Werner Karl Heisenberg was born in Würzburg, Germany, to Kaspar Ernst August Heisenberg [de], a secondary school teacher of classical languages who became Germany's only ordentlicher Professor (ordinarius professor) of medieval and modern Greek studies in the university system, and his wife, Annie Wecklein.
Because Sommerfeld had a sincere interest in his students and knew of Heisenberg's interest in Niels Bohr's theories on atomic physics, Sommerfeld took Heisenberg to Göttingen to attend the Bohr Festival of June 1922. At the event, Bohr was a guest lecturer and gave a series of comprehensive lectures on quantum atomic physics. There, Heisenberg met Bohr for the first time, and it had a significant and continuing effect on him.
Heisenberg arrived at Munich in 1919 as a member of the Freikorps to fight the Bavarian Soviet Republic established a year earlier. Five decades later he recalled those days as youthful fun, like "playing cops and robbers and so on; it was nothing serious at all."
In early 1929, Heisenberg and Pauli submitted the first of two papers laying the foundation for relativistic quantum field theory. Also in 1929, Heisenberg went on a lecture tour of China, Japan, India, and the United States. In the spring of 1929, he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Chicago, where he lectured on quantum mechanics.
In 1928, the British mathematical physicistPaul Dirac had derived his relativistic wave equation of quantum mechanics, which implied the existence of positive electrons, later to be named positrons. In 1932, from a cloud chamber photograph of cosmic rays, the American physicist Carl David Anderson identified a track as having been made by a positron. In mid-1933, Heisenberg presented his theory of the positron. His thinking on Dirac's theory and further development of the theory were set forth in two papers. The first, "Bemerkungen zur Diracschen Theorie des Positrons" ("Remarks on Dirac's theory of the positron") was published in 1934, and the second, "Folgerungen aus der Diracschen Theorie des Positrons" ("Consequences of Dirac's Theory of the Positron"), was published in 1936. In these papers Heisenberg was the first to reinterpret the Dirac equation as a "classical" field equation for any point particle of spin ħ/2, itself subject to quantization conditions involving anti-commutators. Thus reinterpreting it as a (quantum) field equation accurately describing electrons, Heisenberg put matter on the same footing as electromagnetism: as being described by relativistic quantum field equations which allowed the possibility of particle creation and destruction. (Hermann Weyl had already described this in a 1929 letter to Albert Einstein.)
Heisenberg's paper establishing quantum mechanics has puzzled physicists and historians. His methods assume that the reader is familiar with Kramers-Heisenberg transition probability calculations. The main new idea, non-commuting matrices, is justified only by a rejection of unobservable quantities. It introduces the non-commutative multiplication of matrices by physical reasoning, based on the correspondence principle, despite the fact that Heisenberg was not then familiar with the mathematical theory of matrices. The path leading to these results has been reconstructed in MacKinnon, 1977, and the detailed calculations are worked out in Aitchison et al.
In Copenhagen, Heisenberg and Hans Kramers collaborated on a paper on dispersion, or the scattering from atoms of radiation whose wavelength is larger than the atoms. They showed that the successful formula Kramers had developed earlier could not be based on Bohr orbits, because the transition frequencies are based on level spacings which are not constant. The frequencies which occur in the Fourier transform of sharp classical orbits, by contrast, are equally spaced. But these results could be explained by a semi-classical virtual state model: the incoming radiation excites the valence, or outer, electron to a virtual state from which it decays. In a subsequent paper Heisenberg showed that this virtual oscillator model could also explain the polarization of fluorescent radiation.
These two successes, and the continuing failure of the Bohr–Sommerfeld model to explain the outstanding problem of the anomalous Zeeman effect, led Heisenberg to use the virtual oscillator model to try to calculate spectral frequencies. The method proved too difficult to immediately apply to realistic problems, so Heisenberg turned to a simpler example, the anharmonic oscillator.
The dipole oscillator consists of a simple harmonic oscillator, which is thought of as a charged particle on a spring, perturbed by an external force, like an external charge. The motion of the oscillating charge can be expressed as a Fourier series in the frequency of the oscillator. Heisenberg solved for the quantum behavior by two different methods. First, he treated the system with the virtual oscillator method, calculating the transitions between the levels that would be produced by the external source.
