Article ID: CBB000932737

Weimar Physics: Sommerfeld's Seminar and the Causality Principle (2009)


The development of quantum mechanics in the period 1920--1927 posed challenges to the understanding of causality and its incorporation into the new dynamics. Though aware of these challenges to the classical concepts of causality and to the conservation laws of energy and momentum, Arnold Sommerfeld and the members of his seminar never wavered in their commitment to the conservation laws because of their belief in the preestablished harmony between mathematics and physics that Felix Klein, David Hilbert, and Hermann Minkowski had championed. I survey these developments and trace how the concept of causality was reformulated in scattering theory by Gregor Wentzel, Enrico Fermi, and Giulio Racah.

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Authors & Contributors
Seth, Suman
Eckert, Michael
De Gregorio, Alberto
Sime, Ruth Lewin
Price, Huw
Corry, Richard
European Physical Journal H
Physics in Perspective
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Physis: Rivista Internazionale di Storia della Scienza
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Oxford University Press
Wallstein Verlag
Princeton University
W. W. Norton & Co.
Theoretical physics
Atomic, nuclear, and particle physics
Quantum mechanics
Philosophy of science
Fermi, Enrico
Sommerfeld, Arnold Johannes Wilhelm
Bohr, Niels Henrik David
Meitner, Lise
Stark, Johannes
Hahn, Otto
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
19th century
20th century, late
Weimar Republic (1919-1933)
United States
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
University of Chicago
Università di Roma
Hanford Nuclear Site (Washington)

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