The brilliant leap made by Heisenberg

The brilliant leap made by Heisenberg -...

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The brilliant leap made by Heisenberg's quantum mechanics was made possible by a  number of precursors. The BKS (Bohr, Kramers, Slater) theory provided the model that  had to be disproved. An American scientist named John Slater had proposed the idea of  a virtual radiation field that carried no energy but that was continually emitted and  absorbed by virtual oscillators in an atom. Bohr and his assistant, Kramers, took this  idea to suggest that a quantum jump could be induced by a virtual field without any real  energy transference. Such a theory required the abandonment of the sacred laws of  energy and momentum conservation, and violated a basic idea of causality, as  absorption and emission of energy were no longer necessarily correlated. Heisenberg himself was skeptical at first, but soon found the theory quite captivating  and hoped to connect it with his own work. Back in Göttingen, Born was using a 
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This note was uploaded on 12/26/2011 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Womer during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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