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The Fundamental Equations of Quantum Mechanics," Proceedings of the Royal Society, 109, 1925, pp. 642-653
BOUND FIRST EDITION OF AN EPOCH MAKING PAPER THAT HELPED USHER IN A NEW ERA OF QUANTUM MECHANICS. "P. A. M. Dirac's discovery of the fundamental equations of quantum theory has been seen as one of the deepest insights of the human mind into the ways in which nature works. It has allowed the formulation of the fundamental laws of nature in a manner which is as clear and compact as it is beautiful. [Dirac's paper] leaves the reader, even today, more than seventy-five years after their publication, captivated by the force of argument and the clarity of presentation" (Datta, Dirac's Early Work on Quantum Theory). In "The Fundamental Equations of Quantum Mechanics," "the unsatisfactory recipes of wave mechanics and matrix mechanics were replaced by a unified clear picture. Those who knew and admired the beauty of classical mechanics were especially impressed" (Fraser, Antimatter). Dirac's paper went a long way toward nailing down the formal mathematics of quantum mechanics; it also showed that matrix mechanics and the Schrodinger equation were simply different ways of expressing exactly the same thing. The story of Dirac's paper is a particularly compelling one. "R. H. Fowler, his research supervisor, had received a proof copy of an exploratory paper by Werner Heisenberg in the framework of the old quantum theory of Bohr and Sommerfeld, which leaned heavily on Bohr's correspondence principle but changed the equations so that they involved directly observable quantities. Fowler sent Heisenberg's paper on to Dirac, who was on vacation in Bristol, asking him to look into his paper carefully. Dirac's attention was drawn to a mysterious mathematical relationship, at first sight unintelligible, that Heisenberg had reached. "Several weeks later, back in Cambridge, Dirac suddenly recognized that this mathematical form had the same structure as the Poisson Brackets that occur in the classical dynamics of particle motion. From this thought he quickly developed a quantum theory that was based on non-commuting dynamical variables. This led him to a more profound and significant general formulation of quantum mechanics than was achieved by any other worker in this field. This was a major achievement that marked him out from others in the field. As a young, 25 year-old physicist he was quickly accepted by outstanding physicists... Dirac's quantum mechanics takes a simple and beautiful form, with a structure showing elegance and economy of concept, and linked directly with the classical theory" (Dalitz, Paul Dirac). CONDITION & DETAILS: London: The Royal Society. Complete volume. 4to. 9.75 by 7 inches (213 x 138mm). [4], vii, [653], xxxiv (obituaries), [2]. Small ex-libris stamp on the title page. The volume is illustrated throughout with in-text figures. Handsomely bound in tan cloth; red morocco labels; gilt-lettered at the spine. Minor rubbing at the edges of the boards. Bright and clean inside and out. Very good condition.
      [Bookseller: Atticus Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-04-28           Check availability:      Biblio    


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