**Narrator: **
``And here the revolution really begins.
Bohr's *Ansatz* is not yet an explanation,
but the unifying power of his atomic model demonstrates
that we need to take this quantization business seriously.
So far none of these old-school scientists
wanted to take their treatment physically,
but rather as mathematical patchwork.

``Now a younger school of upstart hotshots is to take the reigns. They consider these fresh and wild ideas on their own merits, with flagrant disregard for stuffy notions of physical intuition. Louis de Broglie was a young aristocrat whose academic reputation wasn't going to determine whether his kids were fed, so his doctoral work went out on a limb:''

**de Broglie: **
[takes chalk from Bohr]

At ,
adds
.

``But for light, we know that *E*/*c* = *p*, the *momentum*
of the photon. Therefore . . . ''

``If this is true for a *photon*,
why not also for an *electron*?''

**Narrator: **
``Now the paradigm really begins to shift.
It seems we need to start taking seriously these strange
ideas that matter may be *both waves and particles*.
Indeed, experiments have already been done
demonstrating that X-rays scattered like particles,
and electrons like waves, but de Broglie's interpretation
was not believed for some time.

``Another two kids are also busy exploring some theory along these lines, one thinking about particles and the other about waves. Both take advantage of the perks involved in theoretical work, and do their thinking in comfort and style. Werner Heisenberg takes a vacation to an island and writes a paper . . . . ''

[matrices, commutativity, leading to the UNCERTAINTY RELATION]

``But I'm not sure about that, I'd better send it to Pauli to have a look, he knows more about this matrix stuff . . . . ''

**Narrator: **
``Meanwhile, a fetching young lad named
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander **Schrödinger**
takes the wife of a colleague (named Weyl)
on retreat to a mountainside cabin.
He also takes a stack of papers and two pearls
with which plug his ears while he works,
and she . . . uh . . . waits.
He mixes work and pleasure, but in discrete packets.
He also uses Weyl's mathematics to formulate
*wave mechanics*.''

**Schroedinger: **
[Flirts with several ``consenting'' females on his way onstage.]
``Ahh, Frau Weyl, I hardly recognized you with your cloths on!''
[Looks at her - ponders in great thought.]
``Your curves . . . your curves . . . *that's it!* -
your curves explain all!
What we need is a WAVE EQUATION.''
[Goes to board and writes.]

``That's it! Now Frau Weyl, may I sit next to you?''

`` . . . though if they don't work out a better theory than this, I'll wish I hadn't had anything to do with the whole affair.''

**Narrator: **
``And he *doesn't* have much more to do with the affair.
He is photographed at conferences
(flocked by other physicist's wives)
and writes a little ditty called *What is life?*''

**Pauli: ** [aside]
``This paper is so bad it is not even wrong.''

``The fact that the author thinks slowly is not serious, but the fact that he publishes faster than he thinks is inexcusable.''

2000-01-23