Thursday, December 24, 2009

Quantum Leaps

I just read the book Quantum Leaps by Jeremy Bernstein. He is an entertaining writer. The book discusses the history of the "Quantum Measurement" problem and also his expereiences as a physics student and journalist - he met many of the key historical figures over the years.
However, he did not actually meet the personalities in this ancedote (my paraphrase follows).
Beria was put in charge of the Soviet nuclear program. He complained to Stalin that the scientists were using quantum techniques, which were held to be in conflict with Marxism. Stalin allegedly told Beria "Leave my physicists alone. We can always shoot them later."