probably taken by the Americans and the size of the critical masses and held a seminar on the following day .
The interpretation of the Farm Hall logs is controversial, as some of the imprisoned physicists suspected that they were bugged.


Heisenberg on a German postage stamp

Heisenberg had a major influence on physics in the 20th century.

As Arnold Sommerfeld's model student, he made an impression in 1924 with his dissertation, for which his teacher had posed the difficult problem of turbulence in fluid flows. In a tour de force he came up with an estimate of the critical Reynolds number . In doing so, he also developed the WKB method . His lifelong interest in nonlinear equations, which despite the seeming simplicity of form, lead to very complex behavior, also stems from this time. In this respect he is also a pioneer of the chaos theory that blossomed in the 1970s . In the 1940s he took up the topic again in the statistical theory of homogeneous turbulence, as did Andrei Kolmogorov at the same time .

In the rigorosum , Heisenberg almost failed due to the co-examiner, the experimental physicist Wilhelm Wien , who accused him of bottomless ignorance in experimental physics. Only the energetic intervention of Sommerfeld let Heisenberg just pass the exam. Vienna asked, among other things, about the resolution of the microscope. Heisenberg later used this question in a thought experiment to illustrate the uncertainty principle.

At that time, Sommerfeld expanded the Bohr model of the atom in all directions. While working on the explanation of the anomalous Zeeman effect , Heisenberg introduced half-integer quantum numbers for the first time (at the same time as Alfred Landé ), with which the behavior of the atoms in the Bohr model became more and more confusing. One already spoke of the "number mysticism" of the Sommerfeld school. In 1922 Bohr came to Göttingen for discussions and lectures and immediately found a "line" to Heisenberg, who later visited him for a long time in Copenhagen and even learned Danish. The breakthrough came when Heisenberg was on vacation in June 1925 on the island of Helgoland , where he wanted to cure his hay fever . Instead of the unobservable Bohr atomic trajectories, he only used the observable frequencies and transition probabilities, which he arranged in a scheme that Max Born later identified as a matrix . The quantum theoretical reinterpretation of kinematic and mechanical relationships is the hour of birth of quantum mechanics with the subsequent work by and with Max Born and Pascual Jordan.

As Heisenberg describes in his autobiography The Part and the Whole , when he visited Berlin in 1925 he also had discussions with Albert Einstein about the new quantum theory. Heisenberg actually thought that his removal of immeasurable quantities from physical theory would meet Einstein's approval, who was guided by similar considerations by Ernst Mach in his special theory of relativity, which he explained with thought experiments and with which he banished the ether . The Einstein of the 1920s assessed quantum mechanics as important, but considered such a purification of a physical theory to be absurd. He wanted the radical idea of ​​Bohr-Heisenberg's interpretation of the new theory that a measurand would only take on a certain value at the moment of a measurement, not accept it, and certainly not the statistical interpretation by Max Born. Einstein formulated this in various paradoxes he invented and in his well-known quote "In any case, I am convinced that the old man (God) does not roll the dice."

Shortly after its creation, there were intensive discussions with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen about the interpretation of the new theory, in which Heisenberg proved to be an equal partner. These discussions led Bohr to the principle of complementarity , Heisenberg to the uncertainty relation  - the statement that important physical measurands such as place and momentum (or time and energy) do not have sharp values ​​at the same time. Mathematically, this found its expression in the fact that these were represented by operators or matrices that do not interchange with one another (canonical commutators.) Bohr's and Heisenberg's contributions formed the basis of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics .

During his time in Leipzig he made important contributions to nuclear physics (introduction of isospin ), developed a theory of ferromagnetism ( Heisenberg ferromagnet with exchange interaction, 1928) and, among others, did pioneering work in quantum field theory with Wolfgang Pauli . In particular, the work with his assistant Hans Euler, who died in the war, should be mentioned here, among other things on the modification of the equations of the electromagnetic field during pair creation from the vacuum. Together with John Archibald Wheeler, Heisenberg is considered to be the father of the S-matrix (scatter matrix) and investigated models of quantum field theory with fundamental length at an early stage . In the 1940s, in addition to reactor physics , he also dealt with cosmic radiation and the showers of particles generated by it, which soon led to the discovery of the first mesons in England and which generally played the role of today's particle accelerators as a source for elementary particles. Heisenberg also came up with the idea of ​​introducing an indefinite metric in quantum field theory.

In the post-war period, despite some respectable individual achievements, he was no longer able to make contact with international research. He tried a theory of superconductivity and a unified field theory for elementary particle physics, an extension of the Dirac equation with nonlinear self-interaction and isospin degree of freedom. Heisenberg knew the potential of nonlinear equations; in elementary particle physics , which at that time was just beginning to classify the “particle zoo”, this approach proved to be premature. The theory received a lot of media attention at the time (Heisenberg's new world formula ), but was rejected early on by international colleagues - including his friend Wolfgang Pauli , who initially wanted to work enthusiastically on the theory.

