The Uncertainty Principle



This is young Heisenberg, Privatdozent,

teaching first-year classes at Göttingen,

ten years before winning the Nobel Prize,


prodigy, impatient with anyone
less gifted than himself, including us,
his contemporaries. A straight stick

refracted in water appears to kink.
Set up ready for his demonstration
we replace it with one already bent.


We 
never mention it. Nor does he,
and unless the event is witnessed,
it is clouded by uncertainty.

Picture t
he stick removed with a flourish;
the look dawning on his face, the pursed lips,

perhaps a notion forming out of sight.


But 
he never mentioned it. Nor did we,
and unless the joke was witnessed, we too

are victims of uncertainty.




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