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Werner Heisenberg’s “uncertainty principle” challenged centuries of scientific understanding, placed him in direct opposition to Albert Einstein, and put Niels Bohr in the middle of one of the most heated debates in scientific history. Heisenberg’s theorem stated that there were physical limits to what we could know about sub-atomic particles; this “uncertainty” would have shocking implications. In a riveting account, David Lindley captures this critical episode and explains one of the most important scientific discoveries in history, which has since transcended the boundaries of science and influenced everything from literary theory to television.
“Brilliantly captures the personalities and the science surrounding the most revolutionary principle in modern physics. This book is . . . truly thrilling.” —Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe
“Charmingly written and a delight to read. . . . Highlights the human element of science.”—The Economist
“Provides a useful précis of the mind-blowing progress of physics in the early 20th century.” —The New York Times
“Far and away the best popular account of the development of quantum mechanics I have encountered.” —Michael D. Gordin, American Scientist