Problems of Atomic Dynamics

Problems of Atomic Dynamics

by Max Born

ISBN-10: 0262520192

ISBN-13: 9780262520195

Pub. Date: 08/15/1970

Publisher: MIT Press

In 1925-26, the late Max Born gave two sets of lectures at M.I.T., one on the structure of the atom, the other on the lattice theory of rigid bodies. Problems of Atomic Dynamics contains the text of both sets.What gives this volume its remarkable interest is just those dates: 1925-26. This must have been, by all accounts, the headiest period in


In 1925-26, the late Max Born gave two sets of lectures at M.I.T., one on the structure of the atom, the other on the lattice theory of rigid bodies. Problems of Atomic Dynamics contains the text of both sets.What gives this volume its remarkable interest is just those dates: 1925-26. This must have been, by all accounts, the headiest period in twentieth-century physics, and Max Born was one of the leaders of the ferment. As Norbert Wiener remembers, "When Professor Born came to the United States [for these lectures in 1925] he was enormously excited about the new basis Heisenberg had just given for the quantum theory of the atom."These lectures represent perhaps the most vivid written record of the transition between the "old" quantum theory of Bohr, and the "new" theory. "At the time I began this course of lectures," Born writes, "Heisenberg's first paper on the new quantum theory had just appeared. Here his masterly treatment gave the quantum theory an entirely new turn. The paper of Jordan and myself, in which we recognized the matrix calculus as the proper formulation of Heisenberg's ideas, was in press, and the manuscript of a third paper by the three of us was almost completed."Even as the lecture series progressed, Born became familiar with new results, which he introduced into his presentation: Pauli's fourth quantum number, Dirac's formalism,
his own work on a general operational calculus. And yet, in spite of the conditions of revolutionary changes in physics that year -- in which established ancien regime principles were collapsing almost monthly -- the theory is developed with a cool elegance and with a formal completeness which may be regarded as a "limiting case"
of its current state. These lectures represent the foundations of quantum theory,
and they have withstood the tests of time -- the tests of more than forty years of experimental evidence.

Product Details

MIT Press
Publication date:
MIT Press Paperbacks in the History of Science and Technology Series
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Series IThe Structure of the Atom
Lecture 11
Comparison between the classical continuum theory and the quantum theory
Chief experimental results on the structure of the atom
General principles of the quantum theory
Lecture 212
General introduction to mechanics
Canonical equations and canonical transformations
Lecture 321
The Hamilton-Jacobi partial differential equation
Action and angle variables
The quantum conditions
Lecture 425
Adiabatic invariants
The principle of correspondence
Lecture 532
Degenerate systems
Secular perturbations
The quantum integrals
Lecture 638
Bohr's theory of the hydrogen atom
Relativity effect and fine structure
Stark and Zeeman effects
Lecture 747
Attempts towards a theory of the helium atom and reasons for their failure
Bohr's semi-empirical theory of the structure of higher atoms
The optical electron and the Rydberg-Ritz formula for spectral series
The classification of series
The main quantum numbers of the alkali atoms in the unexcited state
Lecture 854
Bohr's principle of successive building of atoms
Arc and spark spectra
X-ray spectra
Bohr's table of the completed numbers of electrons in the stationary states
Lecture 960
Sommerfeld's inner quantum numbers
Attempts toward their interpretation by means of the atomic angular momentum
Breakdown of the classical theory
Formal interpretation of spectral regularities
Stoner's definition of subgroups in the periodic system
Pauli's introduction of four quantum numbers for the electron
Pauli's principle of unequal quantum numbers
Report on the development of the formal theory
Lecture 1068
Introduction to the new quantum theory
Representation of a coordinate by a matrix
The elementary rules of matrix calculus
Lecture 1175
The commutation rule and its justification by a correspondence consideration
Matrix functions and their differentiation with respect to matrix arguments
Lecture 1279
The canonical equations of mechanics
Proof of the conservation of energy and of the "frequency condition"
Canonical transformations
The analogue of the Hamilton-Jacobi differential equation
Lecture 1383
The example of the harmonic oscillator
Perturbation theory
Lecture 1489
The meaning of external forces in the quantum theory and corresponding perturbation formulas
Their application to the theory of dispersion
Lecture 1594
Systems of more than one degree of freedom
The commutation rules
The analogue of the Hamilton-Jacobi theory
Degenerate systems
Lecture 1699
Conservation of angular momentum
Axial symmetrical systems and the quantization of the axial component of angular momentum
Lecture 17106
Free systems as limiting cases of axially symmetrical systems
Quantization of the total angular momentum
Comparison with the theory of directional quantization
Intensities of the Zeeman components of a spectral line
Remarks on the theory of Zeeman separation
Lecture 18113
Pauli's theory of the hydrogen atom
Lecture 19119
Connection with the theory of Hermitian forms
Aperiodic motions and continuous spectra
Lecture 20125
Substitution of the matrix calculus by the general operational calculus for improved treatment of aperiodic motions
Concluding remarks
Series IIThe Lattice Theory of Rigid Bodies
Lecture 1133
Classification of crystal properties
Continuum and lattice theories
Geometry of lattices
Lecture 2139
Molecular forces
Polarizability of atoms
Potential energy and inner forces
Homogeneous displacements
The conditions of equilibrium
Examples of regular lattices
Lecture 3146
Elimination of inner motions
Elasticity and Hooke's law
Cauchy's relations
Dielectric displacement and piezoelectricity
Residual-ray frequencies
Lecture 4155
Ionic lattices
Kossel's and Lewis' theory
Calculation of the lattice energy according to Madelung and Ewald
Lecture 5163
The energy of the rock-salt lattice
Repulsive forces
Derivation of the properties of salt crystals from the properties of inert gases
Lecture 6168
Experimental determination of the lattice energy by means of cyclic processes
The electron affinity of halogens
Heat of dissociation of salt molecules
Theory of molecular structure
Lecture 7176
Chemical crystallography
Coordination lattices
Hund's theory of lattice types
Molecule, radical and layer lattices
Lecture 8183
Physical mineralogy
The parameters of asymmetrical lattices
The molecule lattice of hydrochloric acid
Bragg's calculation of the rhombohedral angle of calcite
Rutile and anatase
Influence of the polarizability on elastic and electric constants
The breaking stress of rock salt
Lecture 9189
Crystal optics
Refraction and double refraction
Optical activity
Quantum theory of specific heats
Distribution of frequencies in phase space
Lecture 10196
Thermal expansion and pyroelectricity
Concluding remarks

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