SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology

The Copenhagen Network

The Birth of Quantum Mechanics from a Postdoctoral Perspective

Authors: Kojevnikov, Alexei

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  • Describes the first faltering steps of early quantum physicists
  • Follows the trajectories of young researchers in economically uncertain and difficult times
  • Is a part of a four-volume collection tracing the development of quantum theory at four European centres
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eBook 42,79 €
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-59188-5
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Softcover 51,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-59187-8
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  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
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About this book

This book is a historical analysis of the quantum mechanical revolution and the emergence of a new discipline from the perspective, not of a professor, but of a recent or actual Ph.D. student just embarking on an uncertain academic career in economically hard times. Quantum mechanics exploded on to the intellectual scene between 1925 and 1927, with more than 200 publications across the world, the majority of them authored by young scientists under the age of 30, graduate students or postdoctoral fellows. The resulting theory was a collective product that no single authority could claim, but it had a major geographical nod – the Copenhagen Institute of Theoretical Physics – where most of the informal, pre-published exchange of ideas occurred and where every participant of the new community aspired to visit. A rare combination of circumstances and resources – political, diplomatic, financial, and intellectual – allowed Niels Bohr to establish this “Mecca” of quantum theory outside of traditional and more powerful centres of science. Transitory international postdoctoral fellows, rather than established professors, developed a culture of research that became the source of major innovations in the field. Temporary assistantships, postdoctoral positions, and their equivalents were the chief mode of existence for young academics during the period of economic crisis and post-WWI international tensions. Insecure career trajectories and unpredictable moves through non-stable temporary positions contributed to their general outlook and interpretations of the emerging theory of quantum mechanics.

This book is part of a four-volume collection addressing the beginnings of quantum physics research at the major European centres of Göttingen, Copenhagen, Berlin, and Munich; these works emerged from an expansive study on the quantum revolution as a major transformation of physical knowledge undertaken by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Fritz Haber Institute (2006–2012).

About the authors

Alexei Kojevnikov received his Ph.D. in History of Science from the Institute for History of Science and Technology in Moscow. After a Humboldt fellowship in Germany and several postdoctoral and faculty positions in the USA, he teaches History of Science at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. His research focuses on the history and social relations of modern physics, combining it with approaches from cultural history. He authored Stalin’s Great Science: The Times and Adventures of Soviet Physicists (London, 2004) and Rockefeller Philanthropies and Soviet Science (St. Petersburg, 1993) and edited Science in Russian Context (a special issue of Science in Context, 2002). He is also a Co-Editor of Weimar Culture and Quantum Mechanics (Singapore, 2011), Intelligentsia Science: The Russian Century, 1860-1960 (Chicago, 2008), and Paul Dirac and Physics of the 20th Century (Moscow, 1990). 


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 42,79 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-59188-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 51,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-59187-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Copenhagen Network
Book Subtitle
The Birth of Quantum Mechanics from a Postdoctoral Perspective
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in History of Science and Technology
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-59188-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-59188-5
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-59187-8
Series ISSN
2211-4564
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 126
Number of Illustrations
10 b/w illustrations
Topics