The Quantum Theory of Radiation

The Quantum Theory of Radiation


Description: FIRST EDITION of Bohr, Kramers, and Clarke’s influential paper that “contained drastic theoretical proposals concerning the interaction of light and matter." Printed simultaneously in German in Zeitschrift fur Physik "After Kramers had succeeded in extending the scope of the correspondence argument to the theory of optical dispersion - thus rounding off a treatment of the interaction of atomic systems with radiation that accounted for all emission, absorption, and scattering processes - Bohr ventured to propose a systematic formulation of the whole theory, in which what he called the virtual character of the classical model was emphasized. In this he was aided by Kramers and a young American visitor, J. C. Slater, and the new theory was published in 1924 under the authorship of all three. The most striking feature of this remarkable paper, 'The Quantum Theory of Radiation,' was the renunciation of the classical form of causality in favor of a purely statistical description. Even the distribution of energy and momentum between the radiation field and the 'virtual oscillators' constituting the atomic systems was assumed to be statistical, the conservation laws being fulfilled only on the average. This was going too far: the paper was hardly in print before A. H. Compton and A. W. Simon had established by direct experiment the strict conservation of energy and momentum in an individual process of interaction between atom and radiation. Nevertheless, this short-lived attempt exerted a profound influence on the course of events; what remained after its failure was the conviction that the classical mode of description of the atomic processes had to be entirely relinquished" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). IN: The London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Vol. 47, No. 281, May 1924, pp. 785-802). London: Taylor and Francis, 1924. Octavo, original wrappers; custom box. The whole issue in original wrappers. Chips to wrappers spine, otherwise fine. RARE in original wrappers.
Artist or Maker: BOHR, NIELS; KRAMERS, HENDRIK ANTHONY; SLATER, JOHN CLARKE
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