Werner Karl Heisenberg
Born: 5 December 1901, Würzburg, Germany
Died: 1 February 1976, Munich, West Germany (now Germany)
Affiliation at the time of the award: Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
Prize motivation: "for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen"
Field: quantum mechanics
Werner Heisenberg received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1933.
Prize share: 1/1
In Niels Bohr's theory of the atom, electrons absorb and emit radiation of fixed wavelengths when jumping between fixed orbits around a nucleus. The theory provided a good description of the spectrum created by the hydrogen atom, but needed to be developed to suit more complicated atoms and molecules. In 1925, Werner Heisenberg formulated a type of quantum mechanics based on matrices. In 1927 he proposed the "uncertainty relation", setting limits for how precisely the position and velocity of a particle can be simultaneously determined.