Arnold Sommerfeld

Science, Life and Turbulent Times 1868-1951

Authors: Eckert, Michael

  • First English-language biography of Arnold Sommerfeld
  • Written by an expert on the life of Sommerfeld, who has directed the edition of Sommerfeld's considerable correspondence with other physicists
  • Chronicles the rise of atomic and quantum physics within the social and political context of the first half of the 20th century
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About this book

The subject of the book is a biography of the theoretical physicist Arnold Sommerfeld (1868-1951). Although Sommerfeld is famous as a quantum theorist for the elaboration of the semi-classical atomic theory (Bohr-Sommerfeld model, Sommerfeld's fine-structure constant), his role in the history of modern physics is not confined to atoms and quanta.
Sommerfeld left his mark in the history of mathematics, fluid mechanics, a number of physical subdisciplines and, in particular, as founder of a most productive "school" (Peter Debye, Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Linus Pauling and Hans Bethe were his pupils, to name only the Nobel laureates among them). This biography is to a large extent based on primary source material (correspondence, diaries, unpublished manuscripts). It should be of particular interest to students who are keen to know more about the historical roots of modern science.
Sommerfeld lived through turbulent times of German history (Wilhelmian Empire, Weimar Republic, Nazi period). His life, therefore, illustrates how science and scientists perform in changing social environments. From this perspective, the biography should also attract readers with a general interest in the history of science and technology.

About the authors

Michael Eckert studied physics at the Technical University of Munich and received his Ph.D in theoretical physics from the University of Bayreuth in 1979. He has dedicated his career to the history of physics.

Since 1981, Dr. Eckert has been engaged in several projects on the history of modern physics at the Deutsches Museum, Munich. He has authored and co-authored books and articles on such diverse specialties as the history of solid state physics, plasma physics, and fluid dynamics. This biography is the culmination of a long historical research endeavor on Arnold Sommerfeld at the Deutsches Museum that has included the editing of Sommerfeld's scientific correspondence in two volumes (2000 and 2004).

Reviews

“Michael Eckert has written a remarkable biography of Arnold Sommerfeld (1868–1951) … . There is much that is new in Eckert’s extremely informative and readable biography of Sommerfeld. I recommend it highly.” (S. S. Schweber, Metascience, Vol. 24, 2015)


Table of contents (15 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7461-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $59.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7460-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Arnold Sommerfeld
Book Subtitle
Science, Life and Turbulent Times 1868-1951
Authors
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4614-7461-6
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4614-7461-6
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4614-7460-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 471
Number of Illustrations and Tables
26 b/w illustrations, 9 illustrations in colour
Topics