Werner Karl Heisenberg (5 December 1901 - 01 February 1976)

Timeline created by PrenticeRules
In History
  • Dissertation: "On the Stability of Turbulence of Fluid Flow" submitted

    Dissertation: "On the Stability of Turbulence of Fluid Flow" submitted
    Karl Heisenberg was in the late stages of his doctorate program. He needed to determine a dissertation topic to submit. This was very important as the dissertation would count for fifty percent of his final grade. (Cassidy 06) Heisenberg initially wanted his dissertation to involve problems in quantum theory, but was convinced by his mentor Arnold Sommerfeld to write a more status quo paper. Heisenberg submitted his paper and his thesis was accepted, getting him half way to his PhD. (Cassidy 06)
  • The Uncertainty Principle

    The Uncertainty Principle
    "The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa", Heisenberg, uncertainty paper, 1927. Heisenberg discovery was scientifically revolutionary, and thus, brought very deep philosophical questions. (Cassidy 08) Heisenberg's theory showed that a particles future state has no set path and is decided only once it is observed. What did this discovery say to those who believe in predetermined fate?
  • Impact on Philosophy

    “In the strong formulation of the causal law, ‘If we know the present with exactitude, we can predict the future,’ it is not the conclusion, but rather the premise that is false. We cannot know, as a matter of principle, the present in all its details.” (Heisenberg 1927) The discovery of the Uncertainty Principle brought up many philosophical questions, but most of them seem to confuse the meaning as Heisenberg believed. Heisenberg believed his theory proved causality to be true, not free will.
  • Uncertainty Principle Video

    Uncertainty Principle Video
  • Final Questions

    Karl Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle really raises the question, can we truly know anything with absolute certainty? As the title of his famous paper implies, no we cannot. The uncertainty principle shows that the physical world we live in is governed by rules, but more specifically by probabilities. Does this mean one should not be certain of anything? I do not think so. While technically speaking there is a chance if I run into a brick wall I will go through, the probability is almost zero.