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The Life and Works of Werner Heisenberg - Essay Example

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The Life and Works of Werner Heisenberg

But his work focused on the uncertainty principle in quantum theory that had become the basis for his own philosophy. In 1932, Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his “creation of the quantum physics.”2 Heisenberg also made significant contributions to many other subjects in Physics such as hydrodynamics of the turbulent flows, ferromagnetism, cosmic rays, and subatomic particles. In 1925, he described the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics together with Max Born and Pascual Jordan.3 Subsequent to World War II, Heisenberg was selected as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics – now called the Max Planck Institute for Physics. He is also extensively famous as the key person to spearhead the nuclear fission research in Germany during the World War II. At the conclusion of the war, Heisenberg concentrated on elementary particle physics. Early Life and Education Werner Karl Heisenberg was born on the 5th of December 1901 in Wurzburg, Germany. He was the son of Dr. August Heisenberg, a high school teacher of classical languages, and Anna Wecklein Heisenberg.4 He had a brother named Erwin who was a chemist. Werner showed early interest in mathematics and physics and in 1920, he enrolled at the Ludwig-Maximilian-Universitat Munchen under the supervision of Arnold Sommerfeld and Wilhelm Wien; however, during the winter of 1922-1923, Wilhelm went on to study at University of Munich in which he studied physics with Max Born and James Franck, and studied mathematics with David Hilbert. In 1923, he finally received his doctorate degree at the University of Munich under the guidance of Arnold Sommerfeld.5 At school, Heisenberg showed an extraordinary level of self-confidence and willingness to excel, as commented by one school teacher who had seen his potential.6 Another school teacher observed that Heisenberg is “more developed toward the side of rationality than a fantasy and imagination”7 – a quality that is common among scientists. But these qualities seemed to have been suppressed initially by Heisenberg as he tended to be “shy and sensitive at first.”8 However, as the school year progressed, he turned out to become more self-confident than ever. Heisenberg’s father would always set up a competition between him and his brother, which continued as they grew older. Obviously, it is one reason why Werner tops his class, particularly in mathematics and physics.9 Sommerfeld noticed Heisenberg’s interests in Niels Bohr’s theories in atomic physics so he took the initiative to bring Heisenberg to the Bohr’s Festival in 1922. For the first time, Heisenberg was able to see and hear Niels Bohr in person as Bohr gave a series of lectures about atomic physics. That encounter flared up Heisenberg’s interest in discovering more about the mysteries of physics.10 Early Career Between the years 1924 and 1925, Werner had the chance to work with probably one of his greatest influences, Niels Bohr, at the University of Copenhagen under a Rockefeller grant. In 1925, Werner went back to Gottingen. In 1926, Werner was designated to his first teaching position as a theoretical physics lecturer at the University of Copenhagen under the direction of Niels Bohr.11 In the following year, Werner received another teaching position as Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Leipzig when he was only 26 years old.12 His latest tenure as a Professor of Theoretical Physics would allow him to set off a lecture tour to the United ...Show more

Summary

Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who lived between 1901 and 1976. He is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the twentieth century.1 He was one of the main authors of quantum mechanics…
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The Life and Works of Werner Heisenberg essay example
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