Friday, February 03, 2006

Heisenberg's still dead. Or is he?

Today on Feb 1st, 1976 , Heisenberg may have died today. May he rest in peace with Shroedinger's cat, who may also be dead. Or half dead.

"Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976)German physicist who, in 1925, created quantum mechanics. One important aspect of Heisenberg's theory was that it only dealt with properties of a system that can in theory be measured (for example, the frequency of the radiation emitted by a hydrogen atom). He said we cannot assign a position in space at a given time to the electron, nor can we follow an electron in its orbit. This means we cannot assume the orbits postulated by Bohr actually exist. Mechanical quantities such as position and velocity cannot be represented by ordinary numbers, but instead must be represented by matrices. As a result, Heisenberg's version of quantum mechanics is sometimes called matrix mechanics. The following year, the Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli showed that Heisenberg's theory correctly predicted the hydrogen spectrum. In 1927 Heisenberg published his famous Uncertainty Principle, which states one cannot measure the position and momentum of a particle with arbitrary precision. Heisenberg received the 1932 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on quantum mechanics. "

1 comment:

Seeleah said...

Thank GOD!! I'm only ever precise arbitrarily, but my mechanics are quantum--and now I know why.

It's why I go to the bathroom so much.

Heisenberg, Schmeisenberg--I practically INVENTED uncertainty. Er, Uncertainty. At least I think so.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson