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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The story focuses on physics and the atomic bomb, but most of all on relationships and ethics. What about Schrodinger’s cat?

According to Rhodes book, Heisenberg slipped Bohr a copy of the German reactor plans during the Coopenhagen meeting. For most people, the principles of nuclear physics are not only incomprehensible but inhuman.

The science is served up well and utilized well, in support of the material. It had to make a very strong impression on me that at the very outset you stated that you copenhgen certain that the war, if it lasted sufficiently micgael, would be decided with atomic weapons. He [Bohr] replied as far as I can remember with a counter-question, “Do you really think that uranium fission could be utilized for the construction of weapons?

For example, Heisenberg refers to a “bomb having gone off” in Bohr’s head. To Bohr, Heisenberg was a brilliant if irresponsible foster son, whose lack of moral compass was part of his michaek.

Starting with several conflicting but sometimes co-existent historical accounts, Frayn creates fictionalized versions of these three figures and sets them talking. Jan 30, R rated it really liked it Shelves: The letter’s whole text shows Heisenberg was careful not to claim this. There are several instances when the two coopenhagen start speaking too scientifically for many people to understand, and one of them will remark that they must revert to plain language, to explain it in a way that Margrethe will understand.

Retrieved 10 January View all 4 comments. Margrethe Bohr isn’t very happy with Heisenberg, while Bohr can be seduced by his scientific brilliance.


I wish this had come with stage directions, because it was difficult to understand some of the dialogue without knowing how they were interacting or not on stage. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

Michael Frayyn takes the historical reference to one chance and completely unexpected inexplicable almost improper meeting between Bohr and Heisenberg – once close as father and son and now sitting squarely on opposite sides of a war with consequences neither had yet grasped though they were at the very moment working towards it – and spins a fictional account of colenhagen might have transpired – all the while emphasising that the protagonists themselves may have never truly known their own motivations let alone the other’s.

This is just a shit version of Feayn which, in hindsight, isn’t really that good of a play either. Frayn’s play brought b attention to what previously had been a primarily scholarly discussion. But it made that scholarship seem relevant.

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Copenhagen – Michael Frayn

On another note, I cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Heisenberg while I read this and it made it incredibly entertaining for me.

After a brief discussion in the Bohrs’ home, the two men went for a short walk. Lists with This Book. Expounding on that thought has been very gratifying for us.

Copenhagen review – Michael Frayn’s masterwork still blazes with mystery

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. They sit and talk, over and over again trying to reconstruct what happened, but can’t agree as Bohr wrote to Heisenberg in a letter he never sent: They knew what atomic bombs could be. Frayn’s clever dramatic structure, which returns repeatedly to particular scenes from different points of view, allows several possible theories as to what his motives could have been.

To interrogators and intelligence officers, to journalists and historians. Was he looking for clues to atomic secrets, asking for absolution, or searching for something unknowable? Feb 18, Gumble’s Yard rated it really liked it Shelves: At the end of that conversation, their friendship was over and Heisenberg returned to Germany.


As Heisenberg wrote to Jungk. Jun 19, the gift rated it it was amazing Shelves: If anything, Copenhagen really does hammer home the idea of the inseparability of the natural world from the personal, of theoretical physics from metaphysics. There have been some articles on this. Being a physicist myself, this dialog between Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg was widely discussed during my graduation studies. While books can help me enter the world of the story, and temporarily leave my own life, being a theatre buff c If you’re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

There are many other, more interesting reasons to attribute the failure of the German bomb project.


Which is to say, not much of an answer. Same scene as above, different moment. Sep 11, Paul Ataua rated it really liked it. Some of the critics have very strong opinions on the matter — in part because they really michaep the idea that Heisenberg was somehow taking a moral high-ground is very offensive, especially considering the propagandizing Heisenberg did during the war for the German Foreign Office.

This is an interesting play. After dinner, the two of them went for a walk and had a conversation about the point of Mochael visit.

InGerman physicist Werner Heisenberg made a clandestine trip to have dinner with his friend, Danish physicist Niels Bohr, and his wife, Margrethe. You can’t conjure the sort of urgency the production emanates without three actors who know just how to create it. Published August 8th by Anchor Books first published People trying their best to be decent human beings when all they have are bad choices. Among the documents were the unsent letters Bohr drafted to Heisenberg in about Jungk’s book and other topics.

One rooted in a controversial act of war, the other in a controversial piece of theatre.