Posted on August 6, 2008 Comments (1)
Read a very nice biography from Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics for Werner Heisenberg, the founder of quantum mechanics, and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle:
He relied instead on what can be observed, namely the light emitted and absorbed by the atoms. By July 1925 Heisenberg had an answer, but the mathematics was so unfamiliar that he was not sure if it made any sense. Heisenberg handed a paper on the derivation to his mentor, Max Born, before leaving on a month-long lecture trip to Holland and England and a camping trip to Scandinavia with his youth-movement group. After puzzling over the derivation, Born finally recognized that the unfamiliar mathematics was related to the mathematics of arrays of numbers known as “matrices.” Born sent Heisenberg’s paper off for publication. It was the breakthrough to quantum mechanics.
Related: 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics – photo, 1927 – Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science by David Lindley – 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics – posts on physics