He then solved the same problem by treating the anharmonic potential term as a perturbation to the harmonic oscillator and using the perturbation methods that he and Born had developed. Both methods led to the same results for the first and the very complicated second order correction terms. This suggested that behind the very complicated calculations lay a consistent scheme.
So Heisenberg set out to formulate these results without any explicit dependence on the virtual oscillator model. To do this, he replaced the Fourier expansions for the spatial coordinates by matrices, matrices which corresponded to the transition coefficients in the virtual oscillator method. He justified this replacement by an appeal to Bohr's correspondence principle and the Pauli doctrine that quantum mechanics must be limited to observables.
On 9 July, Heisenberg gave Born this paper to review and submit for publication. When Born read the paper, he recognized the formulation as one which could be transcribed and extended to the systematic language of matrices, which he had learned from his study under Jakob Rosanes at Breslau University. Born, with the help of his assistant and former student Pascual Jordan, began immediately to make the transcription and extension, and they submitted their results for publication; the paper was received for publication just 60 days after Heisenberg's paper. A follow-on paper was submitted for publication before the end of the year by all three authors.
Up until this time, matrices were seldom used by physicists; they were considered to belong to the realm of pure mathematics. Gustav Mie had used them in a paper on electrodynamics in 1912 and Born had used them in his work on the lattice theory of crystals in 1921. While matrices were used in these cases, the algebra of matrices with their multiplication did not enter the picture as they did in the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics.
In 1928, Albert Einstein nominated Heisenberg, Born, and Jordan for the Nobel Prize in Physics, The announcement of the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1932 was delayed until November 1933. It was at that time that it was announced Heisenberg had won the Prize for 1932 "for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen".
There had been many failed attempts to have Heisenberg appointed as professor at a variety of German universities. His attempt to be appointed as the successor to Arnold Sommerfeld failed because of opposition by the Deutsche Physik movement. On 1 April 1935, the eminent theoretical physicist Sommerfeld, Heisenberg's doctoral advisor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, achieved emeritus status. However, Sommerfeld stayed in his chair during the selection process for his successor, which took until 1 December 1939. The process was lengthy due to academic and political differences between the Munich Faculty's selection and that of the Reichserziehungsministerium (Reich Education Ministry) and the supporters of Deutsche Physik.
In 1935, the Munich Faculty drew up a list of candidates to replace Sommerfeld as ordinarius professor of theoretical physics and head of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Munich. The three candidates had all been former students of Sommerfeld: Heisenberg, who had received the Nobel Prize in Physics; Peter Debye, who had received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1936; and Richard Becker. The Munich Faculty was firmly behind these candidates, with Heisenberg as their first choice. However, supporters of Deutsche Physik and elements in the REM had their own list of candidates, and the battle dragged on for over four years. During this time, Heisenberg came under vicious attack by the Deutsche Physik supporters. One attack was published in Das Schwarze Korps, the newspaper of the Schutzstaffel (SS), headed by Heinrich Himmler. In this, Heisenberg was called a "White Jew" (i.e. an Aryan who acts like a Jew) who should be made to "disappear". These attacks were taken seriously, as Jews were violently attacked and incarcerated. Heisenberg fought back with an editorial and a letter to Himmler, in an attempt to resolve the matter and regain his honour.
At one point, Heisenberg's mother visited Himmler's mother. The two women knew each other, as Heisenberg's maternal grandfather and Himmler's father were rectors and members of a Bavarian hiking club. Eventually, Himmler settled the Heisenberg affair by sending two letters, one to SS GruppenführerReinhard Heydrich and one to Heisenberg, both on 21 July 1938. In the letter to Heydrich, Himmler said Germany could not afford to lose or silence Heisenberg, as he would be useful for teaching a generation of scientists. To Heisenberg, Himmler said the letter came on recommendation of his family and he cautioned Heisenberg to make a distinction between professional physics research results and the personal and political attitudes of the involved scientists.
The three investigators who led the SS investigation of Heisenberg had training in physics—Heisenberg had participated in the doctoral examination of one of them at the Universität Leipzig. The most influential of the three was Johannes Juilfs. During their investigation, they became supporters of Heisenberg as well as his position against the ideological policies of the Deutsche Physik movement in theoretical physics and academia.
