CRM: Centro De Giorgi
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Mechanics, mathematical physics and foundations of mathematics in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Classical Electron Theory from Lorentz to Dirac

speaker: Diego Noja (Dipartimento di Matematica e Applicazioni Università di Milano Bicocca)

abstract: A review is given of the complex history of the studies of the interaction of charged particles and electromagnetic field. Starting with the first attempts at the end of the XIX century, the "electron theory" culminated with the Lorentz synthesis, leaving open however a lot of problems. The best known is the problem of the stability of the atom, from which originated quantum theory, but to remain in the classical framework a lot of other questions were discussed in the physicists and mathematicians community for a long time, (and some of them are actually an active research theme still today), such as the electromagnetic nature of the mass, action at a distance theories, or nonlinear field theories, to quote a few. The provisional end of the story is the so called Abraham-Lorentz-Dirac equation, deduced as an exact equation in 1938 by P.A.M.Dirac, with its content of new ideas and methods, interpretative difficulties and projection toward the great problems of infinities and renormalization which engaged quantum field theory in the following decades.

Fri 11 Jul, 11:15 - 11:55, Aula Bianchi Scienze
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