His autobiography stands out among his non-academic writings: The Part and the Whole . Conversations in the field of atomic physics (1969). From a distance of more than four decades, Heisenberg reconstructs dialogues that illustrate how his contributions to quantum mechanics were developed in close collaboration with fellow researchers (Arnold Sommerfeld, Niels Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli and others). This shows his philosophical interests, which go in the direction of a Neoplatonic interpretation of nature, whereby the symmetry principles of physics play a fundamental role.


Bust in the Hall of Fame in Munich
Bronze plaque Werner Heisenberg in the foyer of the physics building of the University of Leipzig (artist: Markus Gläser )
The Heisenberg high school in Hamburg-Eißendorf

"For the establishment of quantum mechanics, the application of which - among other things - led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen", he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 . In 1933 he was awarded the Max Planck Medal . In 1943 Heisenberg received the Copernicus Prize from the University of Königsberg .

Since 1937 he was a member of the American Philosophical Society . In 1957 he was awarded the Pour le Mérite Peace Class, elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1958 and the National Academy of Sciences in 1961 , and in 1964 he was honored with the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany with a star and shoulder ribbon.

In 1973 he was awarded the Romano Guardini Prize , which until then had only been awarded to theologians.

The Heisenberg program of the German Research Foundation (DFG) was named after Heisenberg and has included the Heisenberg grant since 1977 and the Heisenberg professorship since November 2005.

He also received the Barnard Medal New York, the Matteucci Medal (Rome), the Grotius Medal , the Order Pour le Mérite for Science and the Arts, the Cultural Prize of Honor of the City of Munich , the Bavarian Order of Merit (1961) and the Niels Bohr medal .

Heisenberg was a member of many academies of science and an honorary doctorate from numerous universities and colleges. Among other things, he became a member of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen in 1937 , of the Technical University of Karlsruhe in 1961 and of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 1933 . In 1955 he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society . In 1967 Werner Heisenberg became an honorary member of the Leopoldina.

On May 23, 2000 an asteroid was named after Werner Heisenberg: (13149) Heisenberg . His bust , designed by the academic sculptor Toni Preis , has been in the Hall of Fame in Munich since April 2009 .

Several schools were named after Heisenberg, including the Werner Heisenberg Realschule Ratingen, which existed until 2011, the vocational school in Rüsselsheim and several high schools . In Munich, Werner-Heisenberg-Allee also commemorates him; Streets was named after him in Augsburg , Mannheim , Magdeburg , Neu-Isenburg and Regensburg , among others : The University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich is located on Werner-Heisenberg-Weg in Neubiberg .

For Heisenberg's 100th birthday, Deutsche Post issued a special postage stamp on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle with his portrait with a face value of EUR 1.53 (Michel no. 2228).



Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen , premiered in 1998, addresses Heisenberg's visit to Niels Bohr in German-occupied Copenhagen in 1941 and Heisenberg's involvement in the uranium project . Richard von Schirach portrayed Heisenberg and other physicists from the Nazi regime's nuclear program in his semi-fictional book Die Nacht der Physiker (The Night of Physicians), published in 2012 . Heisenberg, Hahn, Weizsäcker and the German bomb. The writer Jérôme Ferrari described the life of Werner Heisenberg in his 2015 novel The Principle .


Publications (selection)

Sources and memories


  • Cathryn Carson: Heisenberg in the atomic age: Science and the public sphere. Cambridge 2010.
  • David C. Cassidy : Werner Heisenberg. Life and work. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 1995, ISBN 3-86025-315-8 .
  • David C. Cassidy: Heisenberg, physics and the bomb. Bellevue Literary Press, New York 2009.
  • Ernst Peter Fischer : Werner Heisenberg: The self-forgotten genius. Piper, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-492-23701-0 .
  • Ernst Peter Fischer: Werner Heisenberg - a wanderer between the worlds. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2014.
  • Armin Hermann : Werner Heisenberg (= rororo biographies. ). Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg, 1976.
  • Armin Hermann: The science of the century - Werner Heisenberg and the physics of his time. DVA, Stuttgart 1976.
  • Konrad Kleinknecht : Einstein and Heisenberg: Founders of modern physics. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart, 2017.
  • Christian Kleint, Helmut Rechenberg, Gerald Wiemers (eds.): Werner Heisenberg 1901–1976. Festschrift for his 100th birthday (= treatises of the Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, mathematical-natural science class. Vol. 62). 2005.
  • Dieter Lüst , Dietrich Papenfuß, Wolfgang Schleich (Eds.): 100 years Werner Heisenberg - Works and Impact. Wiley / VCH, 2002.
  • Helmut Rechenberg : Werner Heisenberg - The language of atoms. 2 volumes, Springer, 2010.
  • Helmut Rechenberg: The big quantum egg: For Werner Heisenberg's 100th birthday. In: Physical sheets . Volume 57, 2001, pp. 59-63, doi: 10.1002 / phbl.20010571218
  • 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 (German: Heisenberg and the atomic bomb project of the Nazis. Pendo, Zurich 2001, ISBN 3-85842-422-6 ).
  • Gregor Schiemann : Werner Heisenberg (= Beck's series of thinkers. ). CH Beck, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-406-56840-4 .

