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- Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
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- Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Physics and Philosophy by Werner Heisenberg. Paul C. Davies Introduction. Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg's classic account explains the central ideas of the quantum revolution, and his celebrated Uncertainty Principle.
The theme of Heisenberg's exposition is that words and concepts familiar in daily life can lose their meaning in the world of relativity and quantum physics. This in turn has profound philosophical implications for the natur Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg's classic account explains the central ideas of the quantum revolution, and his celebrated Uncertainty Principle.
This in turn has profound philosophical implications for the nature of reality and for our total world view. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 3rd by Penguin Classics first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Physics and Philosophy , please sign up. Hossein Najafizadeh. No matter which edition is displayed. Your Persian version, published by Najafizadeh. Addendum Amazon's printed book is not the exact reproduction of the PDF edition. The final version was released on November 24, Please see the following link: Physik und Philosophie, Najafizadeh. See 1 question about Physics and Philosophy…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.
Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 18, Robert rated it did not like it Shelves: science , physics , philosophy. I have very little time for metaphysics; it's day is long since past couple of millenia, at least and it is really only of historical interest to those concerned with understanding nature.
Far too much of the book is spent on either; comparing quantum mechanics QM with Western metaphysics or pondering unanswerable conundrums, like, "does anything exist when it isn't being observed? This comparison with western metaphysics is as profitless as the later 80ss fad for comparison with "eastern philosophy. Heisenberg seems inconsistent at times, which is a bit naff in a book on science or philosophy, let alone both.
For instance, he states categorically that no human observer is actually necessary in QM but later seems to tacitly assume the opposite. He's also wrong about a few things, but only in the light of 50 years' worth of further scientific investigations.
I also don't know who the intended audience is; he assumes quite a bit of knowledge of both physics and metaphysics - certainly too much of the former for a non-physicist audience now or then and too much of the latter for present-day non-philosophy students. Probably the only really valuable insight I got from the book was the point that General Relativity isn't a limiting case or approximation of or to any other physical theory: it famously can't be integrated into any current quantum theory but it can't be derived from any other classical theory either, not can any other classical theory be derived from it: It just stands there in majestic aloofness.
It has done since it was first published and still does now. The other segment of interest to me was the final chapter on the influence of science in general and modern physics in particular on contemporary society - here's where I think general philosophical thought might profitably be focused, along with close examination of recent history.
The book also seems badly organised; why does the chapter on alternatives to the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM not follow immediately after the chapter on the Copenhagen Interpretation itself, for instance? I find it difficult to recommend this book to anybody: if you want to become familiar with the central concepts of QM, The Character of Physical Law by R.
Feynman is enormously better. Einstein's own book is a much better introduction to Relativity theory especially if you can remember school algebra. If you are interested in the philosophy of science, this book won't help.
It's too out of date to work as an introduction to the state of contemporary fundamental physics. The only bits that seem to remain really relevant are the thoughts about the use of language in science and the thoughts on science's impact on society at large. Below the line : more or less chapter by chapter thoughts whilst reading. Despite the lack of mathematics, I already can't recommend this for non-physicists: I think they'd be terribly confused and horribly lost by the end of Chapter 2.
On the other hand, this might be very good for current physics undergrads who've done an atomic physics course already. Interesting errors and confusions in Chapter 3:Conservation of energy: Heisenberg states that initially this was believed to be true only statistically for quantum systems but in fact turned out to be exactly true always. This is not correct; conservation of energy can only be said to hold to the accuracy given by - fanfare!
One of the bizarre consequences of this is the phenomenon of quantum tunneling, which was unknown at the time of publication. Heisenberg states that quantum mechanical experiments consist of three parts, an initial set up in terms of classical physics, an unobservable part only describable in terms of what we would now call the probability wave-function, and a measurement only describable in terms of classical physics.
Only the middle part of this is correct; it is entirely possible to describe an experimental set-up in quantum terms and also the measurement of the result in quantum terms, too. The middle bit is indeed not describable in any normal sense. Take the photon double-slit experiment. The emission of the photons can be described quantum mechanically but so can their reception at the detector if you use photo-multiplier detectors, for example.
I hear you cry, but the real observation is by the human eye, when the flash from the photo-multiplier hits the retina! Sorry - the optic nerve is a receptor of quanta, too. The whole system is describable quantum mechanically. Heisenberg then goes on to more or less follow my argument in a vague way. It's enormously easier to make it precise in the light of half a century's technological advances. And here's something really important that we agree on.
