Session T9: History of Physics

3:30 PM–5:18 PM, Monday, April 14, 2008
Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront (formerly Adam's Mark Hotel), Room: Promenade E

Sponsoring Unit: FHP
Chair: Don Howard, University of Notre Dame

Abstract ID: BAPS.2008.APR.T9.2

Abstract: T9.00002 : Grete Hermann: Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher

3:42 PM–3:54 PM

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  Caroline Herzenberg

When we look back at the history of quantum mechanics, we can find some scientists who in retrospect had significant roles but were unfortunately largely disregarded at the time. Among them was a very interesting woman, Grete Hermann, whose work in mathematics, philosophy, and physics took place mainly during the early to mid twentieth century. She is best known for discovering a flaw in John von Neumann's attempt at proof of the impossibility of hidden variable theory in quantum mechanics, but she also did further interesting work on the foundations of quantum mechanics. Her life, her collaboration with Emmy Noether, her involvement with Heisenberg's group in Leipzig, and some aspects of her further work in philosophy and education will be described briefly.

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