Web links

Commons : Werner Heisenberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Werner Heisenberg: The part and the whole . R. Piper & Co. Verlag, Munich 1969, p. 30.
  2. The grades were summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude and the worst grade was a simple pass.
  3. ^ Cassidy: Heisenberg, Physics and the Bomb. Bellevue Literary Press, 2009, p. 119.
  4. ^ Heisenberg: The Physical Principles of Quantum Mechanics. University of Chicago Press, 1930, p. 21.
  5. ^ Complaint against the President of the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt, Prof. Dr. Johannes Stark. ( Memento from February 8, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Written by Friedrich Hund on July 20, 1937.
  6. ^ Schoolchildren and visitors in Leipzig.
  7. Frank Grotelüschen: The last act of the German nuclear program. In: Calendar sheet (broadcast on DLF ). April 23, 2015, accessed April 23, 2015 .
  8. Werner Heisenberg. In: dibb.de biographies. Retrieved September 29, 2017 .
  9. Helmut Rechenberg, Gerald Wiemers: Werner Heisenberg: Expert Opinion and Examination Protocols for Doctorates and Habilitations (1929-1942). Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-928577-43-3 , with biographies of these scientists. The list of doctorates with short biographies published on the occasion of Heisenberg's 100th birthday in 2001 is partially incorrect.
  10. ^ Rechenberg, Heisenberg, Volume 1, p. 26
  11. Grave of the Heisenberg family in the Munich forest cemetery (Grabfeld 163, location , pictures )
  12. The Göttingen Declaration 1957 . At: uni-goettingen.de.
  13. ^ Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy. 6th edition, S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 38.
  14. ^ Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy. 6th edition, S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 38 u. 233.
  15. ^ Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy. 6th edition, S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2000.
  16. ^ Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy. 6th edition, S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 209.
  17. ^ Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy. 6th edition, S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, pp. 221-233.
  18. ^ Werner Heisenberg: Physics and Philosophy. 6th edition, S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2000, p. 39.
  19. Michael Schaaf: Heisenberg wanted to help Bohr. A new document for the meeting of the two physicists in Copenhagen in 1941 . In: Berliner Zeitung . April 5, 2002.
  20. Release of documents relating to 1941 Bohr-Heisenberg meeting. ( Memento of March 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive ). Annotated publication of the draft letters from Niels Bohr to Heisenberg about their Copenhagen conversation on the possibility of a German atomic bomb.
    Martin Heisenberg: With the bomb for the bomb. (...) A personal interpretation .
  21. 34. Heisenberg, Bohr and the atomic bomb . Teller in a video on: WebOfStories.com.
  22. Dietrich Hahn (Ed.): Otto Hahn - founder of the atomic age. List Verlag, Munich 1979. p. 189, ISBN 978-3-471-77841-8 .
  23. ^ Lübbecke and the British Control Commission in 1945 .
  24. Walter Blum, Helmut Rechenberg, Hans-Peter Dürr (Ed.): Heisenberg. Collected Works. A / 1, Springer Verlag, 1985, p. 19.
    Commentary by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar : Hydrodynamic Stability and Turbulence (1922-1948). Abstract.
  25. See Heisenberg: Nonlinear problems in physics. Physics Today, 1967.
  26. ^ Journal of Physics. Volume 33, 1925, p. 879.
  27. Descriptive content of quantum mechanical kinematics . In: Zeitschrift für Physik , Volume 43, 1927, p. 172.
  28. ^ Journal of Physics , 1932, 1933.
  29. ^ Journal of Physics , 1942, 1944.
  30. Annals of Physics. 1938.
  31. Robert and Klara Döpel, Werner Heisenberg: The experimental proof of the effective neutron multiplication in a spherical layer system made of D 2 O and uranium metal. 1942. Approved by the Allies in 1946. In: W. Blum u. a. (Ed.): Werner Heisenberg. Collected Works. Volume A / II. Springer, Berlin 1989, pp. 536-544.
  32. ^ The Nobel Prize in Physics 1932. On: nobelprize.org.
  33. Newsletter of the German Science and Technology, organ of the Reich Research Council (Hrsg.): Research and progress . Staff news. Awards. tape 19, 23/24 , 1943, pp. 252 .
  34. Member History: Werner Heisenberg. American Philosophical Society, accessed September 27, 2018 .
  35. Member entry of Werner Heisenberg at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on October 12, 2012.
  36. ^ Entry on Heisenberg, Werner Karl (1901–1976) in the archive of the Royal Society , London
  37. ^ First, atomic research in Germany. Lines of development of peaceful atomic technology. In: German university newspaper . Vol. 10, no. 7 8 of April 18, 1954.