QED and the Men who Made it: Dyson, Feynman, Schwinger, and Tomonaga

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Princeton University Press, 24. apr. 1994 - 732 síđur

In the 1930s, physics was in a crisis. There appeared to be no way to reconcile the new theory of quantum mechanics with Einstein's theory of relativity. Several approaches had been tried and had failed. In the post-World War II period, four eminent physicists rose to the challenge and developed a calculable version of quantum electrodynamics (QED), probably the most successful theory in physics. This formulation of QED was pioneered by Freeman Dyson, Richard Feynman, Julian Schwinger, and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, three of whom won the Nobel Prize for their work. In this book, physicist and historian Silvan Schweber tells the story of these four physicists, blending discussions of their scientific work with fascinating biographical sketches.

Setting the achievements of these four men in context, Schweber begins with an account of the early work done by physicists such as Dirac and Jordan, and describes the gathering of eminent theorists at Shelter Island in 1947, the meeting that heralded the new era of QED. The rest of his narrative comprises individual biographies of the four physicists, discussions of their major contributions, and the story of the scientific community in which they worked. Throughout, Schweber draws on his technical expertise to offer a lively and lucid explanation of how this theory was finally established as the appropriate way to describe the atomic and subatomic realms.

 

Efni

1 The Birth of Quantum Field
1
The problem Jordan addressed in the last section of the
10
treatment in which the fluctuations were calculated as time averages
11
One thus obtains
28
where Vx t is a field
52
Then satisfies the equation
54
equation one obtains
61
2 The 1930s
76
where
326
On the other hand if u is large
330
8 Richard Feynman and the
373
system with an infinite number of degrees of freedom
380
right character to represent radiation reaction Wheeler asked Feynman
381
where
387
except that the exponents were real He could arrive
396
described by Lagrangian Ly and L₂ so that the total
397

Rfi
121
photon
123
3 The War and Its Aftermath
130
outstanding graduate student to do a similar analysis for
143
Shelter
156
the mesonic component of cosmic rays Marshak and Bethe
157
looking for challenging new problems after the war The
160
Commenting on the events of the morning Darrow made
189
In retrospect perhaps the most important lesson that could
205
5 The Lamb Shift and the Magnetic
206
52 The Experimental Situation during the 1930s
208
2P32
210
work Once you had started the wave rolling
219
JUL
224
In the Lamb shift experiment the metastable atoms are subjected
226
The line shape in this case is given by the
227
that were present in the theory that helped determine the
228
the relevant part of the selfenergy becomes
231
infinite selfenergy was obtained by a
237
6 Tomonaga and the Rebuilding
248
approach was socratic and students said of him that
260
7 Julian Schwinger and the
273
where the A2 term has been omitted In dipole
306
After a long calculation Schwinger obtained the result
316
term in 7464 gives rise to a one
317
The predicted additional magnetic moment accounted for the hyperfine
318
ἀμπ
415
solution can be written in the form
438
t
443
2
447
9 Freeman Dyson and the Structure
474
sure at that point whether I was a homosexual
488
74
500
Dyson was very impressed by the clarity of Tomonagas presentation
502
to meetings and spend a lot of time reading in
505
00
515
where
532
Table 9111
533
Figure 9114
538
Vertex part
539
Thus M
540
up The difference between Feynman Schwinger
567
something essential and true about the furniture of the world
569
10 QED in Switzerland
576
if by
581
Some Reflections
595
NOTES
606
certain frame of reference usually one chosen so as
657
BIBLIOGRAPHY
672
Gamow G 1928 Zur Quantentheorie des Atomkernes Zeits
690
Serpe J 1940 Sur le problčme de la largeur
714
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Silvan S. Schweber is Professor of Physics and Richard Koret Professor of the History of Ideas at Brandeis University. He is also an associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.

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