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Listen to Heisenberg compare Sommerfeld, Born and Bohr

Martin Schwarzschild being interviewed in 1977

By Hamish Johnston

If you’d like to listen to Werner Heisenberg compare the physics prowess of Arnold Sommerfeld, Max Born, and Niels Bohr , just click here and you will be taken to the new online Oral Histories section at the Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

The American Institute of Physics — which runs the library — has unveiled a vast online archive of interviews with some of the 20th century’s most prominent physicists.

The archive includes pioneers of quantum theory such as Heisenberg and Max Born, Paul Dirac, Niels Bohr and Eugene Wigner.

The list of histories reads like a Who’s Who of physics. The earliest interviews were done in the 60s and the latest — including NASA’s James Hansen were done quite recently.

Most of the histories are available as written transcripts, but a few voice clips are also available — including Heisenberg, Hans Bethe, George Gamov and Steven Weinberg.

A word of warning about the site: I found that many of the links didn’t work — and I could not actually listen to Heisenberg and company (this could be a problem with my browser). But it’s worth persevering.

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