"In the judgment of the most competent living mathematicians, Fräulein Noether was the most significant creative mathematical genius thus far produced since the higher education of women began."—Albert Einstein The year was 1915, and the young mathematician Emmy Noether had just settled into Göttingen University when Albert Einstein visited to lecture on his nearly finished general theory of relativity. Two leading mathematicians of the day, David Hilbert and Felix Klein, dug into the new theory with gusto, but had difficulty reconciling it with what was known about the conservation of energy. Knowing of her expertise in invariance theory, they requested Noether’s help. To solve the problem, she developed a novel theorem, applicable across all of physics, which relates conservation laws to continuous symmetries—one of the most important pieces of mathematical reasoning ever developed. Noether’s "first" and "second" theorem was published in 1918. The first theorem relates symmetries under global spacetime transformations to the conservation of energy and momentum, and symmetry under global gauge transformations to charge conservation. In continuum mechanics and field theories, these conservation laws are expressed as equations of continuity. The second theorem, an extension of the first, allows transformations with local gauge invariance, and the equations of continuity acquire the covariant derivative characteristic of coupled matter-field systems. General relativity, it turns out, exhibits local gauge invariance. Noether’s theorem also laid the foundation for later generations to apply local gauge invariance to theories of elementary particle interactions. In Dwight E. Neuenschwander’s new edition of Emmy Noether’s Wonderful Theorem, readers will encounter an updated explanation of Noether’s "first" theorem. The discussion of local gauge invariance has been expanded into a detailed presentation of the motivation, proof, and applications of the "second" theorem, including Noether’s resolution of concerns about general relativity. Other refinements in the new edition include an enlarged biography of Emmy Noether’s life and work, parallels drawn between the present approach and Noether’s original 1918 paper, and a summary of the logic behind Noether’s theorem. -- Cliff Chancey, University of Northern Iowa
Group Theory From the Eightfold Way to the Periodic Table
Author: Pieter Thyssen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The standard model of subatomic particles and the periodic table of the atoms have the common goal to bring order in the bewildering chaos of the constituents of matter. Their success relies on the presence of fundamental symmetries in their core. The purpose of the book is to share the admiration for the power and the beauty of these symmetries. The reader is taken on a journey from the basic geometric symmetry group of a circle to the sublime dynamic symmetries that govern the motions of the particles. The trail follows the lines of parentage linking groups upstream to the unitary symmetry of the eightfold way of quarks, and to the four-dimensional symmetry of the hydrogen atom. Along the way the theory of symmetry groups is gradually introduced with special emphasis on graphical representations. The final challenge is to open up the structure of Mendeleev's table which goes beyond the symmetry of the hydrogen atom. Breaking this symmetry to accommodate the multi-electron atoms requires to leave the common ground of linear algebras and explore the potential of non-linearity.
'Sidney Coleman was the master teacher of quantum field theory. All of us who knew him became his students and disciples. Sidney’s legendary course remains fresh and bracing, because he chose his topics with a sure feel for the essential, and treated them with elegant economy.' Frank WilczekNobel Laureate in Physics 2004 Sidney Coleman was a physicist's physicist. He is largely unknown outside of the theoretical physics community, and known only by reputation to the younger generation. He was an unusually effective teacher, famed for his wit, his insight and his encyclopedic knowledge of the field to which he made many important contributions. There are many first-rate quantum field theory books (the venerable Bjorken and Drell, the more modern Itzykson and Zuber, the now-standard Peskin and Schroeder, and the recent Zee), but the immediacy of Prof. Coleman's approach and his ability to present an argument simply without sacrificing rigor makes his book easy to read and ideal for the student. Part of the motivation in producing this book is to pass on the work of this outstanding physicist to later generations, a record of his teaching that he was too busy to leave himself.
Quantum field theory provides the theoretical backbone to most modern physics. This book is designed to bring quantum field theory to a wider audience of physicists. It is packed with worked examples, witty diagrams, and applications intended to introduce a new audience to this revolutionary theory.
Named for the noted mathematician, the Emmy Noether Research Institute for Mathematicsheld a two-day conference dedicated to her heritage and her influence on mathematics and physics in the 20th and 21st centuries. This volume presents the proceedings of that conference. It includes a comprehensive description of her contributions to commutative and noncommutative algebra, algebraic geometry, topology, and physics given by world experts in these fields. Also included is a profile of her life. The volume is a comprehensive collection of Noether's valuable contributions tomathematics and physics.
"A unique resource. Each of the 43 articles contains a biography, a summary of achievements, and a bibliography of works by and about the woman mathematician. . . . The articles are well written and the bibliographies appear to include all the major works by or about the biographees. Numerous appendixes and indexes enhance the value of this bibliography. This very thorough reference is highly recommended for all libraries." Choice "...a valuable collection, with most of the biographies proving entertaining as well as educational." Library Journal
From Grundlagen der Geometrie to Grundlagen der Physik
Author: L. Corry
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
David Hilbert (1862-1943) was the most influential mathematician of the early twentieth century and, together with Henri Poincaré, the last mathematical universalist. His main known areas of research and influence were in pure mathematics (algebra, number theory, geometry, integral equations and analysis, logic and foundations), but he was also known to have some interest in physical topics. The latter, however, was traditionally conceived as comprising only sporadic incursions into a scientific domain which was essentially foreign to his mainstream of activity and in which he only made scattered, if important, contributions. Based on an extensive use of mainly unpublished archival sources, the present book presents a totally fresh and comprehensive picture of Hilbert’s intense, original, well-informed, and highly influential involvement with physics, that spanned his entire career and that constituted a truly main focus of interest in his scientific horizon. His program for axiomatizing physical theories provides the connecting link with his research in more purely mathematical fields, especially geometry, and a unifying point of view from which to understand his physical activities in general. In particular, the now famous dialogue and interaction between Hilbert and Einstein, leading to the formulation in 1915 of the generally covariant field-equations of gravitation, is adequately explored here within the natural context of Hilbert’s overall scientific world-view. This book will be of interest to historians of physics and of mathematics, to historically-minded physicists and mathematicians, and to philosophers of science.