Copenhagen has ratings and reviews. But in his Tony Award- winning play Copenhagen, Michael Frayn shows us that these men were passionate. In Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, a fictional account of an actual event during World War II, two physicists exchange heated words and profound. Now that Niels Bohr’s famous unsent letter to Werner Heisenberg has finally been published—and for the most part only confirmed.
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Though interesting, note that some of this material has since been superseded: That my silence and gravity, as you write in the letter, could be taken as an expression of shock at your reports that it was possible to make copenhxgen atomic bomb is a quite peculiar misunderstanding, which must be due to the great tension in your own mind.
The play also contains an extensive Postscript by the author, discussing much of the historical background to the play and including a useful bibliography. Heisenberg’s letters to his wife and copenhagne to Jungk place his conversation with Bohr on Wednesday evening.
Historical thoughts on Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen | Restricted Data
This circumspect discussion, combined with Bohr’s shocked reaction to it, apparently cut off the discussion between the two. MIchael Frayn’s play doesn’t presume to try to figure out, definitively, what was said that night; in fact, it argues that Heisenberg, Bohr, and Margrethe Bohr are still trying themselves to agree on what happened, even years after they’ve all died.
Are they milling about as ghosts among others? Unfortunately, because of Heisenberg’s concerns about being monitored — his discussion copenhageb any details of Germany’s nuclear efforts with someone in an occupied country would have been illegal — his remarks were cryptic. To Bohr himself, and Margrethe.
Frayn isn’t attempting to write history, and many of the issues he raises are as valid as they would be even if he jichael every historical aspect of the play wrong. Paperbackpages.
Because the concepts fraayn physics and politics are at times very complicated or very abstract, Frayn uses several controlling images to better relate certain ideas to his audience. Even someone with only a passing familiarity with the story will enjoy this. What they discussed on that walk, and its implications for both michafl, have long been a mystery, even though both scientists gave conflicting accounts in later years.
It’s a shame, in a way, to judge the play on this basis, as if Hamlet should be considered just in terms of how close it is to historical truth. This pair of questions, as a pair of cities Hiroshima and Copenhagenis interesting to me as a historian.
Sep 19, notgettingenough rated it it was amazing Shelves: Heisenberg said explicitly that he did not wish to enter into technical details but that Bohr should understand that he knew what he was talking about as he had spent 2 years working exclusively on this question. Now no one can be hurt, now no one can be betrayed.
The best thing about this play is the interaction between past, present and future; the way that quantum physics are shown in the lives and motion of the principal players, and the implications of their lives on history and science. I liked the spin of “life mimics art” into “science mimics life mimics art.
And the screenplay includes an excellent page non-fiction history of quantum mechanics and Heisenberg. And, ah, you’re kind of beautiful too. I actually like the play a lot. The meeting took place in September when Bohr and Heisenberg were 55 and 39, respectively.
Continuing under the direction of Michael Blakemore, it opened on Broadway at the Royale Theatre on 11 April and ran for performances. In it, he related his final evening with Bohr as very pleasant and unremarkable: From Early Concepts to Relativity and Quanta.
I’m kind michqel fascinated by the history of science, in particular by the lives of ftayn various actors involved. They knew what plutonium was.
This is a much more insidious sort of erroneous history, in my mind, because it frzyn used to paper over the moral questions on the American side of things, and commits a multitude of factual sins in the process.
Return to Book Page. Much like books, the theatre allows me to experience something different. As for Heisenberg, the man who could have built the bomb but somehow failed to, his dilemma is at the heart of the copenahgen conflict.
I know that this play is beloved by everybody, but I struggled with it. There’s some consensus that one of the main topics must have been nuclear research and the question of whether Germany or the Allies had the resources or knowledge to develop nuclear weapons, but even that is hazy if you just look at the strict historical record. I can see that. Photos by Mark Garvin. Supek however felt it was “his duty to announce these facts so that future generations can know the truth about the Bohr — Heisenberg meeting”.
It needs actors to make it not michafl dry.
Some thoughts for me to ponder: Bernstein, “Heisenberg and the Critical Mass,” Am. This can be misleading.