German nuclear weapons program
On 29 June 1936, a Nazi Party newspaper published a column attacking Heisenberg. On 15 July 1937, he was attacked in a journal of the SS. In mid-1936, Heisenberg presented his theory of cosmic-ray showers in two papers. Four more papers appeared in the next two years. In December 1938, the German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann sent a manuscript to Naturwissenschaften reporting they had detected the element barium after bombarding uranium with neutrons and Otto Hahn concluded a bursting of the uranium nucleus; simultaneously, Hahn communicated these results to his friend Lise Meitner, who had in July of that year fled to the Netherlands and then went to Sweden. Meitner, and her nephew Otto Robert Frisch, correctly interpreted Hahn's and Strassmann's results as being nuclear fission. Frisch confirmed this experimentally on 13 January 1939.
A visual representation of an induced nuclear fission event where a slow-moving neutron is absorbed by the nucleus of a uranium-235 atom, which fissions into two fast-moving lighter elements (fission products) and additional neutrons. Most of the energy released is in the form of the kinetic velocities of the fission products and the neutrons.
At a scientific conference on 26–28 February 1942 at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, called by the Army Weapons Office, Heisenberg presented a lecture to Reichs officials on energy acquisition from nuclear fission. The lecture, entitled "Die theoretischen Grundlagen für die Energiegewinning aus der Uranspaltung" was, as Heisenberg confessed after the Second World War in a letter to Samuel Goudsmit, "adapted to the intellectual level of a Reichs Minister". Heisenberg lectured on the enormous energy potential of nuclear fission, stating that 250 million electron volts could be released through the fission of an atomic nucleus. Heisenberg stressed that pure U-235 had to be obtained to achieve a chain reaction. He explored various ways of obtaining isotope 235 U/92 in its pure from, including uranium enrichment and an alternative layered method of normal uranium and a moderator in a machine. This machine, he noted, could be used in practical ways to fuel vehicles, ships and submarines. Heisenberg stressed the importance of the Army Weapons Office's financial and material support for this scientific endeavour. A second scientific conference followed. Lectures were heard on problems of modern physics with decisive importance for the national defense and economy. The conference was attended by Bernhard Rust, the Reichs Minister of Science, Education and National Culture. At the conference Reichs Minister Rust decided to take the nuclear project away from the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. The Reichs Research Council was to take on the project. In April 1942 the army returned the Physics Institute to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, naming Heisenberg as Director at the Institute. With this appointment at the KWIP, Heisenberg obtained his first professorship.Peter Debye was still director of the institute, but had gone on leave to the United States after he had refused to become a German citizen when the HWA took administrative control of the KWIP. Heisenberg still also had his department of physics at the University of Leipzig where work had been done for the Uranverein by Robert Döpel and his wife Klara Döpel.
On 4 June 1942, Heisenberg was summoned to report to Albert Speer, Germany's Minister of Armaments, on the prospects for converting the Uranverein's research toward developing nuclear weapons. During the meeting, Heisenberg told Speer that a bomb could not be built before 1945, because it would require significant monetary resources and number of personnel.
After the Uranverein project was placed under the leadership of the Reichs Research Council, it focused on nuclear power production and thus maintained its kriegswichtig (importance for the war); funding therefore continued from the military. The nuclear power project was broken down into the following main areas: uranium and heavy water production, uranium isotope separation and the Uranmaschine (uranium machine, i.e., nuclear reactor). The project was then essentially split up between a number of institutes, where the directors dominated the research and set their own research agendas. The point in 1942, when the army relinquished its control of the German nuclear weapons program, was the zenith of the project relative to the number of personnel. About 70 scientists worked for the program, with about 40 devoting more than half their time to nuclear fission research. After 1942, the number of scientists working on applied nuclear fission diminished dramatically. Many of the scientists not working with the main institutes stopped working on nuclear fission and devoted their efforts to more pressing war related work.
In September 1942, Heisenberg submitted his first paper of a three-part series on the scattering matrix, or S-matrix, in elementary particle physics. The first two papers were published in 1943 and the third in 1944. The S-matrix described only the states of incident particles in a collision process, the states of those emerging from the collision, and stable bound states; there would be no reference to the intervening states. This was the same precedent as he followed in 1925 in what turned out to be the foundation of the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics through only the use of observables.
