The Solvay Conferences on Physics

Aspects of the Development of Physics Since 1911

  • Authors
  • Jagdish Mehra

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxii
  2. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 12-72
  3. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 74-92
  4. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 94-112
  5. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 114-130
  6. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 132-181
  7. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 182-205
  8. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 207-226
  9. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 238-266
  10. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 268-296
  11. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 322-337
  12. Jagdish Mehra
    Pages 338-380
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 405-415

About this book


Jagdish Mehra's historical account of the Solvay Conferences from 1911 to 1973 demonstrates not only the great influence which these conferences have had on the development of modern physics, but it also shows clearly how far-sighted and well­ planned were the intentions of Ernest Solvay when he took the initiative for organizing a new type of international conferences. In contrast to the conventional meetings in which reports are given on the successful solution of scientific problems, the Solvay Conferences were conceived to help directly in solving specific problems of unusual difficulty. The importance of the quantum structure of Nature had become well under­ stood already by 1911, but at that time there was no hope for an answer to the ex­ tremely difficult new questions posed by the atomic phenomena. The new conferences should therefore be devoted primarily to thorough discussions of such problems be­ tween a small number of the most competent physicists, and Ernest Solvay was guided by the hope that the discussions would eventually lead to a real and substantial progress. The earliest Solvay Conferences which I attended were those of 1927, 1930 and 1933, and they served this purpose extremely well. In 1926 the mathematical formalism of quantum-and wave-mechanics approached its final shape, but the interpretation was still controversial. Schrodinger hoped that his matter waves could be considered as waves in three-dimensional space and time, and that the discontinuous feature of quantum 'jumps' could be avoided thereby.



Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1975
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-1869-2
  • Online ISBN 978-94-010-1867-8
  • Buy this book on publisher's site