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Sources of Quantum Mechanics (Dover Books on Physics) Paperback – 23 Feb 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (23 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048645892X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486458922
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 913,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very nice book on the history of foundations of quantum mechanics. It presents an indepth introduction with analysis and historical remarks, and a series of seminal papers by some of the father founders - many in complete form although not all. The papers are all translated in English. A must have for those interested in learning about the historical trajectory that lead to the original insights. Last but not least a big pleasure to have access to the orginal works.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This volume is completely described by its title and the Look Inside pages, save that the first page of the Preface is omitted. In short, Max Born had conceived of publishing a collection of seminal papers on quantum mechanics (a term he claims to have coined [see page 20]), after translating into English those originally published in German (here the majority), and discussed the selection with Pauli and the publishers' consultant, Paul Rosbaud. After the latter's death, the project was completed by the present editor (also a member of the translation team), following discussions also with Dirac, Heisenberg, Hund, Jordan, Kuhn and Wigner. [Preface]

Naturally, most papers assume knowledge of advanced mathematics, and all papers of classical electrodynamics, as mostly does the editor's Introduction [see Look Inside pages]. But, to those of us lacking such knowledge, the latter gives some assistance (whilst remaining essentially an introduction to the historical development of the physics and its mathematical interpretation) and at least the introductions to most of the papers can be followed. Paper 5 contains but a single equation, and is in Bohr's inimitable style.

As can be seen [page vi] various papers were omitted (including those on Wave Mechanics which, it was hoped, would form a second volume).

It will be of interest primarily to physics undergraduates (such as myself) and to historians of science. I believe it presents the most convenient, if not only, English translation of some of these important sources.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is as if Schrodinger never existed. Yet I always thought that his equation accounted for qm in a way that no other theory did. Even at the time of its inception, people fell upon the wave equation with some relief, after trying to understand the Heisenberg formulation.
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Format: Paperback
As usual administration and transportation proceeded smoothly; the order was received in excellent condition ; transportation time UK-NL: may 31 - june 18.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable book on the English translations of the papers leading ... 18 May 2015
By Gokhan Esirgen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Indispensable book on the English translations of the papers leading to quantum mechanics by Einstein, Bohr, and others, and the original papers (English translations of the German papers) on the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics by Heisenberg, Born, Jordan, Pauli, and Dirac.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but... 17 April 2013
By Justin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This goes beyond a simple collection of the translated papers (which could probably be found free of charge elsewhere): it starts with a 60-page introduction where the author summarizes each paper, giving its context in the development of quantum physics broadly, and its relation to the other papers in particular -- but even beyond that, the editor provides plentiful background, clarification and anecdotes from his (obviously voluminous) personal correspondence with the authors.

My one gripe: while all of the actual papers are provided in English, the editor gives quotations from correspondence (both his own and that between the authors and their collaborators) in the original language (mostly German) without translation. This isn't an insurmountable barrier to understanding the gist, but it seems like an odd choice in a collection of translated articles.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 9 Jun. 2015
By jaldo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Serious lovers of the foundations of physics must have this volume in their bookshelves.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is Schroedinger's paper? 2 May 2011
By Pichierri Fabio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book collects seventeen papers which contributed to laying down the foundations of quantum mechanics. Part I comprises eleven papers (1-11) dealing with the old quantum theory of the pre-Heisemberg period 1900-1925; Part II contains six papers (12-17) concerned with the new quantum theory. Paper nr. 12 is the famous Heisemberg's 1925 paper written when the brilliant, young physicist stationed in Heligoland (or Helgoland in German), an island in the North Sea, while recovering from an attack of hay fever. This paper is well known for it being difficult to read since Heisemberg assumed that several equations were known to his colleagues and, hence, spared them of all the mathematical derivations. Help comes from the author, Dutch mathematician and historian of science professor van der Waerden, who included inside the Introduction a summary of paper 12 (see page 28). The remaining papers in Part II were authored by Born, Jordan, Dirac, and Pauli. A mysterious surprise is the absence of any paper written by Schroedinger, the Austrian physicist who is credited, together with Heisemberg and Dirac, of being the father of quantum mechanics (for his biography see Moore's book: "Schroedinger: Life and Thought"). In 1926 he wrote in the journal Annalen der Physik four important papers, one of which introduces the famous Schroedinger eigenvalue equation. The exclusion from Part II of Schroedinger's paper(s) is puzzling while the book index associates to his name only three pages (52, 56, and 379). This absence (it would be interesting to know why) forced me to assign it only three stars.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection of papers leading to quantum revolution, but some might feel discouraged reading 13 Jun. 2008
By qp~h SH - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's no wonder some might feel frustrated or discouraged reading the papers in this collection. Even though those papers were written several decades ago, they had been all forefront research papers then. Some papers should be difficult even for a physics major if one is not in the specific field; some are difficult because of the usage of "old-style" notations such as writing matrix equations in a certain way; still you may find a couple papers very much readable even with a minimal amount of training in mathematical skills.
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