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Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  1,631 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg's classic account explains the central ideas of the quantum revolution, and his celebrated Uncertainty Principle. The theme of Heisenberg's exposition is that words and concepts familiar in daily life can lose their meaning in the world of relativity and quantum physics. This in turn has profound philosophical implications for the natur ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 3rd 2000 by Penguin Classics (first published 1958)
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Aug 18, 2008 Robert rated it did not like it

Really, the title should have warned me that I was unlikely to get along with this book - but it doesn't actually say, Physics and Metaphysics. I have very little time for metaphysics; it's day is long since past (couple of millenia, at least) and it is really only of historical interest to those concerned with understanding nature. Far too much of the book is spent on either; comparing quantum mechanics (QM) with Western metaphysics or pondering unanswerable conund
Austin Wright
Aug 22, 2012 Austin Wright rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Physics and Philosophy by Werner Heisenberg Review

Physics and Philosophy is a book published in 1962 by Werner Heisenberg, a “giant of modern physics”, about the theory of Quantum Mechanics and its philosophical implications. This book is certainly best read with prior knowledge of some classical and some quantum physics. I actually read it knowing little or nothing about quantum physics, and the parts that described in detail the physics seemed technical and hard to understand, yet still i coul
Cassandra Kay Silva
Jul 05, 2012 Cassandra Kay Silva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Heisenberg the famous Nobel Prize winner takes us through the building up of our current understanding of Quantum Reality and the physics that lead up to this. He gives a good discussion of the Uncertainty principle of which he is so famous for and how this will impact the future of physics and how we see the world. The title is misleading however, don't expect much philosophy out of this book, and of course it was written when many ideas of modern physics were not even hardly fleshed out yet. I ...more
Jul 26, 2012 Martina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: physics, philosophy
This has got to be one of the most singular reading experiences ever. Ever. Heisenberg's book is so unusual, refreshing and unique - I'm not even sure on which shelf to put it. The funny thing is, this book is not so much about physics, or about philosophy, for that matter. Perhaps a more apt title would be The life and times of Werner H. It reads like a novel, and, in a way, it is a novel. I would call it a "novelized autobiography", for Werner talks about his life, his work, his thoughts in a ...more
Jun 13, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some Knots Have Knotted Limbs

Toward the end of Physics and Philosophy Werner Heisenberg presciently mentions the incompatibility of quantum mechanics with relativity and the need for coherent concepts that allow for both theories without mathematical inconsistencies. Today unified field theories of quantum gravity that attempt to reconcile quantum mechanics with relativity are being explored by physicists in proposals like string theory. Heisenberg also mentions that the physicists of his time w
May 22, 2017 Yasser rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
«فقد فسّر بلانك في أثناء هذه النزهة، كيف أنه لمس إمكانية التوصل إلى كشف، بكل ما تحمله هذه الكلمة من معنى، هذا الكشف لا يُضاهيه إلا اكتشافات نيوتن»

إذن، نحن على موعد مع فيرنر هايزنبرج Werner Heisenberg، ذلك الفتى الألماني المشاكس المحب للعلم، والذي تتلمذ على يد أبرز علماء الفيزياء في زمانه، منهم مثلا سومرفيلد، وصاحب واحد من أكبر المساهمات في نظرية الكوانتم، وهو مبدأ عدم التأكد Uncertainty principle، والحاصل على نوبل في عام ١٩٣٢.

(في نهاية الترجمة العربية، نسخة المركز القومي للترجمة، هناك ملحق يسرد
Mengsen Zhang
Apr 06, 2013 Mengsen Zhang rated it liked it
ok. it's a great book. I'm giving three stars based on my personal experience with this book-- I do not fully understand his composition of this book. I have to ignore many passages to have a holistic impression of what he's arguing about.
Based on what I understand, I would give this book another name: "Language and Dispute: the evolution of human knowledge". I would say it's more about language and reality rather than physics and philosophy. The most charming part of this book to me, is his ana
Jan 27, 2017 Lucas rated it really liked it
Cuối cùng cũng "luộc" được xong quyển này. Nhìn chung là vừa hài lòng, vừa không hài lòng. Được viết bởi cha đẻ của cơ học lượng tử, một tượng đài của vật lý hiện đại, tôi kỳ vọng quyển sách này hay hơn thế. Tuy nhiên, có quá nhiều thuật ngữ và ngôn từ của vật lý và quá ít chất triết học trong quyển sách này, do đó, sẽ là một cuốn sách khá khó đọc cho dân ngoại đạo.

