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Selected Papers on Quantum Electrodynamics
Selected Papers on Quantum Electrodynamics
Date: 21 April 2011, 11:05

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How quantum electrodynamics evolved in the first quarter of the 20th century, revealed here by its creators in 34 papers by Foley, Fermi, Heisenberg, Dryson, Weisskopf, Oppenheimer, Pauli, Schwinger, Klein and other key figures. 29 are in English, three in German, one each in French and Italian. Preface. Historical commentary.
Summary: original papers - what more can you ask for?
Rating: 5
The book contains the original papers on quantum electrodynamics. It is is fascinating to see how the minds of these physicists work, in particular, since the authors include several Nobel Price winners. The difference between Schwinger and Feynmann is the very interesting, one is mathematical and the other is intuitive, but both were completely correct! Dyson's paper where he shows that both theories are the same is a classic. An excellent reference for learning QED and for the history.
Summary: Quantum electrodynamics:meet the heroes!
Rating: 5
This is a collection of fundamental papers on quantum electrodynamics, starting from the very first, by Dirac, and going to the paper by G. Kallen showing that at least one of the renormalization constants is infinite (this paper has been called "poetry in quantum field theory"). This is invaluable for the historian, but much more, I think, for the student and, yet more, for the researcher. These days the students learn these things in classroom. This is all right, but it is only in the good pioneering papers that you find the reasons for the choices made, motivations for treating the problem and a full explanation of what is being done and why it would be wrong to follow that other, seemingly much more natural, way. As examples, you'll find here four of the greatest papers by Feynman. If you think Feynman wrote well because you read his popular books, wait till you read his scientific works! There is also the monumental paper by Dyson, where the founding pape! rs of Tomonaga, Schwinger and Feynman are made to coalesce into the beautiful formulation that, afterwards, was repeated in all textbooks. My favorite paper is the great "On gauge invariance and vacuum polarization", by Julian Schwinger, a masterpiece of insight, style, and incredible virtuosity, a paper that still gives rise to original research. The preface by Schwinger is a must for understanding the origin and early development of our main tool in theoretical physics: quantum field theory.


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