The Alsos Mission was an Allied effort to determine if the Germans had an atomic bomb program and to exploit German atomic related facilities, research, material resources, and scientific personnel for the benefit of the US. Personnel on this operation generally swept into areas which had just come under control of the Allied military forces, but sometimes they operated in areas still under control by German forces. Berlin had been a location of many German scientific research facilities. To limit casualties and loss of equipment, many of these facilities were dispersed to other locations in the latter years of the war. The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Physik (KWIP, Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics) had been bombed so it had mostly been moved in 1943 and 1944 to Hechingen and its neighboring town of Haigerloch, on the edge of the Black Forest, which eventually became the French occupation zone. This allowed the American task force of the Alsos Mission to take into custody a large number of German scientists associated with nuclear research.
On 30 March, the Alsos Mission reached Heidelberg, where important scientists were captured including Walther Bothe, Richard Kuhn, Philipp Lenard, and Wolfgang Gertner. Their interrogation revealed that Otto Hahn was at his laboratory in Tailfingen, while Heisenberg and Max von Laue were at Heisenberg's laboratory in Hechingen, and that the experimental natural uranium reactor that Heisenberg's team had built in Berlin had been moved to Haigerloch. Henceforth, the main focus of the Alsos Mission was on these nuclear facilities in the Württemberg area. Heisenberg was captured and arrested in Urfeld, on 3 May 1945, in an alpine operation in territory still under control by German forces. He was taken to Heidelberg, where, on 5 May, he met Goudsmit for the first time since the Ann Arbor visit in 1939. Germany surrendered just two days later. Heisenberg would not see his family again for eight months, as he was moved across France and Belgium and flown to England on 3 July 1945.
1945: Reaction to Hiroshima
Nine of the prominent German scientists who published reports in Kernphysikalische Forschungsberichte as members of the Uranverein were captured by Operation Alsos and incarcerated in England under Operation Epsilon. 10 German scientists, including Heisenberg, were held at Farm Hall in England. The facility had been a safe house of the British foreign intelligence MI6. During their detention, their conversations were recorded. Conversations thought to be of intelligence value were transcribed and translated into English. The transcripts were released in 1992. On the 6th of August 1945 the scientists at Farm Hall learned from media reports that the USA had dropped an atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan. At first there was disbelief that a bomb had been built and dropped. In the weeks that followed, the German scientists discussed how the USA may have built the bomb.
The Farm Hall transcripts reveal that Heisenberg, along with other physicists interned at Farm Hall including Otto Hahn and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, were glad the Allies had won World War II. Heisenberg told scientists that he had never contemplated a bomb, only an atomic pile to produce energy. The morality of creating a bomb for the Nazis was also discussed. Only a few of the scientists expressed genuine horror at the prospect of nuclear weapons, and Heisenberg himself was cautious in discussing the matter. On the failure of the German nuclear weapons program to build an atomic bomb, Heisenberg remarked: "We wouldn't have had the moral courage to recommend to the Government in the spring of 1942 that they should employ 120,000 men just for building the thing up."
Post 1945: Executive positions at research institutions
On 3 January 1946, the 10 Operation Epsilon detainees were transported to Alswede in Germany, which was in the British occupation zone. Heisenberg settled in Göttingen, also in the British zone. In July, he was named director of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Physik (KWIP, Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics), then located in Göttingen. Shortly thereafter, it was renamed the Max Planck Institut für Physik, in honor of Max Planck and to assuage political objections to the continuation of the institute.
In 1949, the Deutsche Forschungsrat (German Research Council) was established by the Max-Planck Gesellschaft (MPG, Max Planck Society, successor organization to the Kaiser-Wilhelm Gesellschaft). Heisenberg was appointed president of the Deutsche Forschungsrat. In 1951, the organization was fused with the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft (NG, Emergency Association of German Science) and that same year renamed the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). With the merger, Heisenberg was appointed to the presidium.
In 1958 the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik was moved to Munich, expanded, and renamed Max-Planck-Institut für Physik und Astrophysik (MPIFA). In the interim, Heisenberg and the astrophysicist Ludwig Biermann were co-directors of MPIFA. Heisenberg also became an ordentlicher Professor (ordinarius professor) at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Heisenberg was the sole director of MPIFA from 1960 to 1970. Heisenberg resigned his directorship of the MPIFA on 31 December 1970.
