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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on May 13, 2002 01:05:51 UTC


I have been slow to respond because I have no desire to insult you and you make it very difficult for me. You have apparently been away from academic physics for a long time. I can sympathize as I too have noticed a very real drop in my innate abilities. When I first wrote it down, the proof of equation 5.3 was, well, just obvious. Back in Ď89, when I first had access to a computer word processor which could edit equations (WordPerfect 5.1) and I typed in what was before that a hand written manuscript, I had to think it out a little to convince myself it was correct. Then, about six months ago, when I transcribed it into HTML, I wanted to make sure it was error free. When I got to equation 5.3, it took me six weeks to do a detailed derivation of it! It is right but I would no longer call it obvious! So we all go down hill. Some day it will probably take me half a day to figure out how to start my car. As I tell my wife, "itís all down hill from here! "

At any rate, I do not understand your first line at all! I have no idea what your complaint is.

***** Yanniru:
But it is the entire sum that you use in your derivation

I canít follow why that sentence is there or what you are trying to say.

***** Yanniru:
However, I am not terribly concerned with how you actually derived your result because I can get the same result without using the delta function.

Now that, I would like to see! I have absolutely no idea what you have in mind!

***** Yanniru:
I am puzzled however that you claim that Schroedinger's equation is a constant energy approximation. If so, how do you explain the energy levels that are derived using it, such as for the Hydrogen atom.

You apparently find it very difficult to follow exactly what I say. I did not say the Schrodinger equation is a constant energy approximation. What I said is that Schrodingerís equation is only valid when the energy is approximately constant; those are two fundamentally different statements! So long as you include the relativistic energy due to the mass (which must be included if energy is defined as being given by the time derivative operator), the changes in energy handled by the Schrodinger solution are very small changes! If the magnitude of those energy changes even get to a fraction of the order of magnitude as the mass energy, "relativistic effects" rears its ugly head and the Schrodinger equation is completely inadequate to the job. This fact is well known by any competent physicist. I donít want to insult you but that is something I would expect to have to explain to a high school student, not a college physics major!

***** Yanniru:
If you knew physics you would know that Harvard has been at the forefront of the quest to unify physics. So I conclude that you just do not know.

Now Richard, you shouldnít lower yourself to a comment like that! It simply begs for a wise crack: like, "Oh, I didnít know that was part of what I was to learn when I studied 'physics'! What is the name of the course under which that information is covered?" Or maybe the "has been" is the clue! I think what you meant to say was, "if I was at all part of the physics social community I would know ...". Well, I am not part of the physics community and havenít been for a long time!

***** Yanniru:
I also must note your characteristic of attacking the individual when you have difficulty defending your work. However, I welcome this characteristic when directed at me. You and Mike have been personality education, my personality.

Richard, to date, I am not aware of having any difficulty defending my work at all. Explaining it yes; but defending it? I havenít had a chance to defend the first line yet. What we need here is a little physics! I am sorry but at the moment, your talents in that area leave me seriously wondering about Harvard! Every time it finally dawns on me what your difficulty is, it turns out to be an issue which should have been thoroughly covered in your undergraduate studies. Letís go slow and make sure all the details are clear.

Looking forward to your response -- Dick

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