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Climbing the MountainThe Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger$
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Jagdish Mehra and Kimball Milton

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198527459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198527459.001.0001

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Schwinger goes to Berkeley

Schwinger goes to Berkeley

(p.54) 3 Schwinger goes to Berkeley
Climbing the Mountain



Oxford University Press

In the spring of 1939, Julian Schwinger was 21 years old, a fresh PhD with a sizable number of articles already published in the Physical Review to his credit, several of which were quoted and considered significant. The time had come to find a post-doctoral appointment, and this meant leaving home and New York City. Julian was still greatly attached to his family, and had become accustomed to taking advantage of the special privileges he had earned at Columbia University; therefore he was not at all eager to leave this environment. Indeed, this was relatively the freest period of his life, virtually devoid of all responsibilities, and he devoted every minute of it to physics. This chapter focuses on Schwinger's stint at the University of California at Berkeley, his research on mesotrons, collaboration with William Rarita, his shift from purely quantum-mechanical methods applied to nuclear physics to quantum field theory, and his transfer to Purdue University in Indiana.

Keywords:   Berkeley, Purdue University, nuclear physics, quantum field theory, William Rarita, mesotrons

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