Post 1945: Research interests
In 1946 the German scientist Heinz Pose, head of Laboratory V in Obninsk, wrote a letter to Heisenberg inviting him to work in the USSR. The letter lauded the working conditions in the USSR and the available resources, as well as the favorable attitude of the Soviets towards German scientists. A courier hand delivered the recruitment letter, dated 18 July 1946, to Heisenberg; Heisenberg politely declined. In 1947, Heisenberg presented lectures in Cambridge, Edinburgh and Bristol. Heisenberg contributed to the understanding of the phenomenon of superconductivity with a paper in 1947 and two papers in 1948, one of them with Max von Laue.
In the period shortly after World War II, Heisenberg briefly returned to the subject of his doctoral thesis, turbulence. Three papers were published in 1948 and one in 1950. In the post-war period Heisenberg continued his interests in cosmic-ray showers with considerations on multiple production of mesons. He published three papers in 1949, two in 1952, and one in 1955.
In 1957, Heisenberg was a signatory of the Declaration of the German Nuclear Physicists of the Göttinger Achtzehn (Göttingen Eighteen). From 1957, Heisenberg was interested in plasma physics and the process of nuclear fusion. He also collaborated with the International Institute of Atomic Physics in Geneva. He was a member of the Institute's Scientific Policy Committee, and for several years was the Committee's chairman. He was one of the eight signatories of the Memorandum of Tübingen which called for the recognition of the Oder-Neiße line as the official border between Germany and Poland and spoke against a possible nuclear armament of West Germany.
In 1973, Heisenberg gave a lecture at Harvard University on the historical development of the concepts of quantum theory. On 24 March 1973, Heisenberg gave a speech before the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, accepting the Romano Guardini Prize. An English translation of its title is "Scientific and Religious Truth". Its stated goal was "In what follows, then, we shall first of all deal with the unassailability and value of scientific truth, and then with the much wider field of religion, of which—so far as the Christian religion is concerned—Guardini himself has so persuasively written; finally—and this will be the hardest part to formulate—we shall speak of the relationship of the two truths."
Heisenberg was raised and lived as a Lutheran Christian. His autobiography starts with the young Heisenberg in his late teenage years, reading Plato's Timaeus while hiking in the Bavarian Alps. Heisenberg recounted the philosophical conversations with his fellow students and teachers on understanding the atom while receiving his scientific training in Munich, Göttingen and Copenhagen.
In his speech Scientific and Religious Truth (1974) while accepting the Romano Guardini Prize, Heisenberg affirmed:
In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I am now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on. Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.
Where no guiding ideals are left to point the way, the scale of values disappears and with it the meaning of our deeds and sufferings, and at the end can lie only negation and despair. Religion is therefore the foundation of ethics, and ethics the presupposition of life.
In his late-sixties Heisenberg penned his autobiography for the mass market. In 1969 the book was published in Germany, in early 1971 it was published in English and in the years thereafter in a string of other languages. Heisenberg had initiated the project in 1966, when his public lectures increasingly turned to the subjects of philosophy and religion. Heisenberg had sent the publishers Hirzel and Wiley the manuscript for a textbook on the unified field theory. This manuscript, he wrote to one of his publishers, was the preparatory work for his autobiography. He structured his autobiography in themes, covering: 1) The goal of exact science, 2) The problematic of language in atomic physics, 3) Abstraction in mathematics and science, 4) The divisibility of matter or Kant's antinomy, 5) The basic symmetry and its substantiation, and 6) Science and religion.
Heisenberg wrote his memoirs as a chain of conversations, covering the course of his life. The book became a popular success, but was regarded as troublesome by historians of science. In the preface Heisenberg wrote that he had abridged historical events, to make them more concise. At the time of publication it was reviewed by Paul Forman in the journal Science with the comment "Now here is a memoir in the form of rationally reconstructed dialogue. And the dialogue as Galileo well knew, is itself a most insidious literary device: lively, entertaining, and especially suited for insinuating opinions while yet evading responsibility for them." Few scientific memoirs had been published, but Konrad Lorenz and Adolf Portmann had penned popular books that conveyed scholarship to a wide audience. Heisenberg worked on his autobiography with the publisher Piper in Munich and initially proposed the title Gespräche im Umkreis der Atomphysik (Conversations around atomic physics). He settled with his publisher on Der Teil und das Ganze (The part and the whole). An English translation under the title Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations was published in 1971.
