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The Early Axiomatizations of Quantum Mechanics: Jordan, von Neumann and the Continuation of Hilbert's Program
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The Early Axiomatizations of Quantum Mechanics: Jordan, von Neumann and the Continuation of Hilbert's Program

Author: JAN LACKI Affiliation: History and Philosophy of Science¶University of Geneva¶24, quai Ernest-Ansermet¶1211 Geneva 4¶Switzerland, CH
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:Archive for History of Exact Sciences, v54 n4 (200001): 279-318
Other Databases: WorldCatWorldCatWorldCat
Summary:
Hilbert's axiomatization program of physical theories met an interesting challenge when it confronted the rise of quantum mechanics in the mid-twenties. The novelty of the mathematical apparatus of the then newly born theory was to be matched only by its substantial lack of any definite physical interpretation. The early attempts at axiomatization, which are described here, reflect all the difficulty of the task  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: JAN LACKI Affiliation: History and Philosophy of Science¶University of Geneva¶24, quai Ernest-Ansermet¶1211 Geneva 4¶Switzerland, CH
ISSN:0003-9519
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5648483473
Notes: (Received September 9, 1999)
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Abstract:

Hilbert's axiomatization program of physical theories met an interesting challenge when it confronted the rise of quantum mechanics in the mid-twenties. The novelty of the mathematical apparatus of the then newly born theory was to be matched only by its substantial lack of any definite physical interpretation. The early attempts at axiomatization, which are described here, reflect all the difficulty of the task faced by Jordan, Hilbert, von Neumann and others. The role of von Neumann is examined in considerable detail as he can be viewed here as the most outstanding of Hilbert's heirs. Von Neumann, especially in his work devoted to the proof of the impossibility of hidden variables, not only continued Hilbert's program but pushed it to its very limits, blending axiomatic rigor and interpretative commitment.

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