By Michael Eckert
The topic of the ebook is a biography of the theoretical physicist Arnold Sommerfeld (1868-1951). even if Sommerfeld is known as a quantum theorist for the elaboration of the semi-classical atomic idea (Bohr-Sommerfeld version, Sommerfeld's fine-structure constant), his position within the historical past of contemporary physics isn't really limited to atoms and quanta.
Sommerfeld left his mark within the historical past of arithmetic, fluid mechanics, a couple of actual subdisciplines and, particularly, as founding father of a most efficient "school" (Peter Debye, Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Linus Pauling and Hans Bethe have been his scholars, to call simply the Nobel laureates between them). This biography is to a wide quantity in response to basic resource fabric (correspondence, diaries, unpublished manuscripts). it's going to be of specific curiosity to scholars who're willing to grasp extra in regards to the old roots of contemporary technology.
Sommerfeld lived via turbulent instances of German historical past (Wilhelmian Empire, Weimar Republic, Nazi period). His lifestyles, as a result, illustrates how technological know-how and scientists practice in altering social environments. From this angle, the biography must also allure readers with a normal curiosity within the background of technology and technology.
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Additional resources for Arnold Sommerfeld: Science, Life and Turbulent Times 1868-1951
He did not spend Christmas Day at the Liebisch home after all, though; instead, he used his day oﬀ to visit his brother, who had become a doctor, working at a neurological clinic near Hattenheim am Rhein. ” To preclude any gossip between Königsberg and Göttingen concerning “the aforementioned tragedy,” he swore his mother to secrecy. “Likewise if you must write to Mrs. Liebisch. Here too, of course, not a word about jealousy,” he asked urgently because he had promised Adelheid Liebisch not to mention it.
During this time, though, I’ve been busy with institute-related work only minimally up to now. ” He certainly did not want to devote himself entirely to mineralogy; he was too fond of mathematics for that. On this point, from the very beginning, he left Liebisch in no doubt. ” As attractive as this proposal was, it couldn’t dissipate Sommerfeld’s fundamental doubts. “Work like that,” he explained to his mother, “would, on the other hand, require signiﬁcant experimental skill. ”28 A glance at Liebisch’s publications shows that Sommerfeld’s doubts were entirely justiﬁed.
3 “Prof. ”4 Apparently, observing social conventions on such occasions was not a matter of indiﬀerence to him. But the timing of a visit to Dyck at the end of August 1892 was conceivably ill chosen, for shortly before, cholera had broken out in Hamburg, and Dyck was feverishly occupied with averting the threat of cancellation of the Nürnberg Congress. It was feared that large gatherings of people would spread the epidemic uncontrollably. 5 For Sommerfeld, this came as a bitter disappointment. He heard about the cancellation when he was in Meran, where each day, “hungry for Cholera news,” he pored over the newspapers.
Arnold Sommerfeld: Science, Life and Turbulent Times 1868-1951 by Michael Eckert