The Story of Spin

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University of Chicago Press, 1997 - Science - 258 pages
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All atomic particles have a particular "spin," analogous to the earth's rotation on its axis. The quantum mechanical reality underlying spin is complex and still poorly understood. Sin-itiro Tomonaga's The Story of Spin remains the most complete and accessible treatment of spin, and is now available in English translation. Tomonaga tells the tale of the pioneers of physics and their difficult journey toward an understanding of the nature of spin and its relationship to statistics. His clear unfolding of the tale of spin is invaluable to students of physics, chemistry, and astronomy, and his description of the historical development of spin will interest historians and philosophers of science.

"This piece of the history of physics will provide excellent and exciting reading. . . . It also provides the personal touch of an expert in the field that is so often lacking in the physics literature. I recommend it very highly."—Fritz Rohrlich, Physics Today

Sin-itiro Tomonaga was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965.
 

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This book does presume a fairly high level of knowledge of quantum mechanics, but is a great exposition of the history of the development of ALL quantum mechanics. The reader will delight in the story behind so much we had to simply take for granted in the usual treatment of quantum mechanics in undergraduate course.
One of the delights is that we get a much better picture from this book than from class about how even the great physicists stumbled quite a bit with failures like the "Ersatzmodel" before they finally hit on the right idea: 'spin' and the 'spinor'.
 

Contents

Before the Dawn
1
Electron Spin and the Thomas Factor
24
Paulis Spin Theory and the Dirac Theory
43
Proton Spin
63
Interaction between Spins
78
PauliWeisskopf and the Yukawa Particle
95
The Quantity Which Is neither Vector nor Tensor
113
Spin and Statistics of Elementary Particles
131
Nuclear Force and Isospin
162
The Thomas Factor Revisited
184
The Last Lecture
215
Epilogue
232
Short Biography of SinItiro Tomonaga
235
Annotated Bibliography
237
Index
247
Copyright

The Year of Discovery 1932
150

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