The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The Most Astounding Papers of Quantum Physics--and How They Shook the Scientific World

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of: The Most Astounding Papers of Quantum Physics--and How They Shook the Scientific World

Stephen Hawking

Language: English

Pages: 982

ISBN: 2:00365433

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“God does not play dice with the universe.” So said Albert Einstein in response to the first discoveries that launched quantum physics, as they suggested a random universe that seemed to violate the laws of common sense. This 20th-century scientific revolution completely shattered Newtonian laws, inciting a crisis of thought that challenged scientists to think differently about matter and subatomic particles.

The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of compiles the essential works from the scientists who sparked the paradigm shift that changed the face of physics forever, pushing our understanding of the universe on to an entirely new level of comprehension. Gathered in this anthology is the scholarship that shocked and befuddled the scientific world, including works by Niels Bohr, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born, Erwin Schrodinger, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, as well as an introduction by today’s most celebrated scientist, Stephen Hawking.

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addition to that satisfy the condition that they have the determinant +1 and do not reverse the time. A tensor or spinor which transforms irreducibly under this group can be characterized by two integral positive numbers (p, q). (The corresponding “angular momentum quantum numbers” (j, k) are then given by p = 2j + 1, q = 2k + 1, with integral or half-integral j and k.)gp The quantity U(j, k) characterized by (j, k) has p � q = (2j + 1)(2k + 1) independent components. Hence to (0, 0) corresponds

variable is, in the Schrödinger representation of quantum mechanics, a time-independent operator operating on the state vector Φ of the system. The nature of Φ (wave function or abstract vector) need not be specified; its essential property is that, given the Φ of a system at a particular time, the results of all measurements made on the system at that time are statistically determined. The variation of Φ with time is given by the Schrödinger equation  (1) where H( r) is the operator

in agreement with Planck’s hypothesis. In order to verify that I = W/ν is really an adiabatic invariant, we represent the resonator by a pendulum swinging with small amplitude. Let m be the mass of the bob, l the length of the wire and g the acceleration of gravity. Suppose now that the length l is changed very slowly: the problem is to calculate how W and ν vary. The forces which stretch the wire for any value of the angle φ are the component of gravity mg cos φ = mg (1 − φ 2 /2) and the

system. Just as the simplicity of the laws that govern the motions of the solar system is intimately connected with the circumstance that the dimensions of the moving bodies are small in relation to the orbits, so the corresponding relations in atomic structure provide us with an explanation of an essential feature of natural phenomena in so far as these depend on the properties of the elements. It makes clear at once that these properties can be divided into two sharply distinguished classes.

hitherto placed the emphasis on the formation of the atom by successive capture of electrons. Our picture would, however, be incomplete without some reference to the confirmation of the theory afforded by the study of X-ray spectra. Since the interruption of Moseley’s fundamental researches by his untimely death, the study of these spectra has been continued in a most admirable way by Prof. Siegbahn in Lund. On the basis of the large amount of experimental evidence adduced by him and his

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