Van Nostrand Reinhold, USA, 1971. — 80 — ISBN 9781131311982.There are two complementary methods, broadly speaking, used by authors to communicate physics. In the first of these, the “formal method,” the manipulatory skills relating to the subject matter of interest are emphasized. It is tacitly assumed that a mastery of the techniques required to solve the standard problems will lead automatically and rapidly to an understanding of the physical meanings of the techniques and their products. In the second, the “conceptual method,” physical meanings are investigated carefully with little attention to technique. Once the basic concepts are clearly understood, or so it is assumed, manipulative skills will take care of themselves. Graduates of the formal method calculate easily (at least on textbook problems) but often they know not what they compute. The conceptual method, on the other hand, produces philosophical wranglers who can tear subtle ideas to shreds but who are unable, perhaps, to draw a fresh conclusion from even the most fruitful stock of ideas. To whom and for what, then, is the book of value? Two distinct groups may profit from it. Students who have been exposed to highly formal expositions and are only too painfully aware that they know not what they compute may find answers to some of their questions in the following pages. And those blocked from the normal paths which lead to the quantum mechanics by lack of mathematical skills may be able to get here at least a partial understanding of some of the significant ideas of a most important and fascinating theory. Contents The Failure of Classical Theory Consequences of a Mistrust of Theory Properties of Electrons, Photons; the De Broglie Relations An Analysis of Electron Diffraction Heisenberg’s Principle of Indeterminacy Interpretations of the Heisenberg Principle Dynamical Properties of Microsystems Determinism and State; Statistical Determinism Probability Amplitudes; the Superposition Principle Summary and Comment
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