Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker

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Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Weizsäcker (June 28, 1912 – 28 April 2007) was a German physicist
Physicist
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...

 and philosopher. He was the longest-living member of the research team which performed nuclear research in Germany during the Second World War, under Werner Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who made foundational contributions to quantum mechanics and is best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory...

's leadership. There is ongoing debate as to whether he, and the other members of the team, actually willingly pursued the development of a nuclear bomb for Germany during this time.

Weizsäcker was the son of the diplomat Ernst von Weizsäcker
Ernst von Weizsäcker
Ernst Freiherr von Weizsäcker was a German diplomat and politician. He served as State Secretary at the Foreign Office from 1938 to 1943, and as German Ambassador to the Holy See from 1943 to 1945...

, the elder brother of the former German President
President of Germany
The President of the Federal Republic of Germany is the country's head of state. His official title in German is Bundespräsident . Germany has a parliamentary system of government and so the position of President is largely ceremonial...

 Richard von Weizsäcker
Richard von Weizsäcker
Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker , known as Richard von Weizsäcker, is a German politician . He served as Governing Mayor of West Berlin from 1981 to 1984, and as President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1984 to 1994...

, father of the physicist and environmental researcher Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker is a German scientist and politician.He is son of the physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and nephew of the former German President Richard von Weizsäcker....

 and brother-in-law of the former General Secretary of the World Council of Churches
World Council of Churches
The World Council of Churches is a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service. It is a Christian ecumenical organization that is based in the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland...

 Konrad Raiser
Konrad Raiser
Konrad Raiser is a former General Secretary of the World Council of Churches .Born in Magdeburg, Germany on 25 January 1938, Konrad Raiser studied spent his childhood in Schwerin, Göttingen and Bad Godesberg...

.

Born in Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

, Schleswig-Holstein
Province of Schleswig-Holstein
The Province of Schleswig-Holstein was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1868 to 1946. It was created from the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, which had been conquered by Prussia and the Austrian Empire from Denmark in the Second War of Schleswig in 1864...

, Weizsäcker was raised in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

, Basel
Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

, and Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. From 1929 to 1933, Weizsäcker studied physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 in Berlin, Göttingen and Leipzig
University of Leipzig
The University of Leipzig , located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university in Germany...

 supervised by and in cooperation with Heisenberg and Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr mentored and collaborated with many of the top physicists of the century at his institute in...

, among others. The supervisor of his doctoral thesis was Friedrich Hund
Friedrich Hund
Friedrich Hermann Hund was a German physicist from Karlsruhe known for his work on atoms and molecules.Hund worked at the Universities of Rostock, Leipzig, Jena, Frankfurt am Main, and Göttingen....

.

His special interests as a young researcher were the nuclear processes in stars, and the binding energy
Binding energy
Binding energy is the mechanical energy required to disassemble a whole into separate parts. A bound system typically has a lower potential energy than its constituent parts; this is what keeps the system together—often this means that energy is released upon the creation of a bound state...

 of atomic nuclei
Atomic nucleus
The nucleus is the very dense region consisting of protons and neutrons at the center of an atom. It was discovered in 1911, as a result of Ernest Rutherford's interpretation of the famous 1909 Rutherford experiment performed by Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden, under the direction of Rutherford. The...

. Together with Hans Bethe
Hans Bethe
Hans Albrecht Bethe was a German-American nuclear physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. A versatile theoretical physicist, Bethe also made important contributions to quantum electrodynamics, nuclear physics, solid-state physics and...

 he found a mechanism or pathway for the cyclic process of fusion
Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process by which two or more atomic nuclei join together, or "fuse", to form a single heavier nucleus. This is usually accompanied by the release or absorption of large quantities of energy...

 in stars (Bethe–Weizsäcker process, published 1937-1939). This discovery should not be confused with his development of the Bethe–Weizsäcker formula, or Semi-empirical mass formula
Semi-empirical mass formula
In nuclear physics, the semi-empirical mass formula is used to approximate the mass and various other properties of an atomic nucleus...

