Eight Lectures on Theoretical Physics
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK
PUBLICATION NUMBER THREE
OF THE ERNEST KEMPTON ADAMS FUND FOR PHYSICAL RESEARCH
ESTABLISHED DECEMBER 17th, 1904
ON THEORETICAL PHYSICS
DELIVERED AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
PROFESSOR OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF BERLIN
LECTURER IN MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FOR 1909
A. P. WILLS
PROFESSOR OF MATHEMATICAL PHYSICS IN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS
PREFACE TO ORIGINAL EDITION.
The present book has for its object the presentation of the lectures which I delivered as foreign lecturer at Columbia University in the spring of the present year under the title: “The Present System of Theoretical Physics.” The points of view which influenced me in the selection and treatment of the material are given at the beginning of the first lecture. Essentially, they represent the extension of a theoretical physical scheme, the fundamental elements