The human observer is not in any way an essential part of the system. The idea that the entire universe stopped being just a cloud of probabilities the day a sufficiently astute observer appeared is not in any way required by or implicit in the Copenhagen Interpretation.
Chapter 4: Waffling comparison of ancient Greek philosophy and quantum mechanics. The most important thing here is the bit where he explains the difference i. QM is based on experiment where-as ancient Greek philosophy is based on yabbering on without having a clue. Some interesting points are raised, though; "What's a particle? Today you might get, "it's a resonance in a field. This is just wave-particle duality all over again, with waves disguised as fields. He also expresses the views that the ultimate quantum theory would take the form of a single equation that would yield solutions representing the fundamental particles and the forces between them and that in fact there will turn out to only be one kind of particle that is truly fundamental.
Chapter 5: Physics vs. Metaphysics: Physics wins! Or summat. Is there such a thing as objective reality? OK - I can agree with that. But I don't really understand when he starts trying to distinguish between types of objective reality.
I mean, in science you get successive different theories of the behaviour of objective reality but that doesn't seem to be what is being discussed. It doesn't seem to be the old causality vs.
Colour me baffled - and not caring much, either. Chapter 6: Relation of QM to other sciences. Here Heisenberg seems to be groping after a coherent general philosophy of Emergent Behaviour without quite getting there; seems more in the Emergent camp than the Reductionist camp, anyway. But one could view "history" as actually being emergent from physics by way of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, a connection he does not make.
He also discusses the main theories of physics in relation to each other: Newtonian mechanics is an approximation to Special Relativity which assumes an infinite speed of light. It is also an approximation to QM assuming an infinitely small Planck's Constant.
Perspectives in Biology and Medicine
THE origin of quantum theory is connected with a well-known phenomenon, which did not belong to the central parts of atomic physics. Any piece of matter when it is heated starts to glow, gets red hot and white hot at higher temperatures. The colour does not depend much on the surface of the material, and for a black body it depends solely on the temperature. Therefore, the radiation emitted by such a black body at high temperatures is a suitable object for physical research; it is a simple phenomenon that should find a simple explanation in terms of the known laws for radiation and heat. The attempt made at the end of the nineteenth century by Lord Rayleigh and Jeans failed, however, and revealed serious difficulties. It would not be possible to describe these difficulties here in simple terms. It must be sufficient to state that the application of the known laws did not lead to sensible results.
Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy
The seminal work by one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century, Physics and Philosophy is Werner Heisenberg's concise and accessible narrative of the revolution in modern physics, in which he played a towering role. The outgrowth of a celebrated lecture series, this book remains as relevant, provocative, and fascinating as when it was first published in A brilliant scientist whose ideas altered our perception of the universe, Heisenberg is considered the father of quantum physics; he is most famous for the Uncertainty Principle, which states that quantum particles do not occupy a fixed, measurable position.
It tells, from his point of view, the history of exploring atomic science and quantum mechanics in the first half of the 20th century. As the subtitle "Encounters and Conversations" suggests, the core part of this book takes the form of discussions between himself and other scientists. Heisenberg says: "I wanted to show that science is done by people, and the most wonderful ideas come from dialog".
Jump to navigation. Hutson, James A,. One of the key figures in the development of quantum mechanics was Werner Heisenberg Heisenberg developed both the first quantum mechanical mathematical framework, matrix mechanics. He also outlined the philosophical basis underpinning it, named thereafter the "uncertainty principle.
Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science
Werner Heisenberg in the lecture hall Photo by Jochen Heisenberg. He became famous for his groundbreaking Uncertainty or Indeterminacy Principle and was the recipient of The Nobel Prize in Physics Werner Heisenberg's Edge Bio page. One evening during the Solvay Conference, some of the younger members stayed behind in the lounge of the hotel.
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'Here we are moving away the great peaks of intellectual endeavour, where the boundaries of the subject are physics and philosophy Werner Heisenberg.
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It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. Quantum mechanics has raised in an acute form three problems which go to the heart of man's relationship with nature through experimental science: r the public objectivity of science, that is, its value as a universal science for all investigators; 2 the empirical objectivity of scientific objects, that is, man's ability to construct a precise or causal spatio-temporal model of microscopic systems; and finally 3 , the formal objectivity of science, that is, its value as an expression of what nature is independently of its being an object of human knowledge. This crisis is. Heisenberg was one of the architects of quantum mechanics, and we have chosen his writings as the principal source-material for this study.
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