Tuy nhiên, phần triết học ít ỏi trong sách lại không hề là một chủ đề khiêm tốn chút nào, nhất là khi nó gần như là một khẳng định
Anna Hiller
Feb 15, 2009 Anna Hiller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics, philosophy
This is really a book about physics that only lightly touches on philosophy. A good reason to read it would be to understand why it is that 20th century physics totally changed the world, something that I think is generally forgotten these days in spite of our (ab)use of technology, the prodigal wunderkind of the advances in science over the last 200 years or so. The thing to remember about Heisenberg's book is that it was written at the height of the Cold War, and therefore beneath the shadow o ...more
Zeiad ِAlmallah
كتاب قيم و رائع للمختصين في مجال الفيزياء و الهندسة حيث يثبت فيه الكاتب ان التطورات الحاصلة في الفيزياء اظهرت بأن الطبيعة لاتسيروفقا لقوانين (الفيزياء الكلاسيكية) و يناقش افكار الفيزياء الحديثة بطريقة فلسفية و يقارنها ببعض الافكار و التقاليد الاقدم عهدا.من الجدير بالذكر ان الكتاب نشر سنة 1958 لذلك قد يمر على القارئ بعض المعلومات كانت ان ذاك في محل شكوك و تم اثباتها تجريبيا في الوقت الحالي.الترجمه جيدة لكتاب فلسفي علمي يصنع فرقا في طريقة تفكير القارئ تجاه العلوم الطبيعية
Jan 28, 2015 Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

الكتاب يتكلم بشكل عام عن النظريتين اللتان أحدثتا قفزة في فهمنا للطبيعة، وهما النظرية النسبية ونظرية الكم.

ويبين ارتباط الأفكار الفلسفية للفلاسفة بالفيزياء من ناحية أن الفلاسفة أتوا بأفكار ساهمت في تطور العلوم وأخرى وقفت عائق لتطورها، كما أنه من الممكن النظر إلى الأفكار الفلسفية القديمة من منظار الفيزياء الحديثة بحيث تصبح تلك الأفكار الفلسفية متوافقة مع الفيزياء الحديثة.

ثم يتحدث الكتاب عن اللغة وكونها سببت سوء فهم كبير في فهم النظريتين، وأنها احتاجت للتطور لكي تستخدم مصطلحاتها
Daniel Prasetyo
May 08, 2012 Daniel Prasetyo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The essence of quantum physics from one of it's founder. Mind blowing..
Robert Varik
Mulle tundub, et ma sain umbes 1/5-st aru.
Mar 08, 2017 metralindol rated it it was amazing
Чудова книга. І той вишуканий фінішний захід на широкі висновки. Велична споруда з сотнею вікон і тисячами сходів, увінчана тендітною і вишуканою скульптурою-алегорією поступові людської думки, з двома опорами - прямоходяча, з душею, відкритою до нових запитань, пошуків і відповідальної дії.

Якби це був інстаграм - тут доречно було б завершити тегом #wishiknewthatguy)
Asmaa M
Jul 01, 2016 Asmaa M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب مُهمّ جِدّ.
حاول فيه هايزنبرغ أن يربط بين الفيزياء -خاصة الحديثة- والفلسفة.
قام هايزنبررغ بكتابة تقدِيم تارِيخي لنظريّة الكمّ وبشرح مُستضيف حولها وبإعطاء التّفسِير الكوبنهاجني لها، كما ركّز كثِيرا على شرح النّظريّة النّسبية لآينشتاين... كان من المُهمّ أن يقُوم بشرح النّظريّتين لكي يفهم القارِئ الفُصول التّي ربط بِها الفيزياء بالفلسفة.

بالنّسبة للفُصول المُرتبطة بالفلسفة كانت -برأيي- هي الأهم.
الفصل4: نظريّة الكم وبدايات النّظرية الذّريّة.
تحدّث فيه عن مفهوم المادة والذّرة في الفلسفة اليونانيّة و
David Withun
Feb 13, 2017 David Withun rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Heisenberg speaks across disciplines to convey something of the implications of new discoveries in physics for human thought and life more generally. In so doing, he has provided a quite readable and engaging introduction to the field of quantum physics. Of particular interest is Heisenberg's discussion of the relationship between the discoveries of quantum physics and the world as it is perceived in classical physics and in everyday observation. The final two chapters, discussing the implicatio ...more
Mesbah Khandan
Jul 05, 2016 Mesbah Khandan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
در حال حاضر کتاب نایابیست؛اتفاقی در بساط دستفروشی در حوالی میدان انقلاب یافتمش

سطر به سطرش برام ارزش زیادی داشت

اثری دست اول در تاریخ و فلسفهی فیزیک محسوب میشه

از اونجایی که رویکرد هایزنبرگ در مواجهه با فیزیک جدید کاملا عکس اینتشین و تا حدی ماکسپلانک میباشد و من بیشتر با نظرات آن دو آشنا بودم، مطالب این کتاب دید متفاوتی نسبت به تئوریهای نسبیت و کوانتوم و نسبت و ربطِ آنها با مبانی معرفتی مدرنیته و فلسفهی جدید به من داد
Manuel Crespo-Rodríguez
It's a book about how changes found in modern physics gives a paradigm change to the understanding of philosophy.
Guga Mikaberidze
Nov 28, 2016 Guga Mikaberidze rated it liked it
კარგად დაძველებული წიგნია.
ისტორიულ ამბავში მაინც საინტერესოა და ზოგი ნაწილი ისედაც კარგია.
May 14, 2012 Zrinka rated it liked it
Gives a review of the progress of physics in the 20th century, and explains the consequences of the new ideas. Also, he writes about the relationship between physics, chemistry, biology and religion.
Oct 11, 2013 Edward rated it it was amazing

