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Development of the Action Principle

A Didactic History from Euler-Lagrange to Schwinger

This book describes the historical development of the principle of stationary action from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Reference is made to the most important contributors to this topic, in particular Bernoullis, Leibniz, Euler, Lagrange and Laplace. Les mer

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This book describes the historical development of the principle of stationary action from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Reference is made to the most important contributors to this topic, in particular Bernoullis, Leibniz, Euler, Lagrange and Laplace. The leading theme is how the action principle is applied to problems in classical physics such as hydrodynamics, electrodynamics and gravity, extending also to the modern formulation of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, especially quantum electrodynamics. A critical analysis of operator versus c-number field theory is given. The book contains many worked examples. In particular, the term "vacuum" is scrutinized.The book is aimed primarily at actively working researchers, graduate students and historians interested in the philosophical interpretation and evolution of physics; in particular, in understanding the action principle and its application to a wide range of natural phenomena.

Detaljer

Forlag
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Innbinding
Paperback
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
135
ISBN
9783030691042
Utgivelsesår
2021
Format
24 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

Prof. Dr. Walter Dittrich was head of the quantum electrodynamics group at the University of Tubingen until his retirement in 2001 and is still actively publishing papers and books in classical and quantum physics. He received his doctorate under Prof. Heinz Mitter at Heisenberg's institute in Munich and continued pre- and postdoc work at Brown University, Harvard and MIT. He profited immensely from lectures by and discussions with Profs. Herb Fried, Ken Johnson, Steve Weinberg, Julian Schwinger and, later on, at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, Steve Adler and David Gross at Princeton University. He started his work on gauge theories and QED in collaboration with Schwinger in the late 1960s. He was visiting professor at UCLA, Berkeley, Stanford and the IAS. He has over 30 years of teaching experience and is one of the key scientists in developing the theoretical framework of quantum electrodynamics.

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