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Is there an archive with important QM articles?

  1. Jan 11, 2005 #1
    If you have a link to a good article or a nice archive please post them here I will greatly appreciate it. :smile:

    I've looked at www.arxiv.org and physicstoday http://www.aip.org/pt/pastiss04.html who however only seem to have articles from 1995 and forward. Is there any place on the internet who stores all important research papers? for example the the original EPR document that dr.chinese has on his webpage.

    I would like to browse the research papers that where published when QM was being developed. Since I haven't come that far in my studies I have some problems reading recently published research papers. How long are we expected to goto school before we can read papers about "Modified Kaluza-Klein Theory" :confused: , 20 years?!! Where are the relevant articles on things like measuring position of a single electron, where do we get a single electron to start with? How do we determine in what state a hydrogen atom is? etc things like this, the basic things.

    In my books on QM there a practically no explanations on how things are done, it just says if we measure that and that we get this and that etc. I realize it isn't important to know how these things are done in order to make predictions but I sure think it would give me a better feel for the subject.

    All this information and no practical knowledge is makin me feel like that professor in probability theory that knew everything about picking white and black balls out of an urn and at the same time he had no clue on what an urn is or what it looks like. I think he found out what it was when he was 50 or something.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2005 #2


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    Ok at the site http://dbserv.ihep.su/
    check the directory hist/owa/hw.part1

    Your problem is, most initial work was done in german journals, not available in the net. Some english journals are available at gallica, the node of the french national library.
  4. Jan 12, 2005 #3
    I wonder if looking at the original papers is the best approach to study the subject. It would be great if we had a lot of time available, but life is short.
    Looking at the original papers would be a must in order to understand the historical development of the science though. But I guess we can study QM without having a thorough knowledge of it's historical development.
    If you are interested in the more experimental aspects, you can look for the key experiments that have been done. You have to consider that most experiments have not been of a nature such as : "measuring the position of an electron", being that electrons an atoms are so small, experiments have usually involved larger objects and the behavior of particles inferred from those experiments. You can find a lot of information on individual experiments on the web.
    About electrons, I think a lot of information on their behavior when being part of an atom was obtained in the beginning by looking at the light emmited from the atoms when the electrons jump form one level to another level.
    Look at:
    Spectrum of Hydrogen
    Black body radiation
    Rutherford's experiment
    Compton scattering
    Davidson-Germer experiment
    Stern-Gerlach experiment
    Photoelectric effect
    Millikan's chamber
    Wilson chamber
    There are Gedanken (thought) experiments that were "done" to show what would happen if we actually had the technogy to perform those experiments. For instance, Heisenberg talked about looking at an electron using a microscope "Heisenberg's microscope".
    The "EPR experiment" was also originally a thought experiment.
    I think it has been more recently that experimenters have been able to look at single atoms, single photons, etc. So you won't find referennce to those experimnts in the old papers.
    A good textbook on QM (what is good for you would entail looking at a lot of books untill you find one that you like), supplemented by searches on the web and posting questions on the Physics forum might be the best approach.
    Wikipedia could be a good source of information too.
    Good Luck Trosten,
    Alex Pascual
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2005
  5. Jan 12, 2005 #4
    Also consider reading some popularizations of the subject. These would be looked at with disdain by many physics professors, but I think they help to get "the whole picture". I am talking about books with little math that are written for "lay" people. Many of them emphasize the most controversial and paradoxical aspects of quantum mechanics (Schrodringer's cat for instance).
    I would suggest you look int what is called "interpretations" of quantum mechanics. This will show you that you are not alone when you have difficulty making sense of the theory.
  6. Jan 12, 2005 #5
    Ive read a few of thoose kinds of books. When trying to crasp whats going on I often think of something feynman wrote in some book, its something like if anyone claims they understand QM they are either crazy or clueless

    Thanks for replys ill look into things.. :smile:
  7. Jan 16, 2005 #6
    You need a decent textbook to understand QM. Something like Mandl or French or something similar to those. Then you'll need another one, and then another. And you need to like maths.

    If you are looking for older papers, you WILL need a university library, or at least membership at one. If you have such a thing, look for a database called INSPEC (see 'engineering village') and this will provide you with millions of papers, and with an Athens login, you get many of them as PDF.
  8. Jan 16, 2005 #7
    Many important papers from 1893-1993 are publicly available at http://fangio.magnet.fsu.edu/~vlad/pr100/

    The collection includes some of the important papers on EPR, but not all. I seem to remember that they don't include the important one by Clauser and Horne, 1974. Have a look. I think a little time browsing through these original papers is well worthwhile. Popular books, on the other hand, I have little use for. One recent exception is:
    Amir D Aczel, “Entanglement: The greatest mystery in physics”, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 2001​
    This, though giving, in my view, a totally misleading picture of important matters such as the current status of experimental confirmation of entanglement, gives historical and biographical facts that are not readily available elsewhere. It gives a picture of the intrigue and politics, the personal relationships etc., behind the physics.

    For a somewhat similar picture of what went on in the background during the "invention" of the basis of quantum theory, see:
    Hendry, John, “The Creation of Quantum Mechanics and the Bohr-Pauli Dialogue”, D Reidel Publishing Company 1984​

    Getting back to original papers, another source I've used is:
    Wright, Steven, “Classical Scientific Papers”, Mills and Boon, London 1964​
    This includes papers by J J Thompson, Wilson's cloud chamber work, Rutherford papers of 1902, 04 and 06, papers by Geiger, Mosley, Chadwick (discovery of the neutron) , Millikan (photoelectric effect, though unfortunately not his 1916 paper), Compton (though not, iirc, his crucial ones re scattering of X-rays).

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