时东陆:诺贝尔奖得主海森堡的故事

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进入专题: 海森堡  

时东陆 (进入专栏)  

  他下意识的伸手摸了摸怀中的波里达手枪。他转头向左侧望去,一位穿灰色西装的中年学者快步走上讲台。很快,没有等接待人介绍,波尔格已经确定,此人就是海森堡,在这之前,波尔格早以多次研究过海森堡的照片。

  

  海森堡面带笑容,对于这种场景,他太熟悉了。他知道大家想听什么,因为物理界对于他最近创建的矩阵力学十分关注。量子力学中对基本粒子的描述有两种方法,一种是薛定鄂的波动方程,而另一种就是矩阵。用矩阵力学可以得到波尔模型的量子力学精确解,因而从另一个角度完美的定义和解释了量子力学。

  

  他走上讲台,微笑着向大家致意。然后转过身,慢慢地拿起一只粉笔。他这个似乎十分习惯而简单的动作却让波尔格出了一身汗。因为,他必须确定,海森堡讲座的内容是否关于核物理。虽然他不是物理学家,但是他受过良好的教育,对数学和语言有相当的造旨。况且,在这之前,他对核物理与核武器做了充分的准备。他实在不希望海森堡讲演核武器,但是他同时知道,自己重任在身。

  

  “我刚刚与泡利博士核对过我们的计算,我们还是无法肯定电子会围绕原子核的轨道旋转。这个图像太落入古典力学的想象,那绝对不是量子行为。但是电子一定是量子粒子。” 海森堡用一种习惯的傲慢告诉听众,算是开场白。

  

  然后,海森堡在黑板上一口气写下他量子力学的矩阵力学描述。写完之后,他向后退了一步,扫视了一遍黑板上的公式,然后拍拍手上的粉笔末,好像是讲完一个童话故事那样满意的笑了。也就是同时,波尔格大大地松了一口气,他明确地知道,这是矩阵力学,不是核物理,也不是原子弹原理。但是,报告还没有完,他还得等待。

  

  这时有人开始提问。

  

  “请问,海森堡先生,如果用矩阵表达,那么一个状态函数应该是一个矢量了,对吗?” 提问者显然是一个学生。

  

  “是的,我们称它为量子态矢量。如果没有态矢量,就无法描述矩阵所表达的运动。由于对应于矩阵A的物理量是随机的,那么对于这种物理量的描述只能是一个统计结果。” 海森堡认真的解释着。

  

  波尔格好像没有听懂这个问题,但是又不知道如何提问。不过他起码可以断定,这个问题与核武器无关。渐渐地,他开始放松了警惕。因为后面的问题实在太多,而且完全是关于矩阵力学的。他基本上放心了。

  

  终于,讲座结束了。就在讲座之后的酒会上,伯尔格举着香槟酒杯来到海森堡面前,向他祝贺讲演的成功。他们甚至像老朋友那样聊起天来。波尔格看着面前微笑的海森堡,心里想:“就在一个小时之前,我很有可能向这位伟大的物理学家开枪呢!但是他全然不知。”

  

  一年之后,盟军占领德国,拘捕了海森堡,并且把他押解英国。英美的科学家后来发现,德国根本没有力量研究核武器,他们仅仅在制造V2火箭。

  

  美军1945年在长崎投下一颗原子弹时,海森堡还被英军软禁。他听到这个消息之后站在窗口,很长时间没有说话。那些参与研制原子弹的主要科学家们大多是海森堡过去的同事和朋友。

  

  不久,海森堡被盟军释放。他回到德国任马普所所长。后来从别人那里听到当年波尔格谋刺他的事情。他回答道:“那是因为矩阵力学非常复杂。我在讲解这个理论的时候需要很多时间,根本没有时间讲别的内容。所以,是矩阵力学救了我。”

  

  海森堡1941年去哥本哈根拜访波尔时讨论了哪些问题,以及他们对战争和核武器的态度至今是科学界和历史界的疑点。他们到底讨论了什么内容,是否与核武器有关。后人无从知晓。海森堡1956在给一个朋友的信中回忆了与波尔的会见。这封信后来被这位朋友发表在一本叫做:“比太阳亮一千倍” 的书里(见附件)。波尔看后十分不安,并立即写了回信,表达他所认为的真实情况。但是这封信始终没有寄出。直到2002年才由波尔的家庭在网上发表。波尔认为,海森堡的回忆与当时的情况有极大的出入。

  

  有些人认为,由于海森堡的努力,使得纳粹德国的核武器计划流产。

  

  有些人指出,海森堡是忠实于德国的。

  

  海森堡于1976年在慕尼黑去世。

  

  伯尔格1972年去世,终身未婚。

  

  *二战中不叫中央情报局,而称为 Office of Strategic Services (OSS)。是CIA的前身。但是为了方便期间,姑且叫中情局。

  

  海森堡1956年在给朋友的信中描述1941年与波尔会见时的情景。

  

  Dear Dr. Jungk:

  

  Many thanks for your letter, asking me to write in a little more detail about my Copenhagen conversations with Bohr during WWII. In my memory which may, of course, deceive me after such a long time, the conversation roughly unfolded the following way. My visit to Copenhagen took place in the fall of 1941; I seem to remember that it was about the end of October. At that time, as a result of our experiments with uranium and heavy water, we in our "Uranium Club" had come to the following conclusion: It will definitely be possible to build a reactor from uranium and heavy water which produces energy. In this reactor (based on a theoretical work by v. Weizs?cker) a decay product of 239-uranium will be produced which just like 235-Uranium is a suitable explosive in atomic bombs. We did not know a process for obtaining of 235-Uranium with the resources available under wartime conditions in Germany, in quantities worth mentioning. Even the production of nuclear explosives from reactors obviously could only be achieved by running huge reactors for years on end. Thus we were quite clear on the fact that the production of atomic bombs would be possible only with enormous technical resources. So we knew that in principle atomic bombs could be built, although we estimated the necessary technical effort to be even rather larger than in the end it turned out to have been. This situation seemed to us to be an especially favorable precondition as it enabled the physicists to influence further developments. For, had the production of atomic bombs been impossible, the problem would not have arisen at all; but had it been easy, then the physicists definitely could not have prevented their production. The actual givens of the situation, however, gave the physicists at that moment in time a decisive amount of influence over the subsequent events, since they had good arguments for their administrations - atomic bombs probably would not come into play in the course of the war, or else that using every conceivable effort it might yet be possible to bring them into play. That both kinds of arguments were factually fully justified was shown by the subsequent development; for, in fact, the Americans could not employ the atomic bomb against Germany any more. In this situation we believed that a talk with Bohr might be of value. This talk then took place on an evening walk in the city district near Ny-Carlsberg. Because I knew that Bohr was under surveillance by German political operatives and that statements Bohr made about me would most likely be reported back to Germany, I tried to keep the conversation at a level of allusions that would not immediately endanger my life. The conversation probably started by me asking somewhat casually whether it were justifiable that physicists were devoting themselves to the Uranium problem right now during times of war, when one had to at least consider the possibility that progress in this field might lead to very grave consequences for war technology. Bohr immediately grasped the meaning of this question as I gathered from his somewhat startled reaction. He answered, as far as I can remember, with a counter-question "Do you really believe one can utilize Uranium fission for the construction of weapons?(点击此处阅读下一页)

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