Veamos que tiene para contar Dirac del trabajo de Schrodinger, luego de que éste no consiguiera en primera instancia un desarrollo relativístico:
What did Schrodinger do? He was most unhappy. He abandoned the thing for some months, as he told me. And then, afterwards, when he had recovered from his depression somewhat, he returned to this work and noticed that if he applied his ideas with less accuracy, not taking into account effects due to relativistic motion of the electron, with this lesser accuracy his theory agreed with observation. He then published his work with this diminished accuracy and was able to establish that his theory was in agreement with observation.
He set up in that way an alternative form of quantum mechanics. People who were working on the subject soon found that it was basically equivalent to the form which had been originates by Heisenberg. They were just two aspects of the same theory, which is our present quantum mechanics.
Tiempo después, Dirac fue completando su propia teoría, denominada teoría de las transformaciones, que estamos viendo en la serie de posts Teoría de la Transformación de Dirac, un desarrollo moderno.
De nuevo encontramos a Dirac dando importancia a la teoría y a su belleza interna, antes que al acuerdo con los experimentos:
Schrodinger had really been too timid in giving up his first relativistic equation which was not in agreement with the observation of the hydrogen spectrum. This equation was rediscovered a little later by Klein and Gordon and they published their work in spite of its disagreement with observation. The reason why Schrodinger's original equation did not fit was because it did not take into account the spin of electron. The spin of the electron was not established at that time. There were some hints of spin provided by experiment, but they were very vague. Probably Schrodinger himself did not know about them.
Desconozco que experimentos había entonces (1926) indicando la presencia del espin electrónico. Tampoco Dirac estaba satisfecho con la ecuación de Klein-Gordon y no tardó en desarrollar su propia ecuación relativista, notable ecuación que le dió aún más reconocimiento entre sus colegas, y lo preparó para el premio Nobel.
Klein and Gordon published the relativistic equation which was really the same as the equation which Schrodinger had discovered previously. The only contribution of Klein and Gordon in this respect was that they were sufficiently bold not to be perturbed by the lack of agreement of the equation with observations. The result is that the equation is now known as the Klein-Gordon equation, in spite of having been discovered a year or two earlier by Schrodinger. This equation is of some value for describing particles without spin -certain kinds of mesons- but does not apply at all to the electron.
En el próximo post veremos cómo Dirac describe su principal avance en el tema, al descubrir la ecuación que lleva su nombre.
Angel "Java" Lopez