About Heisenberg

dfg logoThe Heisenberg program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG: German Research Council) aims at supporting both, young researchers at the beginning of their scientific carrier and also senior researchers who have been working in foreign countries, to conduct cutting-edge research in Germany.
heisenbergWerner Heisenberg was one of the founders of modern quantum mechanics. He studied theoretical physics with Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich, with Max Born in Göttingen and with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. In 1925 he has presented a first mathematical framework for non-commutative quantities in quantum theory. In 1927 he has shown that such observables obey the famous Heisenberg uncertainty relations. In the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, Heisenberg and Bohr have related these issues to Bohr's concept of complementarity [REF].
helgolandMy own research is related to Heisenbergs work in a particular sense. Together with Harald Atmanspacher, I have shown that classical dynamical systems could exhibit quantum-like properties when the state space is subjected to a coarse-graining that does not lead to a generating partition. We refer to this situation as to the "epistemic quantization" of classical systems (REF, REF). These findíngs may also be of relevance for the relatively new field of quantum cognition.


Images with courtesy of DFG, Wikipedia, and Quantum Cognition
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"The brain, as intentional systems theory and evolutionary biology shows us, is a semantic engine; its task is to discover what its multifarious inputs mean, to discriminate them by their significance and `act accordingly.' That's what brains are for. But the brain, as physiology or plain common sense shows us, is just a syntactic engine; all it can do is discriminate its inputs by their structural, temporal and physical features and let its entirely mechanical activities be governed by these `syntactic' features of its inputs. That's all brains can do. Now, how does the brain manage to get semantics from syntax? How could any entity [...] get the semantics of a system from nothing but its syntax? It couldn't. The syntax of a system doesn't determine its semantics. By what alchemy, then, does the brain extract semantically reliable results from syntactically driven operations? It cannot be designed to do an impossible task, but it could be designed to approximate the impossible task, to mimic the behavior of the impossible object (the semantic engine) by capitalizing on close (close enough) fortuitous correspondences between structural regularities --- of the environment and of its own internal states and operations --- and semantic types." (p. 61)