Heisenberg encountered much less sympathy at his oral examination, however. The stubborn experimentalist Willy Wien was shocked at Heisenberg's lack of preparation for questions on experimental physics. Wien perhaps took Heisenberg's incompetence personally, as he had spent much time lecturing on these very basic problems. Wien saw no reason to grant Heisenberg his degree, resulting in one of the great clashes between theory and experiment. Finally, Heisenberg was passed with the grade of III, cum laude, where a IV would have meant passing with no honors. Heisenberg was naturally shocked and embarrassed. He had been accustomed to handling oral examinations and defenses expertly, even in front of the biggest names in his field. He was so distraught that he took the evening train back to Göttingen, though he had planned to spend some time on leave in Munich. As Heisenberg was completing his doctorate in July of 1923, Germany was facing
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This note was uploaded on 12/26/2011 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Womer during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.