Schwinger goes to Berkeley


in Climbing the Mountain

Published in print August 2003 | ISBN: 9780198527459
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191709593 | DOI:
Schwinger goes to Berkeley

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In the spring of 1939, Julian Schwinger was 21 years old, a fresh PhD with a sizable number of articles already published in the Physical Review to his credit, several of which were quoted and considered significant. The time had come to find a post-doctoral appointment, and this meant leaving home and New York City. Julian was still greatly attached to his family, and had become accustomed to taking advantage of the special privileges he had earned at Columbia University; therefore he was not at all eager to leave this environment. Indeed, this was relatively the freest period of his life, virtually devoid of all responsibilities, and he devoted every minute of it to physics. This chapter focuses on Schwinger's stint at the University of California at Berkeley, his research on mesotrons, collaboration with William Rarita, his shift from purely quantum-mechanical methods applied to nuclear physics to quantum field theory, and his transfer to Purdue University in Indiana.

Keywords: Berkeley; Purdue University; nuclear physics; quantum field theory; William Rarita; mesotrons

Chapter.  17177 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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