On Max Born's "Vorlesungen ueber Atommechanik, Erster Band"

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Giulini, Domenico
preprint description
A little more than half a year before Matrix Mechanics was born, Max Born finished his book "Vorlesungen ueber Atommechanik, Erster Band", which is a state-of-the-art presentation of Bohr-Sommerfeld quantisation. This book, which today seems almost forgotten, is remarkable for its epistemological as well as technical aspects. Here I wish to highlight one aspect in each of these two categories, the first being concerned with the role of axiomatisation in the heuristics of physics, the second with the problem of quantisation proper before Heisenberg and Schroedinger. This paper is a contribution to the project "History and Foundations of Quantum Physics" of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Sciences in Berlin and will appear in the book "Research and Pedagogy. The History of Quantum Physics through its Textbooks", edited by M.Badino and J.Navarro.