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Uncertainty rules

By Aarathi Prasad   April 2002

In the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Heisenberg, Werner” lies between “Heidegger, Martin” and “Hell.” That is where he belongs. Heisenberg, one of the inventors of quantum mechanics, was the leader of Hitler’s atomic bomb project. After the war, he claimed that he had sabotaged the Nazi bomb effort. Many believed him. But last month, his protestations of innocence (indeed, valour) were revealed to have been almost certainly a lie. Letters written by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr, released for the first time, make it pretty clear that Heisenberg was doing everything he could to produce a nuclear weapon for the…

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