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Climbing the MountainThe Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger$
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Jagdish Mehra and Kimball Milton

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198527459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198527459.001.0001

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Quantum electrodynamics and Julian Schwinger’s path to fame

Quantum electrodynamics and Julian Schwinger’s path to fame

(p.208) 7 Quantum electrodynamics and Julian Schwinger’s path to fame
Climbing the Mountain



Oxford University Press

In the beginning of June 1947, the Shelter Island Conference was held in New York to discuss the fundamental problems of quantum mechanics, of which J. Robert Oppenheimer was the acknowledged leader. Schwinger attended the conference upon the invitation of Oppenheimer. After his intensive work on the theory of waveguides at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Radiation Laboratory and return to the field of nuclear physics at Harvard University, Schwinger was about to confront the problems of quantum electrodynamics at Shelter Island. This chapter deals with Schwinger's work on quantum electrodynamics, Hans Bethe's calculation of the Lamb shift, Richard Feynman, Schwinger's lecture at the American Physical Society's meeting in New York in 1948 in which he reported his initial results on the Lamb shift and the calculation of the anomalous magnetic moment of the electron, and his participation in the Pocono Conference of 1948.

Keywords:   quantum electrodynamics, Shelter Island Conference, Pocono Conference, Hans Bethe, Lamb shift, quantum mechanics, Richard Feynman, magnetic moment, American Physical Society

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