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The Waves
An adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel as a play for voices, adapted and directed by David Peat

His Master's Voice
A one hour radio play by David Peat. An author lies on his bed thinking about the radio play he is going to write and the various characters that will appear. He also ponders on the nature of sound and reality.

Epiphany for Order
A one hour exploration of the nature of order in physics with David Peat

"Daddy what is an instinct?
A metalogue with Gregory Bateson and Nancy Norris (written by Gregory Bateson)
A metalogue, according to Bateson, is a dialogue in which form and content complement each other. This metalogue runs for 46 minutes and the file size is 21,000KB. Click Here


Historic interviews with some of the key figures in the development of modern physics.

Welcome to a series of historic interviews with some of the world’s leading scientists including Werner Heisenberg, P.A.M Dirac, Ilya Prigogine, John Wheeler, David Bohm and the neuroscientist Sir John Eccles. These interviews were carried out during the late 1970s by David Peat and Paul Buckley. In some  cases the material has degenerated somewhat so the sound reproduction is poor in some places. Each of these sections runs between 30 and 40 mins.
We would like to thank Isobel Santanach for all her hard work in digitizing and editing these interviews.

This is a general introduction to the overall series of interviews. In it you can hear Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac, Roger Penrose and Ilya Prigogine, the theoretical biologists Robert Rosen and Howard Pattee and the neuroscientist Sir John Eccles. Click here

The early days of quantum theory
 Before Heisenberg’s discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925 there existed an earlier version of quantum theory as formulated by Neils Bohr. George Uhlenbeck was an undergraduate in Leiden, his supervisor  Ehrenfest suggested he work with a fellow student Samuel Goudsmit and together they proposed the notion of electron spin. Here Uhlenbeck recollects those early days.
The second speaker is Werner Heisenberg who also recalls the development of quantum theory and the way in which our everyday language contains hidden assumptions about space, time and causality which make it difficult to discuss the deeper meaning of the new quantum theory in a clear and unambiguous way.
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The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory
In this series of interviews we continue with the discovery of quantum theory. Uhlenbeck gives his reactions to Heisenberg’s new theory, Heisenberg himself comments on the Uncertainty Principle, Leon Rosenfeld recalls the many discussions between Bohr and Heisenberg at Copenhagen and John Wheeler speaks about Wolfgang Pauli’s contributions to these debates.
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Einstein’s Vision
Here John Wheeler speaks about what he terms “Einstein’s vision” of the theory of relativity and Roger Penrose reflects on attempts to reconcile relativity and quantum theory
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The Nature of Physical Theories
In this series we shall look at the nature of physical theories. It begins with Werner Heisenberg, and then David Bohm asks if the future of physics lies in extending the current quantum theory or if a new direction is required.
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Paul Buckley talks to the spectroscopist Gerhard Herzberg, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics.
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The Quantum Theory and its logical foundations
Paul Buckley and David Peat discuss the quantum theory and are then joined by Clifford Hooker on the logical foundations of the standard interpretation of quantum theory.
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Numbers and Aesthetics .

The fundamental constants of nature include such things as the ratio of the electromagnetic force to the force of gravity and so on. Mainstream physics believes that these numbers are forever fixed however P.A.M. Dirac advances the hypothesis that maybe these constants vary with the age of the universe.
It was Galelio who wrote that “God’s book is written in mathematics. For his part Eugene Wigner pointed out that mathematics is “unreasonably effective”. By this he meant that a branch of mathematics developed purely for aesthetic reasons and with no practical application may later turn our to be essential to the expression of a physical theory. David Hilbert’s abstract vector spaces, for example, turned out to be exactly the mathematics needed for the new quantum theory and Riemann’s use of non-Euclidian geometry proved to be the mathematics required by Einstein for his General Relativity. So mathematics can be both totally abstract and at the same time highly practical. Roger Penrose reflects upon aesthetics in mathematics.
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Relativity and Quantum Theory
In this section we hear from John Wheeler and Abdus Salam.  
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The Role of Logic
A discussion of the role of logic, one the development of non-Euclidian geometry for aesthetic reasons, which was later used by Einstein as the mathematical basis of general relativity. Participants include John Wheeler, Roger Penrose on twisters and Gerhard Herzberg on fundamental symmetries.
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Theoretical Biology
Up to now we have heard from theoretical physicists about developments in quantum theory and relativity. Now the conversation changes to that of theoretical biology, and the application of physical theories to living systems. Firstly we hear a discussion between Robert Rosen and Sorin Comorosan about some experiments that at the time were highly controversial. We then hear from Eduardo Caianiello of the cybernetics laboratory in Naples.
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Theoretical Biology: A round table. A
A discussion on theoretical biology with Robert Rosen, Howard Pattee, Raymond Samorjai, David Peat and Paul Buckley.
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Theoretical Biology: A round table. B
A continuation of the discussion on theoretical biology with Robert Rosen, Howard Pattee, Raymond Samorjai, David Peat and Paul Buckley.
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Richard Feynmann
In this series we hear from Richard Feynmann.
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The Liason Brain
In this final item in the series of interviews we hear from the neuroscientist, Sir John Eccles. Since the time of Descartes there has been the famous split between matter and mind. During the twentieth century many neuroscientists and philosophers attempted to heal that split. Some argued that mind emerged out of matter, others, such as the physicists Bohm and Pauli, argued that in some sense mind was present from the origin of the cosmos and is unified with matter. Yet others have proposed that mind is no more than an epiphenomenon of matter, something secreted by the brain just as bile is secreted by the liver. According to that picture while the brain produces mind, mind cannot act back on the brain to cause us to take actions.
For his part Eccles accepts the Cartesian split and argues that their are indeed two different realms – that of matter and that of mind – but that they come together in an area of the brain which he terms “the liason brain”.
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Below are a series of shorter excerpts from these interviews

