Climbing the Mountain
The Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger
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Climbing the Mountain by Jagdish Mehra
Book DescriptionJulian Schwinger was one of the leading theoretical physicists of the twentieth century. His contributions are as important, and as pervasive, as those of Richard Feynman, with whom (and with Sin-itiro Tomonaga) he shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Physics. Yet, while Feynman is universally recognized as a cultural icon, Schwinger is little known even to many within the physics community. In his youth, Julian Schwinger was a nuclear physicist, turning to classical electrodynamics after World War II. In the years after the war, he was the first to renormalize quantum electrodynamics. Subsequently, he presented the most complete formulation of quantum field theory and laid the foundations for the electroweak synthesis of Glashow, Weinberg, and Salam, and he made fundamental contributions to the theory of nuclear magnetic resonance, to many-body theory, and to quantum optics. He developed a unique approach to quantum mechanics, measurement algebra, and a general quantum action principle. His discoveries include 'Feynman's' parameters and 'Glauber's' coherent states; in later years he also developed an alternative to operator field theory which he called Source Theory, reflecting his profound phenomenological bent. His late work on the Thomas-Fermi model of atoms and on the Casimir effect continues to be an inspiration to a new generation of physicists. This biography describes the many strands of his research life, while tracing the personal life of this private and gentle genius.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780198527459
(234mm x 156mm x 36mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 14-Aug-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Jagdish Mehra
Conceptual Completion and Extensions of Quantum Mechanics 1932-1941, Paperback (April 2001)
Presents the science, history, and biography, all wrapped in the story of a great human enterprise. This book is of interest to those working in the sciences and humanities.
Discovery of Quantum Mechanics 1925, Paperback (December 2000)
Offers a historical study of Quantum Theory, and the human struggles that accompanied it from the beginning.
Creation of Wave Mechanics, Paperback (December 2000)
A historical study of the scientific work and the human struggles that accompanied it from the beginning.
Formulation of Matrix Mechanics and Its Modifications 1925-1926, Paperback (December 2000)» View all books by Jagdish Mehra
Quantum Theory, together with the principles of special and general relativity, constitute a scientific revolution that has profoundly influenced the way in which we think about the universe and the fundamental forces that govern it. This is a historical study of that scientific work and the human struggles that accompanied it from the beginning.
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Author Biography - Jagdish Mehra
Jagdish Mehra has been University Distinguished Professor of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Houston, Texas for many years and also served as UNESCO-Sir Julian Huxley Distinguished Professor of Physics and The History of Science at Trieste and Paris. He has published extensively on the historical and conceptual development of modern physics and is the acclaimed biographer of 'The Beat of a Different Drum: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman'. From Spring 1959 until Schwinger's death, Mehra remained his close friend. Kimball A. Milton is Professor of Physics at the University of Oklahoma, where he leads the theoretical high-energy physics group. He has numerous publications in the field of quantum field theory. He was a student of Julian Schwinger at Harvard and was his postdoctorate associate at UCLA for nearly a decade.
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