"P. A. M. Dirac' s discovery of the fundamental equations of quantum theory has been seen as one of the deepest insights of the human mind into the ways in which nature works. It has all owed the formulation of the fundamental laws of nature in a manner which is as clear and compact as it is beautiful . An examination of his earliest published work on the subject which appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in the years 1925 and 1926 leaves the reader, even today, more than seventy-five years after their publication, captivated by the force of argument and the clarity of presentation." -Datta, Dirac's Early Work on Quantum Theory
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS of Dirac’s first major paper; a major achievement in the advancement of the new quantum theory.
"Dirac's first step into a new quantum theory was taken late in September 1925. R H Fowler, his research supervisor, had received a proof copy of an exploratory paper by Werner Heisenberg in the framework of the old quantum theory of Bohr and Sommerfeld, which leaned heavily on Bohr's correspondence principle but changed the equations so that they involved directly observable quantities. Fowler sent Heisenberg's paper on to Dirac, who was on vacation in Bristol, asking him to look into this paper carefully. Dirac's attention was drawn to a mysterious mathematical relationship, at first sight unintelligible, that Heisenberg had reached. Several weeks later, back in Cambridge, Dirac suddenly recognized that this mathematical form had the same structure as the Poisson Brackets that occur in the classical dynamics of particle motion. From this thought he quickly developed a quantum theory that was based on non-commuting dynamical variables. This led him to a more profound and significant general formulation of quantum mechanics than was achieved by any other worker in this field. This was a major achievement that marked him out from others in the field. As a young, 25-year-old physicist he was quickly accepted by outstanding physicists... Dirac's quantum mechanics takes a simple and beautiful form, with a structure showing elegance and economy of concept, and linked directly with the classical theory" (Dalitz, Paul Dirac).
Provenance: With stamp of City & Guilds College on front and back of wrappers; presentation bookplate from Professor William Ernest Dalby (Dean of the College) loosely affixed to first page.
IN: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Vol. 109, pp. 642-653. London: The Royal Society, 1925. Octavo, original wrappers; custom box. Light wear to spine; mild soiling. RARE in original wrappers.
Price: $3,500 .