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Here's a summary of what Malcolm Longair discusses in Theoretical Concepts in Physics. Kepler was assigned by Tycho to analyze the huge amounts of data he had collected from about 20 years of observations. Tycho was interested in whether his hybrid model would fit the data better than the Ptolemaian (sp?) and the Copernican models. they were notoriously ...


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In his "Recollections of an Exciting Era" (History of Twentieth Century Physics: Proceedings of the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi". Course LVII.-New York; London: Academic Press, 1977. P. 109-146), Dirac wrote that, to derive what is now known as the Dirac equation, he had played with mathematical formulas, and he needed the Pauli matrices ...


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Regular numbers could never fulfill $$ AB + BA = 0, \quad AA = 1 = BB. $$ The only way to fulfill the first eq. is to have either $A = 0 $ or $B = 0$ but this violates the second equation. Matrices on the other hand can fulfill such equations and since Dirac knew about matrices he did not discard his idea after finding something that's impossible with ...


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My guess is that Dirac realised that if he wanted to define the square root of the d'Alembert operator he needed to change the algebra of coefficients from a commutative one to a non-commutative one. The work of Clifford on Clifford algebras was more or less contemporary, so Dirac probably knew nothing about them. Nonetheless he postulated that the ...


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The $W$-boson was discovered in 1983 at the UA1 collider Experimental Observation of Isolated Large Transverse Energy Electrons with Associated Missing Energy at s**(1/2) = 540-GeV UA1 Collaboration (G. Arnison et al.), Phys.Lett. B122 (1983) 103-116, Experiment: CERN-UA-001, Feb 1983 There's no evidence in the paper of a precedent in high-energy ...



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