Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

From Wikipedia's

In 1936 Dirac offered a precise definition and derivation of the time-energy uncertainty relation in a relativistic quantum theory of "events".

The citation to the paper is missing. Can anyone provide the title of this paper and where can I find it? Thanks.

share|cite|improve this question
Dirac's famous book "The Principles of Quantum Mechanics" has a chapter on the uncertainty relation. – mtrencseni Sep 30 '11 at 10:32
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The reference is to the "many-time" formalism which was influential for Feynman Schwinger and especially Tomonaga. It gives the evolution in an interaction picture. I never read the reference, I heard Tomonaga mention it. It's from 1932, not 1936, and Tomonaga writes a follow up in 1946. See the first page of this reference:

share|cite|improve this answer

It could be this one, although the person who wrote that paragraph should have provided the reference him/herself:

This was obtained from the SAO/NASA Astrophysical Data System. Please note that for that year (1936) this "search engine" also provides another paper by Dirac but at a glance it doesn't seem to be the one you're after.

share|cite|improve this answer says the year is 1932, and gives the other references. – Ron Maimon Sep 30 '11 at 17:26
Also, I wrote that paragraph. – Ron Maimon Nov 5 '11 at 1:04

The discussion in Dirac's book only pertains to the position-momentum uncertainty relation; the question is about the time-energy uncertainty relation which is claimed by many (e.g. Bohm & Aharanov to be fundamentally different.

The reference that I have just given is known to the becko because it's from the Wikipedia article that he cites. Others might like to read it (I mean try to read it).

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.