Lancaster: American Physical Society. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION of Feynman's literal "reformation of quantum mechanics itself;" claiming "that he could not understand standard quantum theory and had to recreate it on his own, Feynman's famous diagrams, introduced and developed here for the first time, "elegantly rewrite quantum theory" (American National Biography; Peacock, The Quantum Revolution, 102). This volume includes a plethora of other works of significance: Richard Feynman's "Theory of Positrons", "On the Origin of Elements " by Maria Mayer and Edward Teller; Giulio Racah "Theory of Complex Spectra" and work by Shockley, Bratten, Bardeen, Pearson, Shul, Schwinger, Zener and so many others.
Of the three pivotal formulations of quantum mechanics, Feynman's was the third, following Heisenberg's matrix formulation and Schrodinger's wave equation formulation; Feynman’s is the third formulation. Feynman’s path integral formulation was "another way of thinking about QED that is probably as visualizable as any theory of quantum fields is ever going to be, and relatively easy to calculate with. The key idea was to represent every possible particle interaction with a space-time diagram. Photon wordlines (their trajectories through spacetime) are represented by wavy lines, while particles such as electrons and positrons are straight lines or curves" (Peacock, The Quantum Revolution, 102).
"The dramatic discovery that Feynman made is that the space-time description of a positron moving forward in time is EXACTLY equivalent to the same mathematical description of an electron moving backward through time along the same track in the Feynman diagram. In addition, because photons are their own antiparticles, there is no difference in this description between a photon moving forward in time and one moving backward in time… An electron proceeding through space and time meets an energetic photon, absorbs it, and is scattered backward BACKWARD IN TIME until it emits an energetic photon and recoils in such a way that it moves forward in time again. Instead of three particles, two electrons, and a positron in a complicated dance, we have one particle, one electron that zigzags its way through space AND time, colliding with photons here and there along the way. Feynman (along with Tomonaga and Schwinger) won the 1965 Nobel Prize "for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles" (Nobel Foundation). Item #539
CONDITION & DETAILS: Full volume. Lancaster: American Physical Society. 4to (10.75 x 8 inches; 268 x 200mm). Continuously paginated pp.1934. Feynman papers pp. 769-789 and pp. 749-759. Ex-libris with no markings at the spine whatsoever. There is a small stamp on the front flyleaf and title page; a handsome pictorial bookplate on the front paste down. Illustration: In-text figures throughout. Exterior: Bound in tan cloth with a gilt-lettered spine; very slight rubbing at the edges; minor indentations on cover. Tightly and solidly bound. The interior is bright and very clean throughout. Very good condition.