Heisenberg (and Schrödinger, and Pauli) on hidden variables

Guido Bacciagaluppi, Elise Crull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, we discuss various aspects of Heisenberg's thought on hidden variables in the period 1927-1935. We also compare Heisenberg's approach to others current at the time, specifically that embodied by von Neumann's impossibility proof, but also views expressed mainly in correspondence by Pauli and by Schroedinger. We shall base ourselves mostly on published and unpublished materials that are known but little-studied, among others Heisenberg's own draft response to the EPR paper. Our aim will be not only to clarify Heisenberg's thought on the hidden-variables question, but in part also to clarify how this question was understood more generally at the time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalStudies In History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies In History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • history and philosophy of quantum theory
  • hidden variables
  • Heisenberg
  • B Philosophy (General)


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