Sommerfeld School

  • Michael Eckert

The development of scientific specialties is often related to scientific schools-from a historical perspective as much as from an epistemological vantage point. Quantum mechanics is not exceptional in this regard; its emergence was to a large extent a product of the scientific schools of Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, Max Born in Güttingen and Arnold Sommerfeld in Munich. A school is primarily a locally defined group under the influence of a charismatic teacher. Often this influence results in a common way of thinking, so that the school becomes also a thought collective in an epistemological sense. Not so, however, for Sommerfeld's school. From an epistemological perspective, Sommerfeld pupils like Peter Debye and Werner Heisenberg, for example, hardly belong to a common thought collective. Nevertheless, both are prominent representatives of Sommerfeld's school and contributed decisively to quantum theory.


Zeeman Effect Advanced Student Epistemological Perspective Common Thought Attractive Center 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

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  • Michael Eckert

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