By Jagdish Mehra
Jagdish Mehra's historic account of the Solvay meetings from 1911 to 1973 demonstrates not just the good effect which those meetings have had at the improvement of contemporary physics, however it additionally indicates in actual fact how far-sighted and good deliberate have been the intentions of Ernest Solvay while he took the initiative for organizing a brand new form of foreign meetings. not like the traditional conferences during which reviews are given at the winning answer of medical difficulties, the Solvay meetings have been conceived to assist without delay in fixing particular difficulties of surprising trouble. the significance of the quantum constitution of Nature had turn into good below stood already by means of 1911, yet at the moment there has been no wish for a solution to the ex tremely tough new questions posed by means of the atomic phenomena. the hot meetings should still for that reason be committed essentially to thorough discussions of such difficulties be tween a small variety of the main efficient physicists, and Ernest Solvay was once guided through the desire that the discussions might ultimately result in a true and immense growth. The earliest Solvay meetings which I attended have been these of 1927, 1930 and 1933, they usually served this goal tremendous good. In 1926 the mathematical formalism of quantum-and wave-mechanics approached its ultimate form, however the interpretation was once nonetheless debatable. Schrodinger was hoping that his topic waves will be regarded as waves in third-dimensional area and time, and that the discontinuous function of quantum 'jumps' will be shunned thereby.
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Extra resources for The Solvay Conferences on Physics: Aspects of the Development of Physics Since 1911
As we have already noted, the theme of the first Solvay Conference in 1911, Radiation Theory and the Quanta, indicated the central question in physics in those days. The most important advances in physics in the 19th century were perhaps the development of Maxwell's electromagnetic theory, which offered a far-reaching explanation of radiative phenomena, and the statistical formulation and interpretation of thermodynamics which culminated in Boltzmann's relation between the entropy and probability of the state of a complex mechanical system.
With my warm wishes that your project may succeed to the complete satisfaction of the eminent scientists who would be coming together, Yours affectionately, Albert The participants in the Conference, the first 'Conseil Solvay', stayed at the Hotel Metropole in the heart of Brussels. Maurice de Broglie arrived on 27 October; Martin Knudsen and Emil Warburg on 28 October. All the other participants arrived in the Belgian capital on 29 October 1911, and the first reception took place the same evening at the Metropole.
P. ) ERNEST SOLVAY AND THE ORIGIN OF SOLVAY CONFERENCES ON PHYSICS 11 On 27 September, Ernest Solvay wrote to King Albert, sending him the details of the planned scientific conference. The King replied on 29 September 1911, from the Chateau de Laeken: Dear Mr Solvay: I sincerely thank you for kindly sending me the dossier concerning the scientific conference which will take place soon in Brussels. It is with great pleasure that I have taken note of it. This initiative seems to me to be remarkable, and would lead to fruitful results.
The Solvay Conferences on Physics: Aspects of the Development of Physics Since 1911 by Jagdish Mehra