FROM NOBEL-WINNING PHYSICIST RICHARD FEYNMAN'S PERSONAL LIBRARY: FIRST EDITION OF WENTZEL'S EINFÜHRUNG IN DIE QUANTENTHEORIE DER WELLENFELDER, 1943, WITH FEYNMAN'S OWNER SIGNATURE AND PENCIL ANNOTATION
(FEYNMAN, Richard P.) WENTZEL, Gregor. Einfuhrung in die Quantentheorie der Wellenfelder. Wien, Austria: Franz Deuticke, 1943. Octavo, original burgundy cloth. $13,500.
First edition of the first book ever published on quantum theory. The copy of Richard Feynman, with his owner signature and pencil annotation. Text in German.
"Wentzel's lectures… have always awed listeners by their exquisite elegance. This quality is borne out in his textbook, Einführung in die Quantentheorie der Wellenfelder, written during the war. This first book ever on quantum field theory was translated into English at war's end, and has been the formative textbook of the postwar generation of theoretical physicists" (Freund, et al.). Without dust jacket. This copy—from Feynman's personal library—features his owner signature in all capitals "R.P. FEYNMAN CORNELL UNIV," as well as a single pencil annotation on page 162 adding to a printed equation. Richard Feynman was an "American theoretical physicist who was widely regarded as the most brilliant, influential, and iconoclastic figure in his field in the post-World War II era. Feynman remade quantum electrodynamics—the theory of the interaction between light and matter—and thus altered the way science understands the nature of waves and particles. He was co-awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 for this work, which tied together in an experimentally perfect package all the varied phenomena at work in light, radio, electricity, and magnetism. The other cowinners of the Nobel Prize, Julian S. Schwinger of the United States and Tomonaga Shin’ichiro of Japan, had independently created equivalent theories, but it was Feynman’s that proved the most original and far-reaching. The problem-solving tools that he invented—including pictorial representations of particle interactions known as Feynman diagrams—permeated many areas of theoretical physics in the second half of the 20th century" (Britannica). Feynman's work was a natural extension of Gregor Wentzel's and this book was considered the primary authority on quantum theory until Feynman's own theories supplanted Wentzel's.
Rear inner paper hinge starting, slightest foxing to pastedowns, faintest staining to cloth, light wear and toning to extremities. An extremely good signed copy.