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The Physical Principles of the Quantum Theory Paperback – June 1, 1949

ISBN-13: 978-0486601137 ISBN-10: 0486601137

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (June 1, 1949)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486601137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486601137
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Professor Joseph L. McCauley on January 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Not really for beginners in spite of appearances, this book sketches Heisenberg's path in discovering the canonical commutation rules of quantum mechanics. After trying unsuccessfully for years to quantize the helium atom via the Bohr-Sommerfeld quantization rules (which attempt Einstein had already explained in 1917 to be hopeless, because the classical 3-body problem is nonintegrable), Heisenberg was finally motivated by the example of relativity (where absolute time had to be abandoned) to give up the assumption that the position and momentum of a point particle are simultaneously predictable. To follow Heisenberg's reasoning the reader must first understand action-angle variables in classical mechanics. With Einstein's 1917 paper in hindsight, the three body problem representing the helium atom energy spectrum was finally approximated semi-clasically around 1990 based on a path-integral approximation to a chaotic Hamiltonian system.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By physics student on December 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is the standard introduction to - well, to the physical principles underlying the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics. While it is dated in terms of that mathematical formalism, it has never been superseded in its analyses. Every serious student of quantum physics will encounter it, sooner or later, in the original or in paraphrases in newer monographs on quantum theory.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Richard Crendal on June 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It uses technical language (which can at times can become difficult), to express the physical context surrounding the development of Quantum mechanics, and deal with the matter at hand (pardon the pun). Quantum theory has a reputation as being difficult, confronting and unbelievable. However this book expresses logically and in detail, the physical principles of the Quantum theory, by the great Werner Heisenberg himself.

A great book if your thought needs provoking...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peeter Joot on December 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
A lot of the interesting bits are covered in the appendix, but I found it too dense to attempt to read (an attempt to cram too much into a short book).

After learning the subject from other sources this would probably be interesting to revisit to get a historical perspective, but I don't rate it high for learning from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By randy brandt on May 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A treatise from one of the true geniuses of our time...this book along with Dirac's "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" provides insight into the origins of matrix mechanics.
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Format: Paperback
Werner Karl Heisenberg (1901-1976) was a German theoretical physicist and won a Nobel Prize for his development of quantum mechanics.

He wrote in the Preface to this 1930 book, “The lectures which I gave at the University of Chicago in the spring of 1929 afforded me the opportunity of reviewing the fundamental principles of quantum theory. Since the conclusive studies of Bohr in 1927 there have been no essential changes in these principles, and many new experiments have confirmed important consequences of the theory… But even today the physicist more often has a kind of faith in the correctness of the new principles than a clear understanding of them. For this reason the publication of these Chicago lectures in the form of a small book seems justified.”

He says, “Although the theory of relativity makes the greatest of demands on the ability for abstract thought, still it fulfills the traditional requirements of science in so far as it permits a division of the world into subject and object… and hence a clear formulation of the law of causality. This is the very point at which the difficulties of the quantum theory begin. In atomic physics, the concepts ‘clock’ and ‘measuring rod’ need no immediate consideration… The concepts ‘space-time coincidence’ and ‘observation,’ on the other hand, do require a thorough revision. Particularly characteristic … is the interaction between observer and object; in classical theories it has always been assumed … its effect can be eliminated from the result by calculations based on ‘control’ experiments.
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