The Debate Begins

  • David Wick


The Bohr-Einstein debate, the most interesting intellectual contest in science of this century, began in the late afternoon of October 24,1927, at the Fifth Solvay Conference in Brussels, Belgium. 50 (Einstein had not attended the meeting in Como a month before, at which Bohr first introduced complementarity.) The theorists Bohr, Born, de Broglie, Brillouin, Dirac, Einstein, Ehrenfest, Heisenberg, Pauli, Planck, and Schrödinger were in attendance, as well as the experimentalists Bragg, Compton, Madame Curie, and Debye. The eminent Dutch theorist H.A. Lorentz, the grandfather of relativity (after whom the theory’s space-time transformations were named), chaired the sessions. The organizers had chosen “Electrons and Photons” as the official title of the conference, but a better one might have been: “Quantum Mechanics: What Does it Mean?” As Einstein’s opinion had become widely known, fireworks were expected.


Mercury Stein Crest Como 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Wick
    • 1
  1. 1.SeattleUSA

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