Werner Heisenberg - Atomic Quotes
5 Sourced Quotes
In the experiments about atomic events we have to do with things and facts, with phenomena that are just as real as any phenomena in daily life. But the atoms of the elementary particles are not as real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.
However the development proceeds in detail, the path so far traced by the quantum theory indicates that an understanding of those still unclarified features of atomic physics can only be acquired by foregoing visualization and objectification to an extent greater than that customary hitherto. We have probably no reason to regret this, because the thought of the great epistemological difficulties with which the visual atom concept of earlier physics had to contend gives us the hope that the abstracter atomic physics developing at present will one day fit more harmoniously into the great edifice of Science.
I remember discussions with Bohr which went through many hours till very late at night and ended almost in despair; and when at the end of the discussion I went alone for a walk in the neighbouring park I repeated to myself again and again the question: Can nature possibly be so absurd as it seemed to us in these atomic experiments?