×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Lectures on Quantum Mechanics
     

Lectures on Quantum Mechanics

5.0 2
by Paul A. M. Dirac, Dirac, P. A. Dirac
 

See All Formats & Editions

The author of this concise, brilliant series of lectures on mathematical methods in quantum mechanics was one of the shining intellects in the field, winning a Nobel prize in 1933 for his pioneering work in the quantum mechanics of the atom. Beyond that, he developed the transformation theory of quantum mechanics (which made it possible to calculate the statistical

Overview

The author of this concise, brilliant series of lectures on mathematical methods in quantum mechanics was one of the shining intellects in the field, winning a Nobel prize in 1933 for his pioneering work in the quantum mechanics of the atom. Beyond that, he developed the transformation theory of quantum mechanics (which made it possible to calculate the statistical distribution of certain variables), was one of the major authors of the quantum theory of radiation, codiscovered the Fermi-Dirac statistics, and predicted the existence of the positron.
The four lectures in this book were delivered at Yeshiva University, New York, in 1964. The first, "The Hamiltonian Method," is an introduction to visualizing quantum theory through the use of classical mechanics. The remaining lectures build on that idea. "The Problem of Quantization" shows how one can start with a classical field theory and end up with a quantum field theory. In "Quantization on Curved Surfaces," Dirac examines the possibility of building a relativistic quantum theory on curved surfaces. He deduces that it is not possible, but it should be possible on flat surfaces. In the final lecture, "Quantization on Flat Surfaces," he concludes that "we can set up the basic equations for a quantum theory of the Born-Infeld electrodynamics agreeing with special relativity, but [not] with general relativity." Physics and chemistry students will find this book an invaluable addition to their libraries, as will anyone intrigued by the far-reaching and influential ideas of quantum mechanics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486417134
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
03/22/2001
Series:
Dover Books on Physics Series
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
881,010
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.62(h) x 0.26(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

The Physics of Pretty Mathematics
One of the founders of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics, Paul A. M. Dirac shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics with Erwin Schrödinger, "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory."

In the Author's Own Words:
"A good deal of my research in physics has consisted in not setting out to solve some particular problem, but simply examining mathematical equations of a kind that physicists use and trying to fit them together in an interesting way, regardless of any application that the work may have. It is simply a search for pretty mathematics. It may turn out later to have an application. Then one has good luck."

"The mathematician plays a game in which he himself invents the rules while the physicist plays a game in which the rules are provided by nature, but as time goes on it becomes increasingly evident that the rules which the mathematician finds interesting are the same as those which nature has chosen." — Paul A. M. Dirac

Critical Acclaim for Lectures on Quantum Mechanics:
"Dirac's lovely little book represents a set of lectures Dirac gave in 1964 at Yeshiva University, at a time when the great master could take advantage of hindsight. The Dover edition didn't appear until 2001. The clarity of Dirac's presentation is truly compelling (no mystery at all!). Very little background is required on the part of the reader. Dirac begins with the Hamiltonian method, and then passes to quantization in terms of physics. The mathematics of quantization on curved (and flat) surfaces is clearly presented in the second part of the book." — Palle E.T. Jorgensen, author of Operators and Representation Theory: Canonical Models for Algebras of Operators Arising in Quantum Mechanics, which Dover reprinted in 2008

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Lectures on Quantum Mechanics 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The concept of 'quantization' has acquired multiple meanings in mathematical physics, since the foundation of quantum mechanics in the 1920ties. I refer to the papers of Heisenberg, Schrodinger, and Dirac which made precise the variables: states, observables, probabilities, the uncertainty principle, dual variables, and the equations of motion. This was also when the wave-particle question received a more precise mathematical formulation, and resolution. Perhaps best known are the equation of Schrodinger, giving the dynamics of systems of quantum mechanical particles, and Dirac's equation for the electron. All three of the pioneers won the Nobel Prize at a young age;-- Schrodinger was a little older than the other two (Heisenberg and Dirac were both born in 1902.) In 1932, John von Neumann showed, surprisingly at the time, that Schrodinger's formulation is equivalent to Heisenbergs matrix mechanics, and von Neumann turned quantization into a field of mathematics. Von Neumann was a contemporary, but trained in mathemetics. His 1932 book 'Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics' was reprinted by Princeton University Press in 1996. Occasionally the link to the foundations of physics have been missed: Reed and Simon quote Edward Nelson: 'First quantization is a mystery, and second quantization is a functor.' Dirac's lovely little book represents a set of lectures Dirac gave in 1964 at Yeshiva University, at a time when the great master could take advantage of hindsight. The Dover edition didn't appear until 2001. The clarity of Dirac's presentation is truely compelling (no mystery at all!). Very little background is required on the part of the reader. Dirac begins with the Hamilonian method, and then passes to quantization in terms of physics. The mathematics of quantization on curved (and flat) surfaces is clearly presented in the second part of the book. Dirac's ansatz for relativistic theory is Lorentz invariance, and the equations of motion arise naturally as extensions of the 'classical' theory. The Lorentz-invariant action integrals are central, and Dirac covers the Born-Infeld electrodynamics in the last chapter. In total the book is only 87 pages, but Dirac is the master of effective and consise exposition. He also firmly believed that, as a rule, the beauty of the mathematics involved is a good indication that the equation is right for physics. Readers who enjoy popular books by the pioneers in science might like to check out Schrodinger's 'What is Life?' reprinted by Cambridge University Press 2002, with a Preface written by Roger Penrose, and a lovely set of biographical sketches, written by Schrodinger, and translated by his granddaughter Verena. And there is a lovely book edited by Pais, Jacob and Atiyah, 'Paul Dirac: The Man and his Work' , Cambridge U Press, 1998. ---Review by Palle Jorgensen, July 2003.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a basis to understand quantum theory