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Pauli's Wave Mechanics text. h vs. hbar

  1. Dec 16, 2008 #1
    In this little Dover book "Wave mechanics", by Pauli, it appears to use h for hbar, and includes a footnote right on the very first page

    "1. In these lectures we use the symbol h to denote the quanity 1.05 x 10^-34 joule.sec. In the older literature this quantity was usually denoted by [itex]\hbar[/itex]"

    However, this is what I've seen in the newer literature too. Are the definitions of these constants in a state of flux?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2008 #2


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    No, [tex] \hbar [/tex] should always represent Planck's constant divided by 2 pi in modern text.
    I don't think I've ever encountered an example where someone has specifically used [tex]h[/tex] instead of [tex]\hbar[/tex] or vice versa. There are, however, examples of texts where the author is ex. ignoring factors of 2pi etc simply because they are interested in order-of-magnitude estimates and factors of the order of one does one matter.

    Also, note that formulas where CGS electromagnetic units are used often differ by a factor of 2pi compared to the equivalent formulas in SI (and there are plenty of examples of papers where the authors have added/removed a 2pi too many).
  4. Dec 16, 2008 #3


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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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