Feynman's Thesis: A New Approach to Quantum Theory

Overview

"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 ...
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Overview

"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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789812563804
  • Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/23/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 119
  • Sales rank: 986,432
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 8.16 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Table of Contents

The principle of least action in quantum mechanics
Space-time approach to non-relativistic quantum mechanics 71
The Lagrangian in quantum mechanics 111
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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    A must-have for any science buff!

    Who isn't fascinated by the life and achievements of American Nobel laureate Richard Feynman?

    Feynman's brilliant and profound work in modern physics comes to life in his doctoral thesis. It contains his theoretical approach to quantize classical action-at-a-distance electrodynamics, and thus it is a must read for any student of physics. Feynman wrote with incredible clarity and made the difficult topics of his dissertation seem easy.

    But even non physicists will find this book interesting, and very inspiring. This is due in part to the fine introduction by Laurie Brown who in just a few pages puts Feynman's work in the right context. Professor Brown's explanations make Feynman's doctoral thesis accessible to anyone, even if one does not know quantum physics. Thus, just reading Laurie Brown's introduction will help readers understand what Richard Feynman did to advance theoretical physics.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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