Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Richard Feynman on Erwin Schrödinger

I thought it is interesting to see what the great Nobel Laureate physicist Richard Feynman said about Erwin Schrödinger's attempts to discover the famous Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics:

When Schrödinger first wrote it [his equation] down,
He gave a kind of derivation based on some heuristic
Arguments and some brilliant intuitive guesses. Some
Of the arguments he used were even false, but that does
Not matter; the only important thing is that the ultimate
Equation gives a correct description of nature.
                                    -- Richard P. Feynman
(The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. III, Chapter 16, 1965.)

It has been my experience in reading physics books that this sort of `heuristic' reasoning is part of doing physics. It is a very creative (sometimes not logical!) art with mathematics in attempting to understand the physical world. Dirac did it too when he obtained his Dirac equation for the electron.

No comments:

Post a Comment