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Feynman's Thesis: A New Approach to Quantum Theory [Paperback]

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Item description for Feynman's Thesis: A New Approach to Quantum Theory by Laurie M. Brown, Richard Phillips Feynman, Jianhua Tong, T. Nejat Veziroglu, Luiz Alberto & Janey Tucker...

Richard Feynman s never previously published doctoral thesis formed the heart of much of his brilliant and profound work in theoretical physics. Entitled The Principle of Least Action in Quantum Mechanics, its original motive was to quantize the classical action-at-a-distance electrodynamics. Because that theory adopted an overall space time viewpoint, the classical Hamiltonian approach used in the conventional formulations of quantum theory could not be used, so Feynman turned to the Lagrangian function and the principle of least action as his points of departure.

The result was the path integral approach, which satisfied -- and transcended -- its original motivation, and has enjoyed great success in renormalized quantum field theory, including the derivation of the ubiquitous Feynman diagrams for elementary particles. Path integrals have many other applications, including atomic, molecular, and nuclear scattering, statistical mechanics, quantum liquids and solids, Brownian motion, and noise theory. It also sheds new light on fundamental issues like the interpretation of quantum theory because of its new overall space time viewpoint.

The present volume includes Feynman s Princeton thesis, the related review article Space Time Approach to Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics [Reviews of Modern Physics 20 (1948), 367 387], Paul Dirac s seminal paper The Lagrangian in Quantum Mechanics [Physikalische Zeitschrift der Sowjetunion, Band 3, Heft 1 (1933)], and an introduction by Laurie M Brown.

Contents: Least Action in Classical Mechanics: The Concept of Functional; The Principle of Least Action; Conservation of Energy. Constants of the Motion; Particles Interacting Through an Intermediate Oscillator; Least Action in Quantum Mechanics: The Lagrangian in Quantum Mechanics; The Calculation of Matrix Elements in the Language of a Lagrangian; The Equations of Motion in Lagrangian Form; Translation to the Ordinary Notation of Quantum Mechanics; The Generalization to Any Action Function; Conservation of Energy. Constants of the Motion; The Role of the Wave Function; Transition Probabilities; Expectation Values for Observables; Application to the Forced Harmonic Oscillator; Particles Interacting Through an Intermediate Oscillator; Space Time Approach to Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics; The Lagrangian in Quantum Mechanics.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: World Scientific Publishing Company
Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 23, 2005
Publisher   World Scientific Publishing Company
ISBN  9812563806  
ISBN13  9789812563804  

Availability  0 units.

More About Laurie M. Brown, Richard Phillips Feynman, Jianhua Tong, T. Nejat Veziroglu, Luiz Alberto & Janey Tucker

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1Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Physics > General
2Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Physics > Quantum Theory
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Reviews - What do customers think about Feynman's Thesis: A New Approach to Quantum Theory?

The early works of a great Physicist  Mar 1, 2008
Having access to the early ideas that lead R. P. Feynman to the eventual development of his path integral theory of Quantum Mechanics is invaluable.
Can not be compared with his lectures  Jul 27, 2006
The book is not bad but also not in the same class as his lectures. Good for undergraduates as a quick read.
Pure Feynman - a real joy  Jun 6, 2006
I did a course on quantum theory in the 1970s with John Ward who was recommended for the Nobel Prize in 1965 (Feynman, Schwinger and Tomogana shared it). Those close to the action will know of Ward's Identity. John (died in 2002 from memory) used Feynman's lectures as his course notes.

I must confess a soft spot for Feynman. I would have loved to have been in his lectures (buy his audio tapes and you will get the feel for his delivery). He was truly a great physics communicator and often understated his mathematical abilities (after all he had won the Putnam Prize at some stage so he was no mathematical slouch).

His development of QED is simple to understand and that says it all about his genius. He took the view that if he couldn't give a simple explanation then he really didn't understand the topic. The current crop of tool polishers should heed this.

Anyone who is really serious about physics (and maths) should read the original papers and this is a classic example. I suggest that you fill in the gaps in the derivations. If you can't do that then you haven't really understood it.

It is fascinating to compare Feynman's approach with Schwinger's more abstract approach. I prefer Feynman's but Schwinger does a hugely impressive job in stripping QED down to its logical (almost truth functional) essentials.

Buy this book and see how a first class mind works.

Peter Haggstrom
Awesome book  Mar 6, 2006
The section on quantum superposition and the essential difference between classical and quantum approaches, found in the article "Space-Time Approach to Non-Relativistic Quantum Mechanics", is mind-blowing stuff. This is a great book.

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