The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory

Front Cover
Courier Dover Publications, 1949 - Science - 183 pages
4 Reviews

The contributions of few contemporary scientists have been as far reaching in their effects as those of Nobel Laureate Werner Heisenberg. His matrix theory is one of the bases of modern quantum mechanics, while his "uncertainty principle" has altered our whole philosophy of science.
In this classic, based on lectures delivered at the University of Chicago, Heisenberg presents a complete physical picture of quantum theory. He covers not only his own contributions, but also those of Bohr, Dirac, Bose, de Broglie, Fermi, Einstein, Pauli, Schrodinger, Somerfield, Rupp, ·Wilson, Germer, and others in a text written for the physical scientist who is not a specialist in quantum theory or in modern mathematics.
Partial contents: introduction (theory and experiment, fundamental concepts); critique of physical concepts of the corpuscular theory (uncertainty relations and their illustration); critique of the physical concepts of the wave theory (uncertainty relations for waves, discussion of an actual measurement of the electromagnetic field); statistical interpretation of quantum theory (mathematical considerations, interference of probabilities, Bohr's complementarity); discussion of important experiments (C. T. R. Wilson, diffraction , Einstein-Rupp, emission, absorption and dispersion of radiation, interference and conservation laws, Compton effect, radiation fluctuation phenomena, relativistic formulation of the quantum theory).
An 80-page appendix on the mathematical apparatus of the quantum theory is provided for the specialist.

  

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This excellent book is a cheap way, (< $10 at review time), to get a view of how Heisenberg thought about quantum mechanics circa 1930. The book is constructed from his notes for a series of lectures given at the University of Chicago. The book is about 3/4 text discussing an overview of quantum theories and the experiments that led up to/verified those theories. The last quarter or so is dedicated to laying out the mathematical formalism. 

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this is advanced level text book for both graduation and postgraduation
level students.

Contents

INTRODUCTORY
1
CRITIQUE OF THE PHYSICAL CONCEPTS OF THE COR
13
CRITIQUE OF THE PHYSICAL CONCEPTS OF THE WAVE
47
THE STATISTICAL INTERPRETATION OF QUANTUM
55
DISCUSSION OF IMPORTANT EXPERIMENTS
66
Diffraction Experiments
76
The Experiment of Einstein and Rupp
79
Emission Absorption and Dispersion of Radiation
80
THE MATHEMATICAL APPARATUS OF THE QUAN TUM THEORY
105
The Transformation Theory
123
The Schrodinger Equation
132
The Perturbation Method
138
the Physical
142
terpretation of the Transformation Matrices
152
The Corpuscular Concept for Radiation
153
Classical Theory
157

b Correspondence Principle and the Method of Vir tual Charges
82
ri The Complete Treatment of Radiationand Matter
84
Interference and the Conservation Laws
88
The Compton Effect and the ComptonSimon Ex periment
92
Radiation Fluctuation Phenomena
95
Relativistic Formulation of the Quantum Theory
101
Quantum Theory of Wave Fields
162
Application to Waves of Negative Charge
172
Proof of the Mathematical Equivalence of the Quan tum Theory of Particles and of Waves
177
Application to the Theory of Radiation
182
INDEX
184
Copyright

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About the author (1949)

Werner Heisenberg, a German physicist, is regarded as the founder of quantum mechanics, which describes atomic structure in mathematical terms. During the 1920s quantum theory became a controversial topic, following Niels Bohr's model proposal for the hydrogen atom. Heisenberg, dissatisfied with the prevalent mechanical models of the atom, conceived an abstract approach using matrix algebra. In 1925, Heisenberg, Max Born, and Pascual Jordan developed this approach into a theory they termed matrix mechanics. Unfortunately, the theory was difficult to understand, since it provided no means of visualizing the phenomena it explained. Erwin Schrodinger's wave formulation, proposed the following year, proved more successful. In 1944 Heisenberg's and Schrodinger's formulations were shown to be mathematically equivalent by John Von Neumann. In 1927 Heisenberg stated the uncertainty principle, for which he is best known. According to this principle, it is impossible to specify simultaneously both the position and the momentum of a particle, such as an electron. This is caused by interference with those quantities by the radiation that is used to make the observation. The uncertainty principle was demonstrated by means of a thought experiment rather than by a physical observation. Heisenberg also explained ferromagnetism, tracing it to an atomic structure. In 1932 he was awarded the Nobel Prize. Heisenberg was one of the few outstanding German physicists to remain in Germany during World War II. During the war he supervised atomic research in Germany, with the goal of constructing an atomic bomb, although he claimed not to be a supporter of the Nazi regime. Whether by intent or by circumstance, this effort proved to be unsuccessful, and contradictory statements by Heisenberg have not satisfactorily explained the outcome of the project. After the war, Heisenberg publicly declared that he would no longer take part in the production or testing of atomic weapons.

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