H. Dieter Zeh

German physicist (1932-2018)

Heinz-Dieter Zeh (born May 8, 1932, in Brunswick) is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Heidelberg and theoretical physicist. He is one of the developers of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics and his work has been instrumental in the theory of decoherence.


  • … still many physicists are convinced to "see" the particle in a cloud chamber or on a scintillation screen, therefore accepting classical particle coordinates as pieces of reality. But what one concludes to see depends on the chosen model of reality, and this model can only be judged by its success in consistently and economically describing the observations (therefore interpolating between them).
    • Information and determinism, Epist. Letters (Ferdinand Gonseth Association) (1980) 49.0.
  • According to my attempts to understand them, reality is systematically denied in the Copenhagen interpretation in order to circumvent consistency problems (such as “Is the electron really a wave or a particle?”). If there is no reality, one does not need a consistent description!

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