Matvei Petrovich Bronstein

Part of the series Modern Birkhäuser Classics pp 63-82


Hard Times for the Laws of Conservation and for Theoreticians

  • Gennady E. GorelikAffiliated with Email author 
  • , Victor Ya. FrenkelAffiliated withA.E. loffe Physicotechnical Institute

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Anybody wishing to get a clear idea of Bronstein’s position would be amazed with his popular article “Is Energy Conserved?” written in 1935. Today the law of conservation of energy is part of the foundation of the current picture of the world. One cannot but be astonished at the arguments and heated agitation against the law that stretched far beyond physics. To prove his point, Bronstein wrote, in particular, that the law was very much “like tidy accounts with all pennies counted - a sight that gladdens the bourgeois heart”. He even suggested that the perpetuum mobile that would work on the non-conservation of energy in the quantum-relativistic field was a potential starting point for the technology of future communism.