Quantum Concepts in Physics: An Alternative Approach to the Understanding of Quantum Mechanics

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 31, 2013 - Science - 443 pages
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Written for advanced undergraduates, physicists, and historians and philosophers of physics, this book tells the story of the development of our understanding of quantum phenomena through the extraordinary years of the first three decades of the twentieth century. Rather than following the standard axiomatic approach, this book adopts a historical perspective, explaining clearly and authoritatively how pioneers such as Heisenberg, Schrodinger, Pauli and Dirac developed the fundamentals of quantum mechanics and merged them into a coherent theory, and why the mathematical infrastructure of quantum mechanics has to be as complex as it is. The author creates a compelling narrative, providing a remarkable example of how physics and mathematics work in practice. The book encourages an enhanced appreciation of the interaction between mathematics, theory and experiment, helping the reader gain a deeper understanding of the development and content of quantum mechanics than any other text at this level.
 

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It Explains the Basic Concept in Simple and clear terms

Contents

Physics and theoretical physics in 1895
3
Planck and blackbody radiation
24
Einstein and quanta 19001911
48
The Bohr model of the hydrogen atom
71
Sommerfeld and Ehrenfest generalising the Bohr model
90
Einstein coefficients Bohrs correspondence principle and the first selection rules
119
Understanding atomic spectra additional quantum numbers
137
Bohrs model of the periodic table and the origin of spin
155
Matrix mechanics
224
Diracs quantum mechanics
247
Schrodinger and wave mechanics
261
Reconciling matrix and wave mechanics
292
Spin and quantum statistics
312
The interpretation of quantum mechanics
343
The aftermath
368
Epilogue
388

The waveparticle duality
172
The Discovery of Quantum Mechanics
187
The Heisenberg breakthrough
203
References
405
Name index
432
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About the author (2013)

Malcolm Longair is Emeritus Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy and Director of Development at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He has held many highly distinguished positions within physics and astronomy and has served on and chaired many international committees, boards and panels, working with both NASA and the European Space Agency. He has received much recognition for his work, including the Pilkington Prize of the University of Cambridge for Excellence in Teaching and a CBE in the millennium honours list for his services to astronomy and cosmology. His previous well-received books for Cambridge University Press include Theoretical Concepts in Physics (2003), The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology (2005) and High Energy Astrophysics (2011).

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