 (SEMF), a theoretical formula for the curve of nuclear binding energy
Nuclear binding energy
Nuclear binding energy is the energy required to split a nucleus of an atom into its component parts. The component parts are neutrons and protons, which are collectively called nucleons...

 and certain other nuclear properties.
Weizsäcker was also credited by physicist George Gamow
George Gamow
George Gamow , born Georgiy Antonovich Gamov , was a Russian-born theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He discovered alpha decay via quantum tunneling and worked on radioactive decay of the atomic nucleus, star formation, stellar nucleosynthesis, Big Bang nucleosynthesis, cosmic microwave...

 for significant theoretical work on planetary formation in the early solar system.

Background


He was the grandson of Karl Hugo von Weizsäcker, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Württemberg
Kingdom of Württemberg
The Kingdom of Württemberg was a state that existed from 1806 to 1918, located in present-day Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was a continuation of the Duchy of Württemberg, which came into existence in 1495...

. His grandfather was ennobled in 1897, and raised to the hereditary nobility with the title of Baron (Freiherr) in 1916. As such Carl Friedrich Weizsäcker became Baron Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker at the age of four. Since 1919, noble titles have legally been considered parts of the family name.

Work on atomic weapons


As a theoretical physicist, Weizsäcker (and 200 more physicist according to his own guess) had recognized immediately after nuclear fission
Nuclear fission
In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts , often producing free neutrons and photons , and releasing a tremendous amount of energy...

 had become known (cf. Otto Hahn
Otto Hahn
Otto Hahn FRS was a German chemist and Nobel laureate, a pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry. He is regarded as "the father of nuclear chemistry". Hahn was a courageous opposer of Jewish persecution by the Nazis and after World War II he became a passionate campaigner...

) in 1938 that nuclear weapon
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

s could potentially be built. He discussed the upsetting implications in February 1938 with philosopher friend Georg Picht. During the Second World War, Weizsäcker joined the German nuclear energy project
German nuclear energy project
The German nuclear energy project, , was an attempted clandestine scientific effort led by Germany to develop and produce the atomic weapons during the events involving the World War II...

, participating in efforts to construct an atomic bomb. As early as August 1939, Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

 had warned U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 about this research and that: "... the son of the German Under-Secretary of State, von Weizsäcker, is attached to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated."

As a protégé of Werner Heisenberg
Werner Heisenberg
Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who made foundational contributions to quantum mechanics and is best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory...

, Weizsäcker was present at a crucial meeting at the Army Ordnance headquarters in Berlin on 17 September 1939, at which the German atomic weapons program was launched. Early during the war -possibly until 1942-, he had been hoping for political influence growing out of participation in a successful nuclear weapons project. In July 1940 he was co-author of a report to the Army on the possibility of "energy production" from refined uranium
Uranium
Uranium is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table, with atomic number 92. It is assigned the chemical symbol U. A uranium atom has 92 protons and 92 electrons, of which 6 are valence electrons...

. The report also predicted the possibility of using plutonium
Plutonium
Plutonium is a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the chemical symbol Pu and atomic number 94. It is an actinide metal of silvery-gray appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidized. The element normally exhibits six allotropes and four oxidation...

 for the same purpose including the production of a new type of explosives. During summer 1942 Weizsäcker filed a patent on a transportable "process to generate energy and neutrons by an explosion ... e.g., a bomb". The patent application was found in the 1990s in Moscow.

Historians have been divided as to whether Heisenberg and his team were sincerely trying to construct a nuclear weapon, or whether their failure reflected a desire not to succeed because they did not want the Nazi regime to have such a weapon. This latter view, largely based on postwar interviews with Heisenberg and Weizsäcker, was put forward by Robert Jungk
Robert Jungk
Robert Jungk , also known as Robert Baum and Robert Baum-Jungk, was an Austrian writer and journalist who wrote mostly on issues relating to nuclear weapons....

 in his 1957 book Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. In a 1957 interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel
Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. It is one of Europe's largest publications of its kind, with a weekly circulation of more than one million.-Overview:...