Werner Heisenberg Type Size
Werner Heisenberg (1901-1975) was one of the key players in the development of modern quantum theory. Heisenberg studied under Sommerfeld in Munch where he also met Neils Bohr and discussed the failure of existing theories to explain the new experimental results. One night, while on vacation in Helgoland, Heisenberg had the sensation of looking into the heart of nature and in those hours concieved the theory of quantum mechanics. The discusions held between Heisenberg, Bohr, Pauli and others became know as the "Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1932.    
Werner Heisenberg on the development of quantum theory 900 kb
Werner Heisenberg on language in quantum theory 800 kb
P.A.M Dirac    
Following Heisenberg's discovery of quantum mechanics, Erwin Schrodinger provided a different approach know as "wave mechanics". Dirac was able to demonstrate that the two theories are equivalent and went on to place quantum theory on a firm mathematical footing.    
P. A. M Dirac on the Large Number hypothesis 1.4 Mb
David Bohm    
Bohm studied under Oppenheimer and, after moving to Princeton struck up a friendship with Einstein. Bohm never fully accepted the Copenhagen Interpretation and sought to establish a "realistic" or "ontological" interpretations of quantum theory. He also went on to develop notions of the implicate and explicate order and the relationship between mind and matter. Bohm's other scientific work included the theory of plasmas in metals and the Ahranov-Bohm effect.    
David Bohm critiques quantum theory and discusses understanding in science 1.6 Mb
David Bohm on understanding and on science as a work of art 500 Kb
David Bohm on the Implicate Order 600Kb
David Bohm on a deeper approach that would unify quantum theory and relativity 3 Mb
Leon Rosenfeld    
For many years Leon Rosenfeld was assistant to Neils Bohr and participated first hand in the development of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory.  In these interviews Rosefled also touches on the differences in the approaches and philosophies of Bohr and of Heisenberg.    
Leon Rosenfeld discusses the early days of quantum theory and the philosophical backgrounds of Bohr and Heisenberg 900 Kb
Leon Rosenfeld discusses Heisenberg, Bohr and Schrodingers views on observables in quantum theory 700 Kb
Leon Rosenfeld on the development of the uncertainty principle 600Kb
Sir Roger Penrose    
Penrose and Hawking worked together to develop a number of important theorems concerning the nature of Black Holes. During the early 1970s Penrose also developed an approach knows as "twistors" from which he hoped to derive space-time, the elementary particles and quantum theory. Later, in books such as The Emperor's New Mind, he became known for his discussions of what he believed to be the inherent limitations of artificial intelligence    
Roger Penrose answers the question "What is beauty in mathematics?" 300 Kb
Roger Penrose discusses Black Holes 1 Mb
Abus Salam    
Salam is probably best know for his work on elementary particle symmetries.    
Abus Salam on elementary particle symmetries 1 Mb
John Wheeler    
John Wheeler is sometimes known as "the father of the Black Hole". Wheeler worked with both Bohr and Einstein and numbered Richard Feynmann amonst his students.    
John Wheeler on "Einstein's vision" 700 Kb
John Wheeler discusses Einstein's objections to quantum theory 600 Kb
John Wheeler on the unification of quantum theory and general relativity 500 Kb
Ilya Prigogine    
Reversibility and irreversibility 1.2 Mb
The Laws of nature 900 Kb
Art, Science and Nauture 800 Kb
Sir John Eccles    
Brain and mind 1.7 Mb
Robert Rosen and Howard Pattee    
What is life? 1.2 Mb
Life and feedforward 1.9 Mb
Construction-Description Systems 700 kb
Construction-Description systems (2) 1.3Mb

G. Uhlenbeck

The Old Quantum Theory and the discovery of electron spin 1.6 Mb
Birth of modern quantum theory 800 Kb
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