Transnational College of LEX

  1. What is Quantum Mechanics by Transnational College of LEX
    I found this in my local library. The reason I took it out is that it basically goes through Heisenberg's derivation of quantum mechanics and then on to compare it to Schrodinger's wave equation.
    The style is hard to describe but to try I would say a sort of technical quantum mechanics for dummies. You have to see it to see what I mean.
    This is the only thing I have seen the goes through quantum mechanics from Heisenberg's point of view so I am assuming it is correct.
    It looks like it was translated from Japanese (not that that has anything to do with anything).
    Can anyone comment on it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Chris Hillman

    Chris Hillman 2,334
    Science Advisor

    You must mean What Is Quantum Mechanics?: A Physics Adventure, Transnational College of LEX, Boston: Language Research Foundation,1996, ISBN 0964350416 9780964350410, which according to worldcat is indeed held in the collections of many public libraries and also many college and university libraries. (Note: LEX Language Research Foundation appears to be the official name of "Transnational College of LEX").

    Other titles from this source appear to include What is DNA? A Biology Adventure, Transnational College of LEX and Alan Gleason, 2005 and Who Is Fourier?: A Mathematical Adventure by Yo Sakakibara, Alan Gleason, and Transnational College of LEX,1995.

    The home page of this self-described "college" is at http://www.lexlrf.org/college/index.html which is on a server registered to Lex American Language Research in Belmont, MA. I quote:

    Actually, this reminds me very much of that sociologist in the UK who claimed to be able to fool experts in gravitational waves into thinking he was "one of them", when in fact he says he hasn't the slightest notion of the physics, just knows how to toss about the lingo. Sorry I've mislead the link--- his pages are actually quite amusing.

    Seriously, you certainly should not assume that. It is important to be aware that people self-publish nonsense books and "donate" copies to university libraries all the time, and these often wind up on the shelves nestled among works of legitimate scholarship. (Possibly such dreck should be in at least some libraries, but by rights it should be categorized under "crackpot" not "physics" or whatever. However, librarians can't be expected to possess the expertise neccessary for making this kind of determination--- everyone proficient in a technical subject has come across all kinds of hilarious misclassifications, and don't even get me started on places like Borders Books or Barnes and Nobles.) I don't know if LEX fits into this category, but it certainly seems very possible based upon what I've seen so far.
     
  4. I was hoping that someone who has enough expertise on the subject has seen enough of the book to comment on the content.
     
  5. Chris Hillman

    Chris Hillman 2,334
    Science Advisor

    What is the obstacle to studying a more conventional QM book?
     
  6. George Jones

    George Jones 6,354
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I don't know anything about the Transnational College of LEX, but I do know that good works sometime come from unusual places. One of the best (graduate-level) quantum field theory books available was produced from notes for courses at the Maharishi School of Management.
     
  7. This book is in my hands right now.

    But since you brought it up, what book goes through the history and derivation of Hiesenberg's QM and then compares it to Schroedingers equation?
     
  8. Chris Hillman

    Chris Hillman 2,334
    Science Advisor

    Huh?

    I brought up the question of why you are apparently beginning with an idiosyncratic and apparently dubious book rather than a standard one.

    If you want a list of standard QM textbooks similiar to http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/RelWWW/HTML/reading.html#gtrmoderntext (by the way, it might help if you search amazon or whatever on "Heisenberg" rather than "Hiesenberg"), you should definitely ask another PF member for advice!
     
  9. I have read another of the Transnational College of Lex's books: "Who is Fourier: A Mathematical Adventure" several times. It is a fantastic book. Although their use of cartoon characters etc is not a little weird, the mathematics developed in the book is rock solid (I am beginning graduate study in Signal Processing and have a degree in EE so I should know). It also has some very eccentric and interesting examples of the use of the FFT like the development of 1st and second Formant Symmetry in Japanese vowels. Anyone studying math, physics or engineering should get it and read it.

    If their book on Quanta Mechanics is of equal quality (of which I am unqualified to remark on) then it would be definately worth reading. Although you should also get a standard textbook too if you want to understand the subject in greater depth.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  10. Seriously, you certainly should not assume that. It is important to be aware that people self-publish nonsense books and "donate" copies to university libraries all the time, and these often wind up on the shelves nestled among works of legitimate scholarship. (Possibly such dreck should be in at least some libraries, but by rights it should be categorized under "crackpot" not "physics" or whatever. However, librarians can't be expected to possess the expertise neccessary for making this kind of determination--- everyone proficient in a technical subject has come across all kinds of hilarious misclassifications, and don't even get me started on places like Borders Books or Barnes and Nobles.) I don't know if LEX fits into this category, but it certainly seems very possible based upon what I've seen so far.[/QUOTE]

    LEX does not fit into this category, and the book has strongly positive reviews. Yoichiro Nambu, Ph.D., and 2008 Nobel Prize winner was an adviser to the work, as well as to Who is Fourier? A Mathematical Adventure, another book by the same authors.
     
  11. I've ordered the QM book hoping it's as good as "Who is Fourier?", which was brilliant for me and is also so far keeping my 8 year old son's interest as bed time reading!

    As for the original question on the validity of the physics. I think having Yoichiro Nambu as an advisor must give us confidence he would ensure it is valid (I only have 2 years of undergrad Physics so I'm not qualified to say). Perhaps the Prof will answer polite questions - he has contact information in the about-contact-faculty section of this site http://physics.uchicago.edu

    If you get an answer maybe you could post here or write a review of the QM book on somewhere like Amazon.

    Also here is his profile on the lex site: http://www.lexlrf.org/pub/index.html
    And here is his list of honours form the uchicago site:

    Yoichiro Nambu

    Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics, 1970
    National Academy of Sciences, 1971
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1971
    J. Robert Oppenheimer Prize, 1976
    Order of Culture awarded by Government of Japan, 1978
    Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor, 1978
    National Medal of Science, 1982
    Japan Academy (Honorary Member), 1984
    Max Planck Medal, 1985
    Dirac Medal, International Center for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, 1986
    Honorary Doctor of Science, Northwestern University, 1987
    J. J. Sakurai Prize, American Physical Society, 1994
    Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics, 1994-95
    Gian Carlo Wick Commemorative Medal, World Federation of Scientists, 1995
    Honorary degree, Osaka University, 1996
    Foreign Fellow, Georgian Academy of Sciences, 1996
    N. Bogoliubov Prize, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 2003
    Benjamin Franklin Medal, 2005
    Nobel Prize for Physics, 2008
     
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