Physics and Philosophy – Heisenberg

Reading Physics and Philosophy by Werner Heisenberg (c1958/p1962)
Having previously read the Physical Principles of Quantum Theory, to get a first hand account of the Uncertainty Principle, found this much more readable volume of his. Pretty comprehensive summary of Philosophical views of the “reality of matter and atoms” from the Greeks to Hume and Russell. Illustration of uncertainty principle effects at each step seems to be leading to many worlds (no buts so far as I can tell). Says the quantum / uncertainty view of the world is a “paradigm shift” in the way the reality of the world is viewed. Makes allusions to human scale manifestations, without really illustrating with examples (yet), so far all his examples are at the quantum / measuring device level – still, only 1/3 of the way through. Some excellent fit with Pirsig static (matter) / dynamic (energy) perspectives, and problems with One/Duality/Binary vs Plural views of possible states. Expect the latter to lead into where quantum computing gets its alternative view of “information” – will develop further when completed.

Also suggests a new thread – distinctions between Metaphor, Analogy and Model. Let’s be honest, when we say this is a Metaphor or an Analogy to help understanding of the principles and effects of something, are we also saying it is a Model of what actually exists ? Is this distinction meaningful or not ? Either way, every time I see “many worlds and multiverses” I get this dilemma in my head. I can see why Stephen Hawking screams whenever he hears of Erwin Schroedinger’s overcooked Cat – just like Chares Handy’s overcooked Frog !

Also obtained Melville‘s Moby Dick, and Poincare Writings edited by SJ Gould.
The most cited sources in so many others.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.