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physics/970402828Apr97 THE THIRD WAY TO QUANTUM MECHANICS IS
 

Summary: physics/970402828Apr97
THE THIRD WAY TO QUANTUM MECHANICS IS
THE FORGOTTEN FIRST
by Salvatore ANTOCI1
and Dierck-E. LIEBSCHER2
accepted by Annales de la Fondation Louis de Broglie
Abstract
Quantum mechanics can be formulated in three ways, as Heisenberg, Schršodinger and
Feynman did respectively. For the last way, an unknown (i.e. forgotten) forerunner exists,
that we have found in a paper by Gregor Wentzel, published before the famous works
by Heisenberg and Schršodinger, and contemporary with the fundamental works of L. de
Broglie. In that paper, one can find the basic formulae and their interpretation as they were
adopted by Feynman twenty years later. We believe that Wentzel's work was forgotten for
several reasons: (I) Schršodinger's equation was much simpler to deal with (Wentzel himself
contributed to its development in the same way as L.Brillouin and H.Kramers did). (II)
The first application was rejected by Heisenberg and Kramers. (III) The approximation
used by Wentzel was too našive and failed. Nevertheless, the foundation laid by Wentzel was
sound, as it has been shown by Feynman's work. Therefore, Wentzel has to be considered
as one of the founders of quantum mechanics.
Our exposition aims at explaining some details. It is accompanied by two appendices.

  

Source: Antoci, Salvatore - Dipartimento di Fisica, Universita' di Pavia

 

Collections: Physics