Imagery, Probability and the Roots of Werner Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle Paper

  • Arthur I. Miller
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 226)


I should like to set the stage for this meeting by exploring how the concept of probability was transformed by developments in atomic physics during 1913–1927. In outline I will proceed as follows: I will begin with a survey of the visual imagery, causality and probability of classical physics; then I turn to Niels Bohr’s 1913 theory of the atom and the emergence in 1924 of nonclassical notions of probability; the contrast between the quantum and wave mechanics in 1926; Max Born’s theory of scattering; Werner Heisenberg on fluctuations, discontinuity and probability; transformation theory and word meanings; the uncertainty principle paper; and then conclude with Niels Bohr’s concept of complementarity.


Classical Physic Atomic Transition Visual Imagery Wave Mechanic Correspondence Principle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur I. Miller
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of LowellLowellUSA

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