Heisenberg died of cancer of the kidneys and gallbladder at his home, on 1 February 1976. The next evening, his colleagues and friends walked in remembrance from the Institute of Physics to his home and each put a candle near the front door. He is buried at Munich Waldfriedhof.
— (1934). "Bemerkungen zur Diracschen Theorie des Positrons". Zeitschrift für Physik. 90 (3–4): 209–231. Bibcode:1934ZPhy...90..209H. doi:10.1007/BF01333516. The author was cited as being at Leipzig. The paper was received on 21 June 1934.
— (1936). "Über die 'Schauer' in der Kosmischen Strahlung". Forsch. Fortscher. 12: 341–342.
— (1975). "Development of concepts in the history of quantum theory". American Journal of Physics. 43 (5): 389–394. Bibcode:1975AmJPh..43..389H. doi:10.1119/1.9833. The substance of this article was presented by Heisenberg in a lecture at Harvard University.
^W. Heisenberg, Über quantentheoretishe Umdeutung kinematisher und mechanischer Beziehungen, Zeitschrift für Physik, 33, 879–893, 1925 (received 29 July 1925). [English translation in: B.L. van der Waerden, editor, Sources of Quantum Mechanics (Dover Publications, 1968) ISBN0-486-61881-1 (English title: "Quantum-Theoretical Re-interpretation of Kinematic and Mechanical Relations").]
^MacKinnon, Edward (1977). "Heisenberg, Models, and the Rise of Quantum Mechanics". Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences. 8: 137–188. doi:10.2307/27757370. JSTOR27757370.
^O. Hahn and F. Strassmann Über den Nachweis und das Verhalten der bei der Bestrahlung des Urans mittels Neutronen entstehenden Erdalkalimetalle (On the detection and characteristics of the alkaline earth metals formed by irradiation of uranium with neutrons), Naturwissenschaften Volume 27, Number 1, 11–15 (1939). The authors were identified as being at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Chemie, Berlin-Dahlem. Received 22 December 1938.
^Meitner, Lise; Frisch, O.R. (11 February 1939). "Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction". Nature. 143 (3615): 239–240. Bibcode:1939Natur.143..239M. doi:10.1038/143239a0. The paper is dated 16 January 1939. Meitner is identified as being at the Physical Institute, Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Frisch is identified as being at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Copenhagen.
^Frisch, O.R. (18 February 1939). "Physical Evidence for the Division of Heavy Nuclei under Neutron Bombardment". Nature. 143 (3616): 276. Bibcode:1939Natur.143..276F. doi:10.1038/143276a0. The paperArchived 23 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine is dated 17 January 1939. [The experiment for this letter to the editor was conducted on 13 January 1939; see Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb 263 and 268 (Simon and Schuster, 1986).]
^Heisenberg, Werner (1975). "Development of concepts in the history of quantum theory". American Journal of Physics. 43 (5): 389–394. Bibcode:1975AmJPh..43..389H. doi:10.1119/1.9833. The substance of this article was presented by Heisenberg in a lecture at Harvard University.
^ abChapter 16 "Scientific and Religious Truth" in Across the Frontiers, 1974, Harper & Row, pp. 213–229
^Carson, Cathryn (1910). Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public Sphere. Cambridge University Press. p. 149. ISBN978-0-521-82170-4.
^Heisenberg, Werner. 1970. "Erste Gespräche über das Verhältnis von Naturwissenschaft und Religion". Werner Trutwin, ed. Religion-Wissenschaft-Weltbild. Duesseldorf: Patmos-Verlag, pp. 23–31. (Theologisches Forum. Texte für den Religionsunterricht 4.)
^Heisenberg, Werner. 1973. "Naturwissenschaftliche und religiöse Wahrheit". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 March, pp. 7–8. (Speech before the Catholic Academy of Bavaria, on acceptance of the Guardini Prize, 23 March 1974).
^Carson, Cathryn (1910). Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public Sphere. Cambridge University Press. p. 145. ISBN978-0-521-82170-4.
