Werner Heisenberg

A controversial WWII figure, Werner Heisenberg was a German physicist. Born in 1901 to an academic family, Heisenberg was interested in scientific and philosophical pursuits from a young age. After graduating from the University of Munich, where he studied under physicist Arthur Sommerfield, Heisenberg went on to establish a career in the study of atomic and particle theory. He won the Nobel Prize in 1932 for his Uncertainty Principle. Heisenberg was one of the top German scientists during World War II, and he worked as the director of the German Uranium Project developing an atomic bomb for Germany. He did not succeed in this effort, however, before the end of the war. He was incarcerated from 1945–46 for his role in the Nazi regime, but in the ’50s and ’60s, Heisenberg continued to contribute his research to the field of nuclear physics. He retired in 1970 and resided in Munich until his death in 1973.