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The development of quantum electrodynamics until 1947: the historical background of Julian Schwinger’s work on QED

JAGDISH MEHRA and KIMBALL A. MILTON

in Climbing the Mountain: The Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger

Published in print:
2003
Published Online:
February 2010
ISBN:
9780198527459
eISBN:
9780191709593
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198527459.003.0006
Subject:
Physics, History of Physics

Prior to 1947, Julian Schwinger had not worked in quantum electrodynamics (QED), apart from his first unpublished paper ‘On the interaction of several electrons’. Before joining the City College of ... More


Paul Dirac and the Magic of Large Numbers

Helge Kragh

in Masters of the Universe: Conversations with Cosmologists of the Past

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
March 2015
ISBN:
9780198722892
eISBN:
9780191789564
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198722892.003.0012
Subject:
Physics, History of Physics, Particle Physics / Astrophysics / Cosmology

In the 1930s Paul Dirac was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his fundamental contributions to quantum mechanics, and he also proposed a new cosmological theory based on the hypothesis that the ... More


Forming the Canon

Dean Rickles

in Covered with Deep Mist: The Development of Quantum Gravity (1916-1956)

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
April 2020
ISBN:
9780199602957
eISBN:
9780191844393
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780199602957.003.0006
Subject:
Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

This chapter charts the early development of the canonical quantum gravity (that is, the quantization of the gravitational field in Hamiltonian form). What we find in this period include: the ... More


Dirac’s Derivation of the Relativistic Wave Equation: Electron Spin and Antimatter

Jim Baggott

in The Quantum Cookbook: Mathematical Recipes for the Foundations for Quantum Mechanics

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
January 2020
ISBN:
9780198827856
eISBN:
9780191866579
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198827856.003.0010
Subject:
Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

The problem of electron spin was in some way connected with special relativity. Dirac’s fascination with relativity and his already burgeoning reputation made the search for a fully relativistic form ... More


Introduction

Thomas Ryckman

in The Reign of Relativity: Philosophy in Physics 1915-1925

Published in print:
2005
Published Online:
April 2005
ISBN:
9780195177176
eISBN:
9780199835324
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0195177177.003.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

The general theory of relativity (GTR) brought a revolutionary transformation in philosophical as well as physical outlook. The philosopher Mortiz Schick, student of Max Planck, played a pivotal role ... More


Introductory Considerations

John von Neumann

Nicholas A. Wheeler (ed.)

in Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: New Edition

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
September 2018
ISBN:
9780691178561
eISBN:
9781400889921
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691178561.003.0002
Subject:
Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

This chapter presents the origins of the transformation theory and related concepts. It shows how, in 1925, a procedure initiated by Werner Heisenberg was developed by himself, Max Born, Pascual ... More


Dirac, Von Neumann, and the Derivation of the Quantum Formalism: State Vectors in Hilbert Space

Jim Baggott

in The Quantum Cookbook: Mathematical Recipes for the Foundations for Quantum Mechanics

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
January 2020
ISBN:
9780198827856
eISBN:
9780191866579
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198827856.003.0011
Subject:
Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

The evolution of quantum mechanics through the 1920s was profoundly messy. Some physicists believed that it was necessary to throw out much of the conceptual baggage that early quantum mechanics ... More


Stephen Hawking: The Scientific Sublime Embodied

Alan G. Gross

in The Scientific Sublime: Popular Science Unravels the Mysteries of the Universe

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
November 2020
ISBN:
9780190637774
eISBN:
9780197559727
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190637774.003.0010
Subject:
Education, Teaching of a Specific Subject

Lucy Hawking has had the good fortune of being the daughter of the most famous living physicist; she has had the better fortune of having been a teenager ... More


Heisenberg’s Derivation of the Pauli Exclusion Principle: The Stability of Matter and the Periodic Table

Jim Baggott

in The Quantum Cookbook: Mathematical Recipes for the Foundations for Quantum Mechanics

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
January 2020
ISBN:
9780198827856
eISBN:
9780191866579
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198827856.003.0009
Subject:
Physics, Theoretical, Computational, and Statistical Physics

Despite the success of Schrödinger’s description of the H-atom, it became apparent that the spectrum of the simplest multi-electron atom—helium—could not be so readily explained. And the spectra of ... More


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