- (1901-1976)physicist; established the famous uncertainty principle, as a result of which attempts to detail the unobservable internal movements of the atom were abandoned. Born in Würzburg, he moved to Munich in 1910 when his father was appointed Professor of Greek at the university. After suffering the blockade*-induced shortages of the war, he ap-plauded the suppression of Bavaria's* socialist republic by the Freikorps.* In 1920 he enrolled at Munich and completed a doctorate in 1923 under Arnold Sommerfeld, over the protest of Wilhelm Wien, who objected to his ignorance of experimental physics. With Sommerfeld on leave, he spent his final year of study as Max Born's* assistant at Gottingen; he then remained until 1926, writ-ing his Habilitation in 1924, forming a rewarding relationship with Born and James Franck,* and formulating his matrix principle of quantum mechanics. Although fellow student Wolfgang Pauli* slowly convinced him that electrons did not orbit in atoms, he went to Copenhagen in 1926 to work with Niels Bohr, who was formulating a periodic table based on the existence of orbits. While he was in Copenhagen, he devised his principle of particle uncertainty; it helped destroy a purely deterministic concept of the universe. Although the principle was welcomed by many physicists, it was initially dismissed by such luminaries as Einstein,* Erwin Schrodinger, and Max Planck* as implying the denial of objective processes. In 1927, upon appointment at Leipzig, Heisenberg became Germany's youngest full professor. He played a key role in transforming Leip-zig's physics institute into a major center for quantum physics. Among his stu-dents were Felix Block, Edward Teller, and Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker. In 1932 he was named the Nobel laureate for physics.Although the NSDAP censured theoretical physics, Heisenberg remained in Germany after Hitler's* seizure of power. As a spokesman for German physics, he believed that his country needed him to protect its scientific reputation; no doubt his attachment to Germany, his consonance with its national revival, and a sense of professional duty all aided his decision. He was never a supporter of Nazi ideals; his physics was increasingly dubbed "Jewish science" as he was labeled a "white Jew*" and the "Ossietzky* of physics." Although he was thwarted in 1937 from succeeding Sommerfeld at Munich (he came closest to emigrating at this time), he was suddenly deemed Germany's leading nuclear specialist when in 1940 he published a report supporting the feasibility of chain reactions. In 1941, to focus on fission research, he became acting director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics. While he was unsuited to experimental work, he retained the post until 1945.Captured and interned after the war, Heisenberg returned to Gottingen in 1946 as honorary professor and director of the city's new Max Planck Institute for Physics. He retained these titles when the institute moved in 1958 to Munich. His postwar commitment was to revitalize German science by seeking govern-ment involvement in scientific policy.REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Beyerchen, Scientists under Hitler; Cassidy, Uncertainty; DSB, vol. 17, suppl. 2; Macrakis, Surviving the Swastika.
A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. C. Paul Vincent.
Look at other dictionaries:
Heisenberg, Werner — ▪ German physicist and philosopher Introduction in full Werner Karl Heisenberg born Dec. 5, 1901, Würzburg, Ger. died Feb. 1, 1976, Munich, W.Ger. German physicist and philosopher who discovered (1925) a way to formulate quantum mechanics in… … Universalium
Heisenberg, Werner — (1901– 76) Scientist. Heisenberg was born in Würtzburg, Germany. He was educated at the University of Munich and he taught at Göttingen and Leipzig. During the Second World War, he directed the German atomic bomb project. Today, however, he … Who’s Who in Christianity
HEISENBERG, Werner — (1901 1976) German physicist who developed the principle of indeterminacy and worked on the QUANTUM THEORY. His principle, known as the Heisenberg or Uncertainty Principle, says that at the sub atomic level one cannot know both the speed and… … Concise dictionary of Religion
Heisenberg, Werner — (1901–1976) German physicist, formulator of the uncertainty principle; awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1932 … Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors
Heisenberg , Werner Karl — (1901–1976) German physicist Heisenberg, whose father was the professor of Greek at the University of Munich, was born in Würzburg, Germany. He was educated at the universities of Munich and Göttingen, where in 1923 he obtained his doctorate.… … Scientists
Heisenberg,Werner Karl — Hei·sen·berg (hīʹzən bûrg , bĕrk ), Werner Karl. 1901 1976. German physicist and a founder of quantum mechanics. He won a 1932 Nobel Prize for his uncertainty principle. * * * … Universalium
Heisenberg, Werner (Karl) — born Dec. 5, 1901, Würzburg, Ger. died Feb. 1, 1976, Munich, W.Ger. German physicist. Educated at Munich and Göttingen, he taught at the University of Leipzig (1927–41) and directed the Max Planck Institute for Physics (1942–76). In 1925 he… … Universalium
Heisenberg, Werner Karl — ► (1901 76) Físico alemán. Fue premio Nobel de Física en 1932, por su formulación de la mecánica cuántica en términos de matrices … Enciclopedia Universal
Heisenberg, Werner (Karl) — (5 dic. 1901, Würzburg, Alemania–1 feb. 1976, Munich). Físico alemán. Educado en Munich y Gotinga, enseñó en la Universidad de Leipzig (1927–41) y dirigió el Instituto de física Max Planck (1942–76). En 1925 resolvió el problema de cómo explicar… … Enciclopedia Universal
Werner Karl Heisenberg — Werner Heisenberg, um 1927 Werner Karl Heisenberg (* 5. Dezember 1901 in Würzburg; † 1. Februar 1976 in München) war einer der bedeutendsten Physiker des 20. Jahrhunderts und Nobelpreisträger. Er formulierte 1927 die nach ihm benannte… … Deutsch Wikipedia