Werner Heisenberg

Key Terms

Terms

Copenhagen Institute  -  · One of the leading centers of physics research, headed by Niels Bohr. Heisenberg studied here and served as Bohr's assistant, during which time he did some of his crucial work in formulating quantum mechanics.
Core model  -  · Heisenberg's first attempt at explaining troublesome phenomena in the atom. While he succeeded in reconciling the Zeeman effect, in doing so he also discarded other established principles of quantum theory.
Determinism  -  ·  The belief, championed most famously by Einstein, that science would ultimately be able to predict all behavior once all the forces of nature were understood. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle directly opposed this, as it undermined the validity of causality.
Quantum mechanics  -  · The quantified study of the inner workings of the atom, based on the principles of quantum theory.
Quantum theory  -  · A theory that addresses the duality of matter and energy, which have the properties of both particles and waves. Specific theories such as Heisenberg's uncertainty principle contribute to this broader scheme.
Uncertainty principle  -  ·  Formulated by Heisenberg in 1927, this principle states that the velocity and position of an electron can never both be exactly determined, since the act of measurement necessarily disturbs the conditions.
Zeeman principle -  · Heisenberg's revision of one of Bohr's quantum postulates. He recognized that certain relationships that held only in classical mechanics would have to be replaced. He used this principle to refine the core model and thereby reconciled many of the current puzzles, earning himself an invitation to Copenhagen.