Copenhagen interpretations 1

I spent Saturday at a conference in Jesus college, organised by John Cornwell, on the subject of Werner Heisenberg’s war guilt and Michael Frayn’s play “Copenhagen”, which deals with the subject. The day started with a rehearsed reading of the entire play, which only has three actors, playing Heisenberg. Niels Bohr, and his wife, Margarethe Bohr, all talking together in the afterlife. They were absolutely splendid. I sat with them afterwards at lunch and said so. They said they had only had a day and a half of rehearsal, and were still wrestling with some of the pronunciation and the meanings of technical terms. Then one actor leant confidingly towards me and asked “Could you tell me one word I don’t understand. What is a quantum?” So I got to explain “quantum” to Niels Bohr.

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