I'm looking for the videos on the topic in the title, thank you very much! Details are below.

First, about my level. I was never much into physics, some I know this up to a level of school-taught relativity and some commonly avaiable conceptions from quantum mechanics. I have a PhD in math though, so I have some experience with technical things needed to grasp say PDEs, probabilities, non-commutativity etc. It's just I was always interested more in the conceptual side of things, hence I thought I was lucky to skip the university course on quantum physics. Now I gradually become more and more interested in those topics, and I have started watching a lot of videos on different topics of science.

Now, to the question. Recently I googled "history of quantum mechanics" expeting to come accross an infinite collection of videos saying something like

  • hey, that was the world in end of 19th century, all fine but some problems needed to be resolved
  • oops, something strange begins to happen there, we need to think an electron is sometimes a wave
  • q-numbers, matrices and operators
  • Heisenberg and Dirac
  • Solvay conference
  • Bell's inequality
  • ...

Reason why I am specifically interested in a historical account of things, is not that I am very interested in what motivated scientists to develop quantum mechanics they way it was developed. The end result of the kind "well, now we think this and that" is not that important to me whereas what I really want to learn is why we now think this and that.

To my surprise (and regret) I have found nothing of that kind, neither on quantum mechanics nor anything similar on relativity. Well, I finally digged up a 6 episode series on one channel with less than 10k subscribers, where the story went exactly along the lines I've mentioned above, but it was to short, and now I have a strong urge to watch more of that. I've even bought a subscription on CuriosityStream an hour ago, but unfortunately it does seem to have good videos on this topic either. Most of the things I see there and on YouTube look like they are selling this whole universe is so complex and mysterious and paradoxical to gain the awe of the watching crowd, rather than systematically help them understand things better.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Might this question be better suited for History of Science and Mathematics? $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind
    Mar 27, 2022 at 18:13
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind definitely an interesting idea, but let’s see if people here may have something to pitch in. Audiences of these sites are a bit different I guess. $\endgroup$
    – SBF
    Mar 27, 2022 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this post (v2). Res. recom. qs are restricted on Phys.SE, and usually they don't distinguish between books and videos. Moreover, video-links are prone to link-rot. And finally, the topics quantum physics or relativity seem too broad together. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Mar 27, 2022 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind could you help migrating the question please? $\endgroup$
    – SBF
    Mar 27, 2022 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


This isn't a video, but there are two books I really liked on this topic and explained a lot of the "why"

  1. First and foremost, "The Age of Entanglement". For understanding the "why" this is a great book. There is no math, but it gives the history and is totally captivating by the time you make it to the 3rd chapter or so. You get insight into the different personalities and on a high level how their debates went & how the status quo came to be.
  2. For a more technical look into the mathematics of the early quantum theory, I'd recommend Max Jammer's "The Conceptual Development of Quantum Mechanics". This book is not easy to get your hands on as it is out of print, but it is available on the library genesis website.

I'm a consumer of many physics videos and I haven't seen much on this topic on YouTube.


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