PB+J: Origins

After his discovery of Quantum Mechanics, one would expect Werner Heisenberg to have been catapulted onto the world stage of physics research; but physicists were very reluctant to accept it. When Erwin Schrodinger published his approach to Quantum Mechanics, physicists around the world reveled in his glory, pronounced him “King of Physics” and dismissed Heisenberg as a radical. Schrodinger was a rather ostentatious man, so he invited Heisenberg to his coronation ceremony so he could dispute him in front of thousands of physicists. As could be expected, the event did not bode well for Heisenberg, as despite his proof of the equivalence of the matrix and wave mechanics approaches, he was ridiculed by his peers. Heisenberg was enraged; he decided to abandon physics to pursue his hidden passion for cooking.

Two years after being shunned by the scientific community, Heisenberg began an experiment to discern the effect of different materials on sandwich taste. His attempts with Gouda proved futile, as he could never accept the “Copenhagen interpretation” of the sandwich. After days of failings, Heisenberg said to himself, “what if I try to relate two seemingly unrelated quantities: peanut butter and jelly.” He tried over and over, again and again, and discovered something quite remarkable which became his lasting legacy: “The more precisely I apply the peanut butter, the less precisely I apply the jelly, and vice versa.” Reluctant at first, Heisenberg eventually published his results and the cooking community would never be the same. Never again would peanut butter and jelly be considered separate quantities.

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