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Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and…
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Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of…

by David Lindley

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Werner Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle” challenged centuries of scientific understanding, placed him in direct opposition to Albert Einstein, and put Niels Bohr in the middle of one of the most heated debates in scientific history. Heisenberg’s theorem stated that there were physical limits to what we could know about sub-atomic particles; this “uncertainty” would have shocking implications. In a riveting account, David Lindley captures this critical episode and explains one of the most important scientific discoveries in history, which has since transcended the boundaries of science and influenced everything from literary theory to television.
  MarkBeronte | Mar 4, 2014 |
Stephen Hakwking's A Grand Design made me despise the Uncertainty Principle. David Lindley's Uncertainty made me despise those men who, throughout history, have despised the Uncertainty Principle. Such a drastic turnaround is no mean feat and likely is due to this book's, predominantly biographical, focus.
  SnowcatCradle | Nov 22, 2013 |
Only read half of this, tell you nothing about Uncertainty, it's just about some of the personalites involved. Avoid Lindley's books. ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Covers the development of the ideas behind the Uncertainty Principle, including the introduction of randomness and spontaneity into quantum physics. The issues among Heisenberg, Bohr and Einstein are discussed in the context of their interests, personalities and lives.

There is also discussion of the confusion introduced by this development into philosophical thought and popular culture.
  nealjking | Jan 8, 2009 |
For a review of this book, please go to
http://onetoughvoncookie.com/?p=619 ( )
  voncookie | Aug 10, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385515065, Hardcover)

The more precisely the position is determined, the less precisely the momentum is known in this instant, and vice versa.
—Werner Heisenberg

That God would choose to play dice with the world is something I cannot believe.
—Albert Einstein

Nothing exists until it is measured.

—Neils Bohr


The remarkable story of a startling scientific idea that ignited a battle among the greatest minds of the twentieth century and profoundly influenced intellectual inquiry in fields ranging from physics to literary criticism, anthropology and journalism

In 1927, the young German physicist Werner Heisenberg challenged centuries of scientific understanding when he introduced what came to be known as “the uncertainty principle.” Building on his own radical innovations in quantum theory, Heisenberg proved that in many physical measurements, you can obtain one bit of information only at the price of losing another. Heisenberg’s principle implied that scientific quantities/concepts do not have absolute, independent meaning, but acquire meaning only in terms of the experiments used to measure them. This proposition, undermining the cherished belief that science could reveal the physical world with limitless detail and precision, placed Heisenberg in direct opposition to the revered Albert Einstein. The eminent scientist Niels Bohr, Heisenberg’s mentor and Einstein’s long-time friend, found himself caught between the two.
Uncertainty chronicles the birth and evolution of one of the most significant findings in the history of science, and portrays the clash of ideas and personalities it provoked. Einstein was emotionally as well as intellectually determined to prove the uncertainty principle false. Heisenberg represented a new generation of physicists who believed that quantum theory overthrew the old certainties; confident of his reasoning, Heisenberg dismissed Einstein’s objections. Bohr understood that Heisenberg was correct, but he also recognized the vital necessity of gaining Einstein’s support as the world faced the shocking implications of Heisenberg’s principle.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The remarkable story of a startling scientific idea that ignited a battle among the greatest minds of the twentieth century and profoundly influenced intellectual inquiry in fields ranging from physics to literary criticism, anthropology and journalism. In 1927, young German physicist Werner Heisenberg challenged centuries of scientific understanding when he introduced what came to be known as "the uncertainty principle." Heisenberg proved that in many physical measurements, you can obtain one bit of information only at the price of losing another. This proposition, undermining the cherished belief that science could reveal the physical world with limitless detail and precision, placed Heisenberg in direct opposition to the revered Albert Einstein. Niels Bohr, Heisenberg's mentor and Einstein's long-time friend, found himself caught between the two. Bohr understood that Heisenberg was correct, but he also recognized the vital necessity of gaining Einstein's support as the world faced the shocking implications of Heisenberg's principle.--From publisher description.… (more)

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