A Brief History of Time - Chapter 4 The Uncertainty Principle Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 4 The Uncertainty Principle Summary and Analysis

In 1900, Max Plank proposes the idea that electromagnetic radiation, which includes visible light, X rays, gamma rays and other forms of radiation travelling in waves, is emitted in packets called quanta. In 1926, Werner Heisenberg develops the uncertainty principle, where the position and speed of atomic particles cannot be measured without disturbing the position and speed of the particles. In effect, the universe cannot be deterministic, completely predictable, if the present state of the universe cannot be determined accurately. Heisenberg and Erwin Shrodinger then bring out a reformulation of standard mechanics that they call quantum mechanics.

In quantum mechanics, predictions consist of a number of possibilities. Each possibility has a probability of occurring for any given event, and so chance plays a part in the universe. Einstein's objection is often quoted: "God does not play dice...

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