Download A Passion for Discovery by Peter Freund PDF

By Peter Freund

ISBN-10: 9812706461

ISBN-13: 9789812706461

This attention-grabbing publication assembles human tales approximately physicists and mathematicians. Remarkably, those tales cluster round a few basic topics having to do with the interplay among scientists, and with the impression of old occasions reminiscent of the arrival of fascism and communism within the 20th century on scientists habit. in brief, yet lucidly, a few of the appealing technological know-how that introduced those scientists jointly within the first position is defined

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Qxd 6/29/2007 9:40 AM Page 26 FA CHAPTER 5 The Wizard of Pasadena Unlike the other founders of modern quantum field theory, Richard Feynman, did not only formulate quantum electrodynamics as a workable theory, he first reinvented all of quantum theory from scratch. His sum over histories approach to quantum theory, equivalent to the earlier Heisenberg approach, is better suited for modern needs. In classical physics, applicable in the familiar macroscopic world, point-like bodies clearly move along well-defined paths that record their history as it were.

Perhaps, when bombarded with the “abstract” ideological slogans of the opposing Cold War powers, mathematicians felt a need to return to the specific, even if this implied some loss of lofty generality. After all, physicists, mathematicians and artists are all members of the same society and as such subject to its moods. Had Maupertuis witnessed all this, he might have claimed to have found the meaning of the elusive Zeitgeist. He wouldn’t have been any less justified than in his claim to have proved the existence of God.

Pauli effect? It is sometimes said that people cannot live without some form of religion. Look at the Russian religious renaissance after seventy years of officially enforced atheism. Then look at Pauli, the baptized son of a converted Jew who leaves the Catholic Church only to have the aftermath of a painful divorce land him at the doorstep of a fascinating and charismatic medicine man dabbling pseudoscientifically in the occult. But then, divorces can play dirty tricks on the human brain — notice I refrain from using the illdefined word soul.

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