more from Werner Heisenberg

Single Idea 17536

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / b. Indispensability of mathematics]

Full Idea

The solution was to turn around the question How can one in the known mathematical scheme express a given experimental situation? and ask Is it true that only such situations can arise in nature as can be expressed in the mathematical formalism?

Gist of Idea

If it can't be expressed mathematically, it can't occur in nature?


Werner Heisenberg (Physics and Philosophy [1958], 02)

Book Reference

Heisenberg,Werner: 'Physics and Philosophy' [Penguin 1989], p.30

A Reaction

This has the authority of the great Heisenberg, and is the ultimate expression of 'mathematical physics', beyond anything Galileo or Newton ever conceived. I suppose Pythagoras would have thought that Heisenberg was obviously right.