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Werner Heisenberg and the Heisenberg Uncertainty PrincipleWerner Heisenberg born in the dawn of the twentieth century became oneof its greatest physicists he is also among its most controversial While still in his early twenties he was among the handful of brightyoung men who created quantum mechanics the basic physics of the atomand he became a leader of nuclear physics and elementary particleresearch He is best known for his uncertainty principle a componentof the so-called Copenhagen interpretation of the meaning and uses ofquantum mechanics Through his successful life he lived through two lost World WarsSoviet Revolution military occupation two republics political unrestand Hitler s Third Reich He was not a Nazi and like most scientistsof his day he tried not to become involved in politics He played aprominent role in German nuclear testing during the World War II era At age twenty-five he received a full professorship and won the NobelPrize in Physics in 1932 at the age of thirty-two He climbed quicklyto the top of his field beginning at the University of Munich when hisinterest in theoretical physics was sparked Heisenberg was born the son of August Heisenberg in W rzburg Germanyon December 5 1901 August Heisenberg was a professor of Greek at theUniversity of Munich His grandfather was a middle-class craftsman who shard work paid enough to afford a good education for August Heisenberg The successfulness of August Heisenberg allowed him to support hisfamily well The professorship at the University of Munich put them inthe upper middle-class elite and was paid three times the salary ofskilled workers Through his life Werner Heisenberg was pestered with health problems At the age of five he nearly died with a lung infection which helpedhim get a little preferential treatment from his parents During hisearly years Werner was in constant competition with his brother Erwinwhich caused friction The Heisenberg family were accomplishedmusicians Every evening they would sit and practice together Augustwas on the piano Erwin played the violin
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