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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross

**Copenhagen (2002)**

36:50

conversation about a time when Heisenberg pointed out that Bohr’s mathematics
is wrong.

37:50

HEISENBERG: Of course, you wanted to win. What about those games of poker then
at the ski hut in Bayrisch Zell. You wanted to clean us out, remember, with
a nonexisting straight. We are all mathematicians, we are all counting cards,
we were all 90% certain he hasn’t got anything, but on he goes raising
us and raising us. This insane confidence, till our faith in mathematical probability
begins to waver and one by one we all throw in.

BOHR: I thought I had a straight, I misread the cards, I bluffed myself.

40:30

HEISENBERG: I was always envious, the way you and Margareta, your work, your
problems, me no doubt.

BOHR: I was formed by nature to be a mathematically curious entity, not one,
but half of two.

HEISENBERG: Mathematics becomes very odd when you apply it to people. One and
one can add up to so many different sums.

51:54

BOHR: We are going to make the whole thing clear to Margareta. You know how
strongly I believe that we don’t do science for ourselves that we can
explain to others…

HEISENBERG: In plain language

BOHR: In plain language. Not your view, I know. You’d be happy to describe
what you are up to purely in differential equations if you could, but for Margareta’s
sake...

HEISENBERG: In plain language.

1:10:14

HEISENBERG: Scroedinger said my mathematics were repulsive

BOHR: You had gone mad by that time. You had become fanatical. You were refusing
to allow wave theory any place in quantum mechanics at all.

HEISENBERG: You completely turned your coat.

BOHR: I said that wave mechanics and matrix mechanics were simply alternative
tools.

HEISENBERG: Something you are always accusing me of. If it works it works, never
mind what it means.

BOHR: Of course I mind what it means.

HEISENBERG: What it means in language.

BOHR: In plain language.

HEISENBERG: What something means is what it means in mathematics.

BOHR: You think so long as the mathematics works out the sense doesn’t
matter.

HEISENBERG: The sense is mathematics, that’s what sense is.

…

You actually love the paradoxes, I mean that’s your problem. You revel
in the contradictions.

BOHR: Yes and you have never been able to understand the suggestiveness of paradox
and contradiction that’s your problem.

1:14:24

Nice description of quantum mechanics reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe conversation
with Einstein.

1:27:55

Mathematics not right