# Karl Werner Heisenberg citátov

## Karl Werner Heisenberg

**Dátum narodenia:** 5. december 1901**Dátum úmrtia:** 1. február 1976

Werner Karl Heisenberg bol nemecký teoretický fyzik, spoluzakladateľ kvantovej mechaniky.

Prispel k rozvoju kvantovej elektrodynamiky, kvantovej teórie poľa, teórie jadra, fyziky kozmického žiarenia, teórie elementárnych častíc. Sformuloval vzťah neurčitosti, ktorý obmedzuje aplikovanie klasických pojmov na mikrosvet.

V roku 1932 mu bola udelená Nobelova cena za fyziku.

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### Citáty Karl Werner Heisenberg

### „Any concepts or words which have been formed in the past through the interplay between the world and ourselves are not really sharply defined with respect to their meaning: that is to say, we do not know exactly how far they will help us in finding our way in the world.“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: Any concepts or words which have been formed in the past through the interplay between the world and ourselves are not really sharply defined with respect to their meaning: that is to say, we do not know exactly how far they will help us in finding our way in the world. We often know that they can be applied to a wide range of inner or outer experience, but we practically never know precisely the limits of their applicability. This is true even of the simplest and most general concepts like "existence" and "space and time". Therefore, it will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth.
The concepts may, however, be sharply defined with regard to their connections. This is actually the fact when the concepts become part of a system of axioms and definitions which can be expressed consistently by a mathematical scheme. Such a group of connected concepts may be applicable to a wide field of experience and will help us to find our way in this field. But the limits of the applicability will in general not be known, at least not completely.

### „Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word "understanding."“

— Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science

Context: Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word "understanding."

### „The interest of research workers has frequently been focused on the phenomenon of regularly shaped crystals suddenly forming from a liquid“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: The interest of research workers has frequently been focused on the phenomenon of regularly shaped crystals suddenly forming from a liquid, e. g. a supersaturated salt solution. According to the atomic theory the forming force in this process is to a certain extent the symmetry characteristic of the solution to Schrödinger's wave equation, and to that extent crystallization is explained by the atomic theory. Nevertheless this process retains a statistical and — one might almost say — historical element which cannot be further reduced: even when the state of the liquid is completely known before crystallization, the shape of the crystal is not determined by the laws of quantum mechanics. The formation of regular shapes is just far more probable than that of a shapeless lump. But the ultimate shape owes its genesis partly to an element of chance which in principle cannot be analysed further.

### „Therefore, the mathematical forms that represent the elementary particles will be solutions of some eternal law of motion for matter.“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: The equation of motion holds at all times, it is in this sense eternal, whereas the geometrical forms, like the orbits, are changing. Therefore, the mathematical forms that represent the elementary particles will be solutions of some eternal law of motion for matter. Actually this is a problem which has not yet been solved.<!-- p. 72

### „Insistence on the postulate of complete logical clarification would make science impossible. We are reminded... of the old wisdom that one who insists on never uttering an error must remain silent.“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: The words "position" and "velocity" of an electron... seemed perfectly well defined... and in fact they were clearly defined concepts within the mathematical framework of Newtonian mechanics. But actually they were not well defined, as seen from the relations of uncertainty. One may say that regarding their position in Newtonian mechanics they were well defined, but in their relation to nature, they were not. This shows that we can never know beforehand which limitations will be put on the applicability of certain concepts by the extension of our knowledge into the remote parts of nature, into which we can only penetrate with the most elaborate tools. Therefore, in the process of penetration we are bound sometimes to use our concepts in a way which is not justified and which carries no meaning. Insistence on the postulate of complete logical clarification would make science impossible. We are reminded... of the old wisdom that one who insists on never uttering an error must remain silent.

