Einstein’s Approaches to Quantum Theory 1925-1935


Heisenberg’s seminal paper initiating quantum theory was written in July 1925. It is sometimes suggested that Einstein was initially unclear in his views on the theory; Pais1 suggests that he ‘vacillated.’ It seems more likely that he combined at much the same time great excitement about the mathematical content and potential of the theory, with growing concern that philosophical conclusions were being drawn from the theory that he found unacceptable. In March 1926 he wrote2 to Max Born’s wife that: ‘The Heisenberg-Born concepts leave us all breathless, and have made a deep impression on all theoretically oriented people. Instead of dull resignation, there is now a singular tension in us sluggish people.’ Indeed it must have been as exciting for Einstein as for any other physicist to perceive a clear mathematical route forward after the conceptual turmoil of the previous quarter-century. In 1912, Einstein1 had written: “The more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks‘, and his feelings had probably not changed much during the 12 years before 1912 and the 13 afterwards up to 1925. Now at last it seemed that one could hope to study atoms and light from a well-defined theory rather than by guesswork and subterfuge, however brilliant.


Quantum Theory Physical Reality Hide Variable Standard Interpretation Gibbs Ensemble 
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