, Weizsäcker frankly admitted to the scientific ambitions of those years "We wanted to know if chain reactions were possible. No matter what we would end up doing with our knowledge – we wanted to know." Only by "divine grace", Weizsäcker said, they were spared the temptation to build the bomb - grace, as the German war economy was unable to mobilize the necessary resources.

Original sources about this question were not revealed until 1993, when transcripts of secretly recorded conversations among ten top German physicists, including Heisenberg and Weizsäcker, detained under Operation Epsilon
Operation Epsilon
Operation Epsilon was the codename of a program in which Allied forces near the end of World War II detained ten German scientists who were thought to have worked on Nazi Germany's nuclear program. The scientists were captured between May 1 and June 30, 1945, and interned at Farm Hall, a bugged...

 at Farm Hall, near Cambridge
Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

 in late 1945, were published. In the conversation after the group of detainees had listened to the BBC radio news on dropping of the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, Weizsäcker said: "I believe the reason we didn't do it was because all the physicists didn't want to do it, on principle. If we had wanted Germany to win the war we would have succeeded!" But the "Farm Hall Transcripts" also revealed that Weizsäcker had taken the lead in arguing for an agreement among the scientists that they would claim that they had never wanted to develop a German nuclear weapon. This story was at least untrue to the extent that the detainees also included scientists actively engaged in eager attempts to build a nuclear bomb, namely Kurt Diebner
Kurt Diebner
Kurt Diebner was a German nuclear physicist who is well known for directing and administrating the German nuclear energy project, a secretive program aiming to built weapon of mass destruction for the Nazi Germany during the course of World War II...

 and Walter Gerlach
Walter Gerlach
Walter Gerlach was a German physicist who co-discovered spin quantization in a magnetic field, the Stern-Gerlach effect.-Education:Gerlach was born in Biebrich, Hessen-Nassau....

. Max von Laue
Max von Laue
Max Theodor Felix von Laue was a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1914 for his discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals...

 later called this agreement "die Lesart" (the Version). Although the memorandum which the scientists drew up was drafted by Heisenberg, von Laue wrote: "The leader in all these discussions was Weizsäcker. I did not hear any mention of any ethical point of view." It was this version of events which was given to Jungk as the basis of his book.

Weizsäcker stated himself that Heisenberg, Karl Wirtz
Karl Wirtz
Karl Eugen Julius Wirtz was a German nuclear physicist. He was arrested by the allied British and American Armed Forces and incarcerated at Farm Hall for six months in 1945 under Operation Epsilon.-Education:...

 and he had a private agreement to study nuclear fission to the fullest possible in order to "decide" themselves how to proceed with its technical application. "There was no conspiracy, not even in our small three-men-circle, with certainty not to make the bomb. Just as little, there was no passion to make the bomb..." In a recent report based on additional documents from Russian archives, historian Mark Walker
Mark Walker
For the fisher and songwriter with the same name, see Mark Walker . For the Canadian Ethicist, see Mark Alan WalkerGeneral Sir Mark Walker VC KCB was born in Gore Port, Finea, County Westmeath in Ireland...

 concludes that "in comparison with Diebner [and] Gerlach ... Heisenberg and finally Weizsäcker did obviously not use all power they commanded to provide the National Socialists with nuclear weapons".

Ivan Supek
Ivan Supek
Ivan Supek was a Croatian physicist, philosopher, writer, playwright, peace activist and humanist.-Early years and education:Supek was born on April 8, 1915 in Zagreb, Croatia...

 (one of Heisenberg's students and friends) claimed that Weizsäcker was the main figure of the famous and controversial Heisenberg–Bohr meeting in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 in September 1941. Allegedly, he tried to persuade Bohr to mediate for peace between Germany and Great Britain. According to Weizsäcker's own account, he had persuaded Heisenberg to meet Bohr in order to broker an accord of the international nuclear physicist "community" not to build the bomb.

Weizsäcker worked later during the war as a professor in Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

. The American capture of his laboratory and papers there in December 1944 revealed to the Western Allies that the Germans had not come close to developing a nuclear weapon.

Postwar career


Weizsäcker was allowed to return to Germany in 1946 and became director of a department for theoretical physics in the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Göttingen
Göttingen
Göttingen is a university town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Göttingen. The Leine river runs through the town. In 2006 the population was 129,686.-General information:...

 (successor of Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
The Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science was a German scientific institution established in 1911. It was implicated in Nazi science, and after the Second World War was wound up and its functions replaced by the Max Planck Society...

). From 1957 to 1969, Weizsäcker was professor of philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 at the University of Hamburg
University of Hamburg
The University of Hamburg is a university in Hamburg, Germany. It was founded on 28 March 1919 by Wilhelm Stern and others. It grew out of the previous Allgemeines Vorlesungswesen and the Kolonialinstitut as well as the Akademisches Gymnasium. There are around 38,000 students as of the start of...

. In 1957 he won the Max Planck medal. In 1970 he formulated a "Weltinnenpolitik
Global governance
Global governance or world governance is the political interaction of transnational actors aimed at solving problems that affect more than one state or region when there is no power of enforcing compliance. The modern question of world governance exists in the context of globalization...

" (world internal policy). From 1970 to 1980, he was head of the "Max Planck Institute for the Research of Living Conditions in the Modern World" in Starnberg
Starnberg
The city of Starnberg is in Bavaria, Germany, some 30 km south-west of Munich. It lies at the north end of Lake Starnberg, in the heart of the "Five Lakes Country", and serves as capital of the district of Starnberg...

. He researched and published on the danger of nuclear war
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear warfare, or atomic warfare, is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is detonated on an opponent. Compared to conventional warfare, nuclear warfare can be vastly more destructive in range and extent of damage...

, what he saw as the conflict between the first world
First World
The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the United States. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a...

 and the third world
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

, and the consequences of environmental destruction. In the 1970s he founded, together with the Indian philosopher Pandit Gopi Krishna, a research foundation "for western sciences and eastern wisdom". After his retirement in 1980 he became a Christian pacifist
Christian pacifism
Christian pacifism is the theological and ethical position that any form of violence is incompatible with the Christian faith. Christian pacifists state that Jesus himself was a pacifist who taught and practiced pacifism, and that his followers must do likewise.There have been various notable...

, and intensified his work on the conceptual definition of quantum physics, particularly on the Copenhagen Interpretation
Copenhagen interpretation
The Copenhagen interpretation is one of the earliest and most commonly taught interpretations of quantum mechanics. It holds that quantum mechanics does not yield a description of an objective reality but deals only with probabilities of observing, or measuring, various aspects of energy quanta,...

.

His experiences in the Nazi era, and with his own behavior in this time, gave Weizsäcker an interest in questions on ethics and responsibility. He was one of the Göttinger 18
Göttinger 18
The Göttingen Eighteen was a group of eighteen leading nuclear researchers of the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany who wrote the Göttingen Manifesto on April 12, 1957, opposing Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Defense Secretary Franz-Josef Strauß's move to arm the West German army, the...

—18 prominent German physicists—who protested in 1957 against the idea that the Bundeswehr
Bundeswehr
The Bundeswehr consists of the unified armed forces of Germany and their civil administration and procurement authorities...

 should be armed with tactical nuclear weapons. He further suggested that West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 should declare its definitive abdication of all kinds of nuclear weapons.

Weizsäcker died in Söcking near Starnberg
Starnberg
The city of Starnberg is in Bavaria, Germany, some 30 km south-west of Munich. It lies at the north end of Lake Starnberg, in the heart of the "Five Lakes Country", and serves as capital of the district of Starnberg...

. On the question on whether he accepted his share of responsibility for the German scientific community's efforts to build a nuclear weapon for Nazi Germany, opinions are split.

