David Hilbert's Lectures on the Foundations of Physics 1915-1927: Relativity, Quantum Theory and Epistemology

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Tilman Sauer, Ulrich Majer
Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 6, 2009 - Mathematics - 690 pages

Volume 5 has three parts, dealing with General Relativity, Epistemological Issues, and Quantum Mechanics. The core of the first part is Hilbert’s two semester lecture course on ‘The Foundations of Physics’ (1916/17). This is framed by Hilbert’s published ‘First and Second Communications’ on the ‘Foundations of Physics’ (1915, 1917) and by a selection of documents dealing with more specific topics like ‘The Principle of Causality’ or a lecture on the new concepts of space and time held in Bucharest in 1918. The epistemological issues concern the intricate relation between nature and mathematical knowledge, in particular the question of irreversibility and objectivity (1921) as well as the subtle question whether what Hilbert calls the ‘world equations’ are physically complete (1923). The last part deals with quantum theory in its early, advanced and mature stages. Hilbert held lecture courses on the mathematical foundations of quantum theory twice, before and after the breakthrough in 1926. These documents bear witness to one of the most dramatic changes in the foundations of science.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Chapter 1 The Foundations of Physics Mitteilungen 1915 1917
25
Chapter 2 The Foundations of Physics The Lectures 19161917
73
Chapter 3 The Foundations of Physics Specific Topics 1915?1918
309
Chapter 4 Epistemological Questions of Physics 1921 and 1923
375
Chapter 5 Lectures on Radiation and Quantum Theory 1912
435
Chapter 6 Lectures on Quantum Theory 192223 and 192627
502
Hilberts Lecture Courses 18861934
709
Bibliography
727
Index
767
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research faculty at the California Institute of Technology

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