Session H14: History and Philosophy of Science

10:45 AM–12:21 PM, Sunday, May 3, 2009
Room: Plaza Court 4

Sponsoring Unit: FHP
Chair: Dan Kleppner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract ID: BAPS.2009.APR.H14.5

Abstract: H14.00005 : Schr\"{o}dinger's Unified Field Theory: Physics by Public Relations

11:45 AM–11:57 AM

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  Paul Halpern
    (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia)

We will explore the circumstances surrounding Erwin Schr\"{o}dinger's announcement in January 1947 that he had developed a comprehensive unified field theory of gravitation and electromagnetism. We will speculate on Schr\"{o}dinger's motivations for the mode and tone of his statements, consider the reaction of the international press within the context of the postwar era, and examine Einstein's response.

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