^Carson, Cathryn (1910). Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public Sphere. Cambridge University Press. p. 147. ISBN978-0-521-82170-4.
^Carson, Cathryn (1910). Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public Sphere. Cambridge University Press. pp. 145–146. ISBN978-0-521-82170-4.
^Carson, Cathryn (1910). Heisenberg in the Atomic Age: Science and the Public Sphere. Cambridge University Press. p. 148. ISBN978-0-521-82170-4.
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Eckert, Michael Werner Heisenberg: controversial scientist physicsweb.org (2001)
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Heisenberg, Werner (16 August 1947). "Research in Germany on the Technical Applications of Atomic Energy". Nature. 160 (4059): 211–215. Bibcode:1947Natur.160..211H. doi:10.1038/160211a0. See also the annotated English translation: Hentschel & Hentschel 1996, pp. 361–379 Document 115. Werner Heisenberg: Research in Germany on the Technical Application of Atomic Energy [16 August 1947]
Mehra, Jagdish; Rechenberg, Helmut (2001). Volume 3. The Formulation of Matrix Mechanics and Its Modifications 1925–1926. The Historical Development of Quantum Theory. Springer. ISBN978-0-387-95177-5.
Mehra, Jagdish; Rechenberg, Helmut (2001). Volume 6. The Completion of Quantum Mechanics 1926–1941. Part 2. The Conceptual Completion and Extension of Quantum Mechanics 1932–1941. Epilogue: Aspects of the Further Development of Quantum Theory 1942–1999. The Historical Development of Quantum Theory. Springer. ISBN978-0-387-95086-0.
Walker, Mark (1992). "Physics and propaganda: Werner Heisenberg's foreign lectures under National Socialism". Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences. 22 (2): 339–389. doi:10.2307/27757685. JSTOR27757685.
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Walker, Mark Eine Waffenschmiede? Kernwaffen- und Reaktorforschung am Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Physik, Forschungsprogramm "Geschichte der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus"Ergebnisse 26 (2005)
Born, Max The statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics. Nobel Lecture – 11 December 1954.
Cassidy, David C. Werner Heisenberg : A Bibliography of His Writings, Second, Expanded Edition (Whittier, 2001)
Dörries, Matthias Michael Frayn's 'Copenhagen' in Debate: Historical Essays and Documents on the 1941 Meeting Between Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg (University of California, 2005)
Fischer, Ernst P. Werner Heisenberg: Das selbstvergessene Genie (Piper, 2002)
Heisenberg, Werner "A Scientist's case for the Classics" (Harper's Magazine, May 1958, p. 25–29)
Heisenberg, Werner Across the Frontiers (Harper & Row, 1974)
Kleint, Christian and Gerald Wiemer Werner Heisenberg im Spiegel seiner Leipziger Schüler und Kollegen (Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2005)
Medawar, Jean: Pyke, David (2012). Hitler's Gift: The True Story of the Scientists Expelled by the Nazi Regime (paperback). New York: Arcade Publishing. ISBN978-1-61145-709-4.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
Papenfuß, Dietrich, Dieter Lüst, and Wolfgang P. Schleich 100 Years Werner Heisenberg: Works and Impact (Wiley-VCH, 2002)
Powers, Thomas, "The Private Heisenberg and the Absent Bomb" (review of Werner and Elisabeth Heisenberg, My Dear Li: Correspondence, 1937–1946, edited by Anna Maria Hirsch-Heisenberg and translated from the German by Irene Heisenberg, Yale University Press, 312 pp., $40.00), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXIII, no. 20 (December 22, 2016, pp. 65–67. "Heisenberg, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, and... Karl Wirtz [during World War II led] an effort [to prevent] a complete shutdown [of work toward a German atom bomb], which would condemn young physicists to military service... or takeover by Nazi extremists who might think an atomic bomb could still give Hitler a complete victory." (p. 66.) Desiring on ethical grounds to prevent the introduction of nuclear weapons into the world, the key German nuclear physicists "'agreed... not to deny [the feasibility of] an atomic bomb, but... to [argue] that it could not be implemented within a realistic time frame...'" (p. 67.)
Rechenberg, Helmut und Gerald Wiemers Werner Heisenberg (1901–1976), Schritte in die neue Physik (Sax-Verlag Beucha, 2001)