- This article is about the physicist; for his grandfather, the Swiss artist, see Ernst Stückelberg (painter)
Ernst Stueckelberg, 1934 in London
February 1, 1905|
|Died||September 4, 1984
|Doctoral advisor||August Hagenbach|
|Doctoral students||Marcel Guenin|
Ernst Carl Gerlach Stueckelberg (February 1, 1905 – September 4, 1984) was a Swiss mathematician and physicist, regarded as one of the most eminent physicists of the 20th century. Despite making key advances in theoretical physics, including the exchange particle model of fundamental forces, causal S-matrix theory and the renormalization group, his idiosyncratic style and publication in minor journals led to his work being unrecognised until the mid-1990s.
Born into a semi-aristocratic family in Basel in 1905, Stueckelberg's father was a lawyer, and his paternal grandfather a distinguished Swiss artist. A highly gifted school student, Stueckelberg initially began a physics degree at the University of Basel in 1923.
While still a student, Stueckelberg was invited by the distinguished quantum theorist Arnold Sommerfeld, to attend his lectures at the University of Munich. He went on to gain a Ph D on cathode physics in 1927. Later that year he went to Princeton University, becoming an assistant professor in 1930.
He returned to Switzerland in 1932, working first at the University of Basel before switching the following year to the University of Zurich. In 1934 he moved again to the University of Geneva, which together with the University of Lausanne became his principal bases for the rest of his career.
In 1934 he devised a fully covariant perturbation theory for quantum fields. The approach proposed by Stueckelberg was very powerful, but was not adopted by others at the time, and has now been all but forgotten. However, besides being explicitly covariant, Stueckelberg's methods avoid vacuum bubbles .
Stueckelberg developed the vector boson exchange model as the theoretical explanation of the strong nuclear force in 1935. Discussions with Pauli led Stueckelberg to drop the idea, however. It was rediscovered by Hideki Yukawa, who won a Nobel Prize for his work in 1949 - the first of several Nobel Prizes awarded for work which Stueckelberg contributed to, without recognition.
In 1938 Stueckelberg recognized that massive electrodynamics contains a hidden scalar, and formulated an affine version of what would become known as the Abelian Higgs mechanism. He also proposed the law of conservation of baryon number.
The evolution parameter theory he presented in 1941 and 1942 is the basis for recent work in relativistic dynamics.
In 1976 he was awarded the Max Planck medal.
His PhD students included Marcel Guenin.
- Timeline of atomic and subatomic physics
- Relativistic dynamics
- Stueckelberg action
- Stueckelberg-Feynman interpretation
- Lacki, J.; Wanders, G.; Ruegg, H. (Eds.) (2009). E. C. G. Stueckelberg, an unconventional figure in twentieth century physics. Birkhäuser Verlag AG. ISBN 3-7643-8877-3.
- Enz, Charles P. (March 1986). "Obituary: Ernst Stueckelberg". Physics Today 39 (3): 119–121. doi:10.1063/1.2814942.
- Biographical details based on An overview of Stueckelberg's Life as a Scientist by Wanders, G. in Lacki, J et al Eds ibid
- Discussion in The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth Century Physics by Crease, R, Mann, C Macmillan: 1996,
- Stueckelberg, Helvetica Physica Acta Vol.11, 1938, p.299, 312
- Griffiths, David (1987). Introduction to Elementary Particles. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-60386-4.
- Stueckelberg, Helvetica Physica Acta, Vol.14, 1941, pp.51-80
- Stueckelberg, E.C.G. (1952) Theoreme H et unitarite de S. Helv. Phys. Acta 25, 577-580
- Gorban, A.N., Shahzad, M. (2011) The Michaelis-Menten-Stueckelberg Theorem. Entropy 13, no. 5, 966-1019.
- Stueckelberg, Petermann „La normalization des constantes dans la theorie des quanta“ Helvetica Physica Acta, Vol.26, 1953, p.499, Abstract, Vorarbeiten dazu Stueckelberg, T. A. Green Helvetica Physica Acta Vol.24, 1951, p.153
- Cianfrani, F., and Lecian, O. M. (2007) "E.C.G. Stueckelberg: a forerunner of modern physics," Nuovo Cimento 122B: 123-133.
- Lacki, Jan, Ruegg, H., and Valentine Telegdi (1999) "The Road to Stueckelberg's Covariant Perturbation Theory as Illustrated by Successive Treatments of Compton Scattering." Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
- Schweber, Silvan S. (1994) QED and the Men who Made It. Princeton Univ. Press: chpt. §10.1.
- The edited PDF files of the physics course of Professor Stueckelberg, openly accessible, with commentary and complete biographical documents.
- blog post concerning Stueckelberg with comment by Petermann
- Oakley, C.G. "The search for Quantum Field Theory"
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Ernst Stueckelberg", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.