Theory of ur-alternatives


Weizsäcker developed the theory of ur-alternatives (archetypal objects), publicized in his book Einheit der Natur (1971) and further developed through the 1990s, which axiom
Axiom
In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be self-evident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...

atically construct quantum physics from the distinction between empirically observable, binary alternatives. Weizsäcker used his theory, a form of digital physics
Digital physics
In physics and cosmology, digital physics is a collection of theoretical perspectives based on the premise that the universe is, at heart, describable by information, and is therefore computable...

, to derive the 3-dimensionality of space and to estimate the entropy
Entropy
Entropy is a thermodynamic property that can be used to determine the energy available for useful work in a thermodynamic process, such as in energy conversion devices, engines, or machines. Such devices can only be driven by convertible energy, and have a theoretical maximum efficiency when...

 of a proton
Proton
The proton is a subatomic particle with the symbol or and a positive electric charge of 1 elementary charge. One or more protons are present in the nucleus of each atom, along with neutrons. The number of protons in each atom is its atomic number....

 falling into a black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

.

Awards and honours


In 1963, Weizsäcker was awarded the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (peace award of the German booksellers). In 1989, he won the Templeton Prize
Templeton Prize
The Templeton Prize is an annual award presented by the Templeton Foundation. Established in 1972, it is awarded to a living person who, in the estimation of the judges, "has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical...

 for Progress in Religion. He also received the Pour le Mérite
Pour le Mérite
The Pour le Mérite, known informally as the Blue Max , was the Kingdom of Prussia's highest military order for German soldiers until the end of World War I....

.

The Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

  named after him, in the town of Barmstedt
Barmstedt
Barmstedt is a town in the district of Pinneberg, in the south of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is situated approx. 8 km northeast of Elmshorn, and 30 km northwest of Hamburg. It has approximately 9,500 inhabitants which makes it the smallest town in the Pinneberg...

, Schleswig-Holstein.

Works

  • Zum Weltbild der Physik, Leipzig 1946 (ISBN 3-7776-1209-X), 2002, 14th edition, renewed and with introduction by Holger Lyre :de:Holger Lyre
    • translation into English by Marjorie Grene
      Marjorie Grene
      Marjorie Glicksman Grene was an American philosopher.She wrote both on existentialism and the philosophy of science, especially the philosophy of biology. She taught at the University of California at Davis from 1965 to 1978. From 1988 until her death she was Honorary University Distinguished...

       The World View of Physics, London, 1952
    • translation into French Le Monde vu par la Physique, Paris 1956
  • Die Geschichte der Natur, Göttingen 1948 (ISBN 3-7776-1398-3)
  • Die Einheit der Natur, Munich 1971 (ISBN 3-423-33083-X)
    • translation The Unity of Nature, New York, 1980 (ISBN 0-374-28100-9)
  • Wege in der Gefahr, Munich 1976
    • translation The Politics of Peril, New York 1978
  • Der Garten des Menschlichen, Munich 1977 (ISBN 3-446-12423-3)
    • translation The Ambivalence of progress, essays on historical anthropology, New York 1988 (ISBN 0-913729-92-2)
  • The Biological Basis of Religion and Genius, Gopi Krishna
    Gopi Krishna
    Gopi Krishna of India was a yogi, mystic, teacher, social reformer, and writer. His autobiography is known under the title Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man....

    , New York, intro. by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, which is half the book, 1971, 1972 (ISBN 0-06-064788-4)
  • Aufbau der Physik, Munich 1985 (ISBN 3-446-14142-1)
    • translation The Structure of Physics, Heidelberg 2006 (ISBN 1-4020-5234-0; ISBN 978-1-4020-5234-7)
  • Der Mensch in seiner Geschichte, Munich 1991 (ISBN 3-446-16361-1)
  • Zeit und Wissen, Munich 1992 (ISBN 3-446-16367-0)
  • Große Physiker, Munich 1999 (ISBN 3-446-18772-3)

External links