Über die Quantisierung der skalaren relativitischen Wellengleichung. Offprint from Helvetica Physica Acta 7. Kramers's copy.

Publisher Information: 1934.

Pauli, Wolfgang (1900-1958) and Victor Weisskopf (1908-2002). Über die Quantisierung der skalaren relativistischen Wellengleichungen. Offprint from Helvetica physica acta 7 (1934). 709-731pp. 230 x 157 mm. Without wrappers as issued. Small marginal tear in first leaf, light soiling. Very good. From the library of H. A. Kramers (1894-1952), with his name in pencil on the first leaf and annotations on pp. 712-713.

First Edition, Offprint Issue of Pauli and Weisskopf’s “anti-Dirac” paper, an important stepping-stone to Pauli’s famous demonstration of the relation between spin and statistics; the paper is one of eleven featured in A. I. Miller’s Early Quantum Electrodynamics: A Source Book (1994). Seeking an alternative to Dirac’s “holes” theory of the electron and positron, which he found highly objectionable, Pauli applied his and Heisenberg’s “old formalism of field quantization” to the Klein-Gordon relativistic wave equation, which led “without any further hypothesis (without ‘hole’ idea, without limiting acrobatics, without subtraction physics!) to the existence of positrons and to processes of pair production with easily calculable frequency” (Pauli’s 14 June 1934 letter to Heisenberg, quoted in Miller, p. 70). As Weisskopf later recalled,

". . . at the time the method of exchanging the creation and destruction operators (for negative energy states) was not yet in fashion; [Dirac’s] hole theory of the filled vacuum was still the accepted way of dealing with positrons. Pauli called our work the 'anti-Dirac paper.' He considered it a weapon in the fight against the filled vacuum that he never liked. We thought that this theory only served the purpose of a nonrelativistic example of a theory that contained all the advantages of the hold theory without the necessity of filling the vacuum. We had no idea that the world of particles would abound with spin-zero entities a quarter of a century later” (quoted in Mehra and Rechenberg, The Historical Development of Quantum Theory, 6, p. 942n).

This copy of Pauli and Weisskopf’s paper is from the library of Dutch physicist H. A. Kramers, one of the major contributors to quantum theory; pp. 712-713 contain pencil annotations in Kramers’s hand. Miller, “Frame-setting essay,” in Early Quantum Electrodynamics: A Source Book, pp. 3-118; see pp. 188-205 of Miller’s work for an English translation of Pauli and Weisskopf’s paper.

Book Id: 50944

Price: $2,750.00

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