Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meandering in the box . . .

Today is the birthday of Eugene Paul "E. P." Wigner (November 17, 1902 – January 1, 1995), physicist and mathematician. He claimed that a quantum measurement requires a conscious observer, without which nothing ever happens in the universe.

He extended the problem of Schrödinger's Cat, by adding a second observer outside the laboratory who is commonly known as Wigner's Friend.

In 1963, Eugene Wigner received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics with Maria Goeppert-Mayer and J. Hans D. Jensen. In addition to his many scientific awards, he received numerous awards for his work for peace.

"Physics is becoming so unbelievably complex that it is taking longer and longer to train a physicist. It is taking so long, in fact, to train a physicist to the place where he understands the nature of physical problems that he is already too old to solve them."
- Eugene Wigner

"It is nice to know that the computer understands the problem. But I would like to understand it too."
- Eugene Wigner

"The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve."
- Eugene Wigner

"The simplicities of natural laws arise through the complexities of the language we use for their expression."
- Eugene Wigner

"The optimist regards the future as uncertain."
- Eugene Paul Wigner

Wigner image source (1)

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