### „In modern quantum theory there can be no doubt that the elementary particles will finally also be mathematical forms“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: But the resemblance of the modern views to those of Plato and the Pythagoreans can be carried somewhat further. The elementary particles in Plato's Timaeus are finally not substance but mathematical forms. "All things are numbers" is a sentence attributed to Pythagoras. The only mathematical forms available at that time were such geometric forms as the regular solids or the triangles which form their surface. In modern quantum theory there can be no doubt that the elementary particles will finally also be mathematical forms but of a much more complicated nature.

### „The words "position" and "velocity" of an electron... seemed perfectly well defined... and in fact they were clearly defined concepts within the mathematical framework of Newtonian mechanics. But actually they were not well defined, as seen from the relations of uncertainty.“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: The words "position" and "velocity" of an electron... seemed perfectly well defined... and in fact they were clearly defined concepts within the mathematical framework of Newtonian mechanics. But actually they were not well defined, as seen from the relations of uncertainty. One may say that regarding their position in Newtonian mechanics they were well defined, but in their relation to nature, they were not. This shows that we can never know beforehand which limitations will be put on the applicability of certain concepts by the extension of our knowledge into the remote parts of nature, into which we can only penetrate with the most elaborate tools. Therefore, in the process of penetration we are bound sometimes to use our concepts in a way which is not justified and which carries no meaning. Insistence on the postulate of complete logical clarification would make science impossible. We are reminded... of the old wisdom that one who insists on never uttering an error must remain silent.

### „If nature leads us to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: If nature leads us to mathematical forms of great simplicity and beauty—by forms I am referring to coherent systems of hypothesis, axioms, etc.—to forms that no one has previously encountered, we cannot help thinking that they are "true," that they reveal a genuine feature of nature... You must have felt this too: The almost frightening simplicity and wholeness of relationships which nature suddenly spreads out before us and for which none of us was in the least prepared.
Conversation with Einstein, as quoted in Bittersweet Destiny: The Stormy Evolution of Human Behavior by Del Thiessen

### „The existing scientific concepts cover always only a very limited part of reality, and the other part that has not yet been understood is infinite.“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: The existing scientific concepts cover always only a very limited part of reality, and the other part that has not yet been understood is infinite.<!-- p. 201

### „However the development proceeds in detail, the path so far traced by the quantum theory indicates that an understanding of those still unclarified features of atomic physics can only be acquired by foregoing visualization and objectification to an extent greater than that customary hitherto.“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: However the development proceeds in detail, the path so far traced by the quantum theory indicates that an understanding of those still unclarified features of atomic physics can only be acquired by foregoing visualization and objectification to an extent greater than that customary hitherto. We have probably no reason to regret this, because the thought of the great epistemological difficulties with which the visual atom concept of earlier physics had to contend gives us the hope that the abstracter atomic physics developing at present will one day fit more harmoniously into the great edifice of Science.

### „Light and matter are both single entities, and the apparent duality arises in the limitations of our language.“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: Light and matter are both single entities, and the apparent duality arises in the limitations of our language. It is not surprising that our language should be incapable of describing the processes occurring within the atoms, for, as has been remarked, it was invented to describe the experiences of daily life, and these consist only of processes involving exceedingly large numbers of atoms. Furthermore, it is very difficult to modify our language so that it will be able to describe these atomic processes, for words can only describe things of which we can form mental pictures, and this ability, too, is a result of daily experience. Fortunately, mathematics is not subject to this limitation, and it has been possible to invent a mathematical scheme — the quantum theory — which seems entirely adequate for the treatment of atomic processes; for visualisation, however, we must content ourselves with two incomplete analogies — the wave picture and the corpuscular picture.
"Introductory" in The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory (1930) as translated by Carl Eckhart and Frank C. Hoyt, p. 10

### „The Greek philosophers thought of static forms“

— Werner Heisenberg

Context: The Greek philosophers thought of static forms and found them in the regular solids. Modern science, however, has from its beginning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries started from the dynamic problem. The constant element in physics since Newton is not a configuration or a geometrical form, but a dynamic law.<!-- p. 72