“Not only is the Universe stranger than
we think, it is stranger than we can think.”
Werner Heisenberg's Physics & Beyond is the result of lectures he gave at the Gifford Lectures in Scotland in the winter of 1956/57.
This was a transitional period in quantum mechanics. The fascination of the first years of the 20th century is giving way to its hermeticism, and most of the scientists associated with it are shifting their focus to its technological applications, abandoning the philosophy behind its wild beauty.
Obviously, the honorable exceptions retained their curiosity. Unfortunately, there are few geniuses on the planet, and they are not always heard. Fortunately, Heisenberg was a globally respected voice.
Returning to the book, Werner explains how he arrived at the Uncertainty Principle. This was not easy, given the monolith of Isaac Newton and his classical physics.
It all begins with de Broglie and his theory of the correspondence between electrons and waves. An arduous and completely unknown path begins to make sense when the French scientist proposes that the quantum condition of Niels Bohr's theory should not be interpreted in isolation but from its direct relationship with the electron.
With the establishment of the wave-particle duality, the quantum world begins to reveal its secrets, and Heisenberg realizes that Bohr's theory was much more qualitative than quantitative. Newton's positions and velocities, they would be replaced by frequencies and amplitudes.
The Uncertainty Principle shows the useful unreality of the determinism of classical physics, in contrast to quantum reality, which still presents itself to us wrapped in seven veils.
But what is real is real. Without a doubt.
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