Advertisement

Relativistic Invariance of Quantum-Mechanical Equations

  • E. P. Wigner
Chapter
Part of the The Scientific Papers book series (WIGNER, volume A / 3)

Abstract

Relativity Theory, of which we are celebrating the 50th anniversary, and quantum theory, which is about equally old, originated and developed in very different ways. The theory of relativity owes its origin to a set of experimental facts which can be epitomised as the independence of light velocity from the state of motion of emitter and absorber. However, its guiding stars in the course of its development were conceptual problems, problems of the measurement of space and time and of observation. Experimental facts played a relatively subordinate role in the development of relativity theory at least for the last 25 years. Quantum theory, on the contrary, originated as the result of the discussion of a conceptual problem, the inconsistencies in the classical description of black body radiation. However, the guiding stars of quantum theory were experimental facts: the photoelectric effect, the Stern-Gerlach phenomenon, the Bothe-Geiger-Compton-Simon experiments and, before all, the immense amount of detailed information which was accumulated before the war on atomic spectra and is being accumulated now on nuclear forces and ‘elementary particles’. The discovery of much of this information is traceable to the stimulus provided by quantum theory, all of it exerted a profound influence on quantum theory’s development.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. [1]
    Dirac, P. A. M., Proc. Roy. Soc. 117, 610, 118, 351 (1928).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. [2]
    Pauli, W., Phys. Rev. 58, 116 (1940), Prog. Theor. Phys. 5, 526 (1950); Schwinger, J., Phys. Rev. 82, 914 (1951).Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    See e. g. Jauch, J., and Rohrlich, F., Quantum Field Theory (Addison-Wesley Press, New. York 1955 ).Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Wigner, E. P., Ann. of Math. 40, 149 (1939); Bargmann, V., and Wigner, E.P., Proc. Nat. Acad., Sc. 34, 211 (1948).Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Newton, T. D., and Wigner, E. P., Revs. Modern Phys. 21, 400 (1949).ADSCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Bargmann, V., Ann. of Math. 59, 1 (1954).CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  7. [7]
    Inonu, E., and Wigner, E. P., Nuovo Cim. 9, 705 (1952).CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  8. [8]
    Inoxu, E., and Wigner, E. P., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sc. 39, 510 (1953).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    The representations of the group of De Sitter space were first determined by L. H. Thomas (Ann. of Math. 42, 119 (1941). See also T. D. Newton. ibid. 51, 730 (1950) and P. A. M. Dirac ibid. 36, 657 (1935).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. P. Wigner

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations