prerequisites for Feynman’s thesis: A new approach on Quantum Theory.
Posted by peeterjoot on February 21, 2010
I thought I was doing pretty well with a read of this book, having found typos on page 15, where the index variables got mixed up, leading to something that was obviously wrong. However, after not too much further I get bogged down when he starts referring to use of contact transformations. These are used to develop a systematic way to arrive at the quantum mechanical equations that correspond to a classical action principle (perhaps without even a Hamiltonian). So, I’ve got to shelf this book for a while and go study some more of Goldstein, who appears to cover this topic under the guise of Canonical transformations. I’d seen that chapter and skipped it, not having any idea where it was really headed or why I’d want to study it (like a lot of Goldstein, which at least in the first edition is all too terse). Now I know some of the point of it all, and I expect this will make the study of it go more smoothly.
I also have to say that Feynman is pretty causal with his algebra. I’ve blundered around with trying to reproduce his equation (28), which “This can be expressed in other ways” produces. I got (27) after some messy manipulations, but a hint about how to get to (28) would be nice. Trying again with fresh eyes may help. I’d say that’s a problem for another day.