--Physics and Philosophy
Ege Özmeral
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tanuj Tanmay
Jan 07, 2017 Tanuj Tanmay rated it it was ok
An already complex topic combined with the esoteric language used by Heisenberg makes it an extremely difficult read. A basic knowledge of quantum physics and relativity is not sufficient to understand the book.

There is more of history of philosophy than the philosophy itself in the book. Moreover, it is clear that Heisenberg has soft side for ancient Greek philosophy, and he makes deliberate effort to show its analogy with quantum physics, which I think was quite inane.

The most important take
Feb 20, 2014 Rama rated it it was amazing
Existence and physical reality according to physicist Werner Heisenberg

At the turn of 20th century when quantum physics was born; the founding fathers of this scientific revolution were thinking deeply about the philosophical consequences of the new physics in terms of existence and physical reality (ontology). The reality perceived through the laws of classical physics provided strong challenges to quantum reality and human knowledge of quantum physical concepts (epistemology). In addition, the
Kyle van Oosterum
May 27, 2017 Kyle van Oosterum rated it liked it
Took me exceptionally long to finish this one due to school and other extraneous factors, but I can say it was very informative although the writing was somewhat prosaic. Heisenberg is obviously an authority on physics and seems to understand Western (and to a smaller extent) Eastern philosophy, but I found that the way in which he conveyed it was not as stimulating as the content itself. Nevertheless, for the purpose for which I read the book it was satisfying.
Aug 01, 2014 Sam rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
About 400 years have passed since the dawn of the scientific method. Is physics coming to an end? Are we doomed to live in a weird reality without a fundamental understanding, as suggested by relativity and quantum mechanics?

The Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, as has been called, explains the results of quantum mechanics as follows. Take a particle, an electron. From a classical point of view, when we are not observing the electron, it should still exist and have a certain posit
Conner Houghtby
Jun 23, 2013 Conner Houghtby rated it it was amazing
I would like to quoto the final paragraph of this very insightful and compelling book:

"Coming now to a conclusion from all that has been said about modern science, one may perhaps state that modern physics is just one, but a very characteristic, part of a general historical process that tends toward a unification and a widening of out present world. This process would in itself lead to a diminution of those cultural and political tensions that create the great danger of our time. But it is acco
Apr 22, 2012 Liam rated it really liked it
"The observation itself changes the probability function discontinuously; it selects of all possible events the actual one hat has taken place." (54)

"We may remark at this point that modern physics is in some way extremely near to the doctrines of Heraclitus. If we replace the word 'fire' by the word 'energy' we can almost repeat his statements word for word from our modern point of view." (63)

"Natural science does not simply describe and explain nature; it is a part of the interplay between nat
Becky Shattuck
Oct 26, 2016 Becky Shattuck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: math-and-science
Physics and Philosophy gives only a brief overview of the history of science that led to quantum physics. I expected it to have a larger explanatory component, but, instead, it offered more of a review. Without the appropriate background knowledge, it's impossible to proceed through this book and understand the science Heisenberg uses as the basis for his philosophical arguments.

At a few points in the book, he struggled to explain concepts without the use of mathematics, and I wondered why he d
Page Quinton
Heisenberg's historical account of the progression of thought in both physics and philosophy operates, at least in my eyes, as a means to illustrate his understanding of what exactly science is. The information presented in reference to the historical developments in both science (of course most notably physics, given the topic of the text) and philosophy tended towards that of an introductory text. Though for me this added a repetitive nature to some of the essays, it allows the text to be more ...more
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Wrong Cover 6 7 Apr 18, 2013 06:39PM  
  • The Value of Science: Essential Writings of Henri Poincare
  • Wholeness and the Implicate Order
  • What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches
  • The Character of Physical Law
  • The Principles of Quantum Mechanics
  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science
  • The Ghost in the Atom: A Discussion of the Mysteries of Quantum Physics
  • The Human Use Of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society
  • Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics
  • The Scientific Outlook
  • Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory
  • Physics and Philosophy
  • The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science
  • The Nature Of The Physical World
  • The New Quantum Universe
  • Science and the Modern World
  • Disturbing the Universe
  • Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science
Werner Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who made foundational contributions to quantum mechanics and is best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory. In addition, he made important contributions to nuclear physics, quantum field theory, and particle physics.
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“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” 138 likes
“Whenever we proceed from the known into the unknown we may hope to understand, but we may have to learn at the same time a new meaning of the word 'understanding.” 45 likes
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