Turning Points in Physics. A Series of Lectures Given at by R.J. Blin-Stoyle, D. ter Haar, K. Mendelssohn, J. De Boer,

By R.J. Blin-Stoyle, D. ter Haar, K. Mendelssohn, J. De Boer, H. Brinkman and H. B. G. Casimir (Auth.)

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By R.J. Blin-Stoyle, D. ter Haar, K. Mendelssohn, J. De Boer, H. Brinkman and H. B. G. Casimir (Auth.)

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Extra resources for Turning Points in Physics. A Series of Lectures Given at Oxford University in Trinity Term 1958

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Ill gases is separated but this constitutes no violation of the second law. Work has to be done to carry out the separation and the increase in entropy connected with the doing of this work is greater than the lowering of entropy in the gas. That means that in the process as a whole the overall entropy has become greater. This is also true for the processes of life. Statistically the outstanding feature of life is the continuous creation of material structures of an extremely high degree of orderliness.

However, as it became clear that it was a description of the field rather than its sources that was essential for a complete understanding of the behaviour of the sources, it was realized that a new concept was arising for which there was no place in the old mechanistic philosophy. It was, of course, hoped that it might still be possible to give a mechanistic interpretation of the field with the help of the aether and many attempts in this direction were made. However, all were artificial, none succeeded, and in any case with the advent of relativistic theory, of which you will hear more in another lecture, the idea of a mechanical aether had to be abandoned.

A wave has a well-defined wave length, which according to de Broglie means a welldefined electron velocity, but is spread over the whole of space. If we restrict the localisation of a wave, thus bringing it more into line with corpuscular behaviour, we are dealing with a wave train and it is well-known from the study of wave trains that that involves a lack of precision in the corresponding wave length (and thus electron velocity). The more the wave train becomes localised, that is, the better the position of the electron is determined, the less precise can its wave length be determined, that is, the less precise is our knowledge about the electron velocity.

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