Conceptual Relevance by Joseph Grünfeld

By Joseph Grünfeld

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It led to Enrico Fermi's 1934 theory of beta decay, which rendered the existence of such exchange forces in the nucleus visualizable. According to Fermi, just as the light quantum emitted by an atom in an atomic transaction was not present in the atom prior to the transaction, neither was the electron present in the nucleus prior to beta decay 30. The new level of intuitivity achieved by complementarity became the basis for a correspondence principle in quantum electrodynamics and nuclear physics.

In this manner the mental imagery of modern physicists underwent a variety of profound transformations. Classical physics fails for velocities approaching the speed of light, and for atomic dimensions where Planck's constant can no longer be ignored. One result is that terms like Schrodinger's picture, Heisenberg's picture, and interaction picture have no representation or image content in the usual sense - they refer on27. M. ) Selected Papers in Quantum Electrodynamics, New York: Dover 1958. 28.

The ways in which speakers and hearers think about an object typically will reflect their idiosyncratic relationships to it and neither side will know exactly how the other side is thinking of the object. This does not preclude successful communication in most cases. There must be some connection between the sent and received propositions, but they need not be identical. Having specified the range of possible sent and received propositions, we can characterize only roughly the content of the communication or determine what statement has been made.

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