El libro fue publicado en 1929, leo al final de esta "Introduction":
The great scientific task of the next fifty years is the development of a new "electromagnetic" theory. It is impossible to forecast the form such a theory will take, so greatly are we prejudiced by our present views.
En esos años ya se estaba pergueñando la electrodinámica cuántica, de la mano de Dirac al principio.
It will, however, doubtless be based on a quantitative description of the individual behavior of charges, and will yield as statistical concepts such ideas as inertia, force, and even length and time. Thus it will explain the mechanical behavior of ponderable matter, rather than be itself "explained" by mechanics. That this new theory should yield ideas such as those just mentioned, rather than depend upon them, is but consistent with the basic role this theory must play.
Pending the advent of this new theory, it is essential to have a knowledge of that system of equations which constitutes the present electromagnetic theory. Remembering that the future of the theory lies in the
hands of the present students, it seems of the greatest importance to arrive at these equations in a way which will excite, rather than dull, curiosity, and which tends to produce that attitude toward fundamentals
which must prevail before a real electron theory of electricity replaces the present electrical theory of electrons.
Interesante postura. Estoy estudiando este libro para ver cómo es la teoría clásica, antes de llegar a la formulación de campos cuánticos.
The present volume is an introduction to the mathematical field theory of electrodynamics, written in an attempt to keep clear the relation between the mathematical mechanism and the physical reality. It is hoped that a student who gains his familiarity with the Maxwell field equations from this book will have an open mind, ready to evaluate without prejudice those fundamental new developments in electrical theory which are bound to come. The authors realize that this volume closes just at that interesting point where many valuable developments bewn. However, just as, according to the behaviorists, one's psychology is largely "set" before he reaches the age of three, so one's viewpoint toward electrodynamics is a fixed and settled Inatter by the time one has acquired the field equations and has discussed certain of their most fundamental applications. It is with this viewpoint that the authors are primarily concerned.
No podrían haber estado más acertados en que las teorías "are bound to come". Era claro entonces que con los nuevos descubriemientos en mecánica cuántica, las formulaciones clásicas debían ser revisadas. Y las teorías de Maxwell y Lorentz estaban algo "separadas". En la primera no se usaba el electrón. Faltaba la unificación entre campos y partículas.
Acá termina esta serie, comentando esta introducción. En cuanto pueda, comienzo una serie sobre electromagnetismo clásico, para pasar en limpio algunos conceptos.
Angel "Java" Lopez