Making Sense of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

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On October 20, Chris Swanson will give the second talk in the series “It’s Complicated: The Histories Behind What We Think We Know.”

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle suggests that at the most fundamental atomic level the physical world is fully random and uncaused in the usual sense. Due to the sensational nature of the claim, much has been made of this principle in physics, philosophy, religion, and, of course, science fiction. What is less appreciated is that there was a lively debate about randomness while the theory was being formulated. “God does not play dice,” said Einstein famously. This class will explore the complexities of the issue in a non-technical way showing that the community of physicists could easily have gone a different way.

Chris Swanson is the president of Gutenberg College where he has been a tutor since the college opened its doors in 1994. He has a B.S. in physics and math and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics. He has also done post-doctoral research at the University of Oregon and taught at Westmont College in California.

This class may be attended in person at Gutenberg College or online via Zoom. There is no charge for in-person attendance. There is a small charge for remote attendance. Registration is required to attend via Zoom.

Register for Zoom
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