San José State University |
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by Markus Fierz |
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Markus Eduard Fierz was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1912. By age 24 he had become assistant to Wolfgang Pauli at ETH in Zurich. He continued in that assistantship from1936 to 1939. He went on to become a professor of physics at Basel (1939-1960). In 1960 he became Pauli'.s successor at ETH in Zurich.
Fierz was recognized to have an extraordinary ability for mathematical analysis. His proof of the Spin-Statistics Theorem in his article, "On the Relativistic Theory of Force-Free Particles of Arbitrary Spin," published in Helvetica Phyica Acta in 1939 ecalated the degree of rigor in such proofs.
He based his proof on the assumption that any particle has a representation as a Dirac spinor. This assumption set the approach for the next few proofs of the Spin-Statistics Theorem. His proof was not accepted as the ultimate proof of the theorem, not because of any flaw in the analysis but because of questions as the appropriateness of his assumptions. He purported to prove the Spin-Statistics Theorem for all half integral and all integral spins but acknowledged a problem in the proof for spin greater than one.
(To be continued.)
Source:
Ian Duck and E.C.G. Sudarshan, Pauli and the Spin-Statistics Theorem,, World Scientific, Singapore, 1997.
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