At the beginning of the 20th century physicists began to learn about the smallest building blocks in the micro world of the atom. But a radically new theory world soon challenge all their former notions. Danish physicist Niels Bohr pointed out that when we observe the micro world we cannot ignore the influence of our measuring instruments on it. In other words, we can never know anything about nature as it really is, because by observing nature we ‘modify’ it. Bohr’s bold statement was sharply criticised. Even his friend Albert Einstein was unable to accept the idea of such a weird, random world. According to Einstein, physics was an attempt to conceptually grasp reality as it is, regardless of whether it is being observed or not.
Bohr’s philosophy was contentious from the start. It was to become known as the Copenhagen Interpretation, from the Danish city where it was developed in 1927, when Bohr and Heisenberg were collaborating. Based on original archive footage and interviews with a number of the world’s leading physicists, this film depicts the philosophical schism that arose against the background of Bohr’s theories.
To this day, prominent physicists disagree about the wider consequences of the Copenhagen Interpretation and the understanding of nature.
In Vienna, modern versions of crucial quantum mechanics experiments have clearly demonstrated that the tinies building blocks of nature are a paradoxically different world. Strange quantum phenomena have been proved to happen even over great distances and physicists are trying to harness their potential and use it for future generations of extremely fast computers.