Ideas from 'Physics and Philosophy' by Werner Heisenberg [1958], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Physics and Philosophy' by Heisenberg,Werner [Penguin 1989,0-14-014660-1]].

Click on the Idea Number for the full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / b. Indispensability of mathematics
If it can't be expressed mathematically, it can't occur in nature?
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Realism
Quantum theory shows that exact science does not need dogmatic realism
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 3. Anti-realism
Quantum theory does not introduce minds into atomic events
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 2. Powers as Basic
A 'probability wave' is a quantitative version of Aristotle's potential, a mid-way type of reality
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
We can retain the idea of 'substance', as indestructible mass or energy
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / b. Form as principle
Basic particles have a mathematical form, which is more important than their substance
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Lawlike explanations
We give a mathematical account of a system of natural connections in order to clarify them
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / c. Substantival space
So-called 'empty' space is the carrier of geometry and kinematics
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / f. Presentism
In relativity the length of the 'present moment' is relative to distance from the observer
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 2. Types of Laws
Seven theories in science: mechanics, heat, electricity, quantum, particles, relativity, life
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / i. Modern matter
Position is complementary to velocity or momentum, so the whole system is indeterminate
It was formerly assumed that electromagnetic waves could not be a reality in themselves
Radiation interference needs waves, but radiation photoelectric effect needs particles
An atom's stability after collisions needs explaining (which Newton's mechanics can't do)
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 3. Force
Maxwell introduced real fields, which transferred forces from point to point
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 4. Energy
Energy is that which moves, and is the substance from which everything is made
Energy is an unchanging substance, having many forms, and causing all change