I'm trying to find Susskind and Glogower's original paper,

L. Susskind and J. Glogower. Quantum mechanical phase and time operator. Physics 1 (1964) 49-61

where they propose their exponential and sine-cosine phase operators (i.e. $$\widehat{\textrm{exp}}(i\phi)=\sum_{n=0}^\infty |n\rangle\langle n+1|$$ and friends). This paper has a huge number of citations, both from papers that discuss the formalism directly, as well as papers that deal with other formulations of the quantum phase.

However, the journal it was published in, Physics, was apparently very short-lived (published 164-1968) and it's pretty obscure. More to the point, I've been completely unable to find any official online presence for either the journal (reasonable for a deceased journal) or the paper (Google Scholar points to this and little else). In particular, the journal is very hard to google: search terms like "physics" or "physics journal" obviously don't get you anywhere.

Can anyone point me to an online resource that has this or to a print library (preferably in England) that has it?

  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta discussion on whether how-to-find-a-reference questions are allowed, sparked by this question. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Nov 25 '13 at 12:24

I finally found the paper, at the British Library.

The journal title, on the cover and on the British Library Catalogue, is "Physics Physique Fizika" (with the latter in Cyrillic on the cover), although all citations are apparently only "Physics".

Searching for Susskind on amr's Google books link confirms that it does contain the paper. Clicking "find a library" refers to WorldCat, which I suspect will give (probably) all the libraries near the user's location that have the journal.

Alternatively, the paper is available as Paper 1.5 in the book

The Quantum Phase Operator: A Review, SM Barnett and JA Vaccaro, eds. (Taylor & Francis, 2007).

In fact, if what one needs is just a touchstone reference to cite regarding the existence of the method, the book itself is probably a much more helpful reference than the (nigh unfindable) original paper.


Through Google Books I was able to find this, but I can't actually tell if it contains the article. If you type a specific search into the "From inside the book" box, you should be able to find out. From my probings it appears that it does (I searched for "time operator," and the paper title is clearly on the page header). You can also search for other articles that were published in that journal and see if they show up inside the book.

On the left it has a "Find in a library" link which is probably your only bet. Good luck.

  • $\begingroup$ Thing is, I cannot even find an archive with the journal contents. The journal title makes it very much difficult to google - what does one look for? "Physics"? "physics journal"? $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 12 '12 at 16:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Actually, the find a library gives results in UK (The British Library and The Cambridge University Library). Look with the librarian at your institution if he can receive a scan through inter-library lending. $\endgroup$ – Frédéric Grosshans Apr 13 '12 at 10:12
  • $\begingroup$ I checked with the British Library and it looks like they do have it. I'll update as soon as I'm able to go. $\endgroup$ – Emilio Pisanty Apr 13 '12 at 15:40

Some excellent news: fifty years after its demise, the journal Physics ─ as it appears on citations, but perhaps better referred to as Physics Physique физика as its title appears on its cover, or Physics Physique Fizika as its latin-alphabet transcription ─ has now been made available online, free to read, on the APS website.

This includes the Susskind-Glogower paper, which is available here under the permanent DOI identifier doi:10.1103/PhysicsPhysiqueFizika.1.49. The same is true for J.S. Bell's famous EPR paper as well as several other important papers in that journal's short run.

As a curiosity that's readily visible now that the journal's archive is easily browseable, the journal does seem to live up to its name by publishing dual-language versions of the papers by Russian authors, such as e.g. the English and Russian versions of a paper by Abrikosov (albeit in different printing qualities, so who knows what it looks like physically in the original, and with no explicit credit to any translator).

The editorial foreword to the first issue is also quite interesting ─ if nothing else, because it makes it clear that the journal used to pay the authors of accepted papers, an unthinkable luxury by present-day standards. Or maybe that's the business model that crashed the journal? There's no indication in the recently-republished archive of what caused that journal's demise.


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