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Did feynman unify special relativity with QM

  1. Jul 10, 2012 #1
    did feynman unify special relativity with QM or was it mostly a group effort and he just made some important contributions? did he make the decisive step just as leibniz and newton made the decisive step with calculus? i watched a documentary about him and i couldn't get what his central claim to fame was. of course i've read the wiki article.
     
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  3. Jul 10, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    I don't think "unification of special relativity with quantum mechanics" is a good description of what he did. His claim to fame was, of course, his contribution to the development of Quantum Electrodynamics and the toolbox that goes with it.

    I think you'd say that QED is a quantum theory of electromagnetism ... iirc: EMag had already been formulated in a way that was consistent with special relativity.
     
  4. Jul 10, 2012 #3
    I think Feynman's main success has been the developement of a formalism that makes way more easier to calculate things in quantum field theory (i.e. the theory of QM and special relativity unified). Obviously he gave many other contribution to QFT and to QED in particular but he didn't developed the theory all by himself.
     
  5. Jul 10, 2012 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    It's a little like asking what the single claim to fame is for the Roman Empire isn't it ... what we still use today are the roads. We still use Feynman's formalism ... what I called "the toolbox" that goes with QED. Though technically this was still collaborative - all science is fundamentally collaborative anyway.

    Anyone can go watch him online ... he's on youtube.
    I say: go watch and make up your own mind :)
     
  6. Jul 10, 2012 #5
    Dirac's equation has built-in special relativity and that equation was basis for all later work on quantum electrodynamics so I would say no, no he did not.
     
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