Rights sold: English
Format 140x220 Hardcover
EUR 26,90 / sFr 38,50
ISBN ebook: 9783701743285
published in September 2011
My dear Li!
Letters from 1937-1946
Difficult times: the personal side of the great Physicist
When Werner Heisenberg first met Elisabeth Schumacher in 1937 he was 35 years old and had been a professor for Theoretical Physics at the University of Leipzig for ten years. In 1932 he had received the Nobel Prize. But he wasn’t doing so well: He was lonely and the political situation and ensuing exodus of German scientists was a heavy weight on his chest. He was attacked as the “White Jew” because he taught Einstein’s theory of relativity. Only two weeks after meeting the couple got engaged, a few months later they were married. Shortly after the war broke out, Heisenberg was asked to join the “Uranium Project”, the German nuclear energy project – from then on he barely saw his young family for years.
The exchange of letters shows his heartfelt efforts to share a life in spite of the many obstacles and large distance separating him from his family. The letters are supplemented with previously unpublished dairy entries from the last days of the war. It is the touching testimony of a time period where he sought to preserve a personal emotional retreat.
Werner Heisenberg, 1901-1976, was one of the most prominent figures of Theoretical Physics and Quantum Mechanics. In 1932 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for the formulation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. From 1933-1945 he stayed in Germany, which led to much animosity against him. From 1939 onwards he worked on the development of nuclear power plants, was detained in England in 1945 and released a year later to help build up an institute for Physics in Göttingen. From 1958-1970 he was head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich.
Anna Maria Heisenberg, the eldest daughter of Werner and Elisabeth Heisenberg, was born in 1938. She studied Music and Psychology and worked as an advisor and teacher in Bonn. She lives near Munich. In 2003 she published letters to his parents from Heisenberg’s private estate, titled “Liebe Eltern! Briefe aus kritischer Zeit 1918-1945”.