From the archive: February 1976

People and things

Werner Heisenberg

Professor Werner Heisenberg died on 1 February 1976. One of the great figures in physics, he was amongst the most active and influential scientists who worked for the creation of CERN. Born in 1901, in his 20s Heisenberg participated in the glorious days of the evolution of quantum theory, his name immortally linked to  “Uncertainty Principle”, formulated in 1926. It brought him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1932.

Heisenberg’s involvement in the affairs of CERN began as a delegate of the Federal Republic of Germany at the formative meeting in 1951; in 1952 he signed the Agreement establishing CERN in the name of the German government. He continued to give his time and abilities to CERN, as delegate to CERN Council (to 1963) and a member of the Scientific Policy Committee (to 1961). His last official appearance at CERN was in October 1971 when he inaugurated the Intersecting Storage Rings (photo above).

• Compiled from text on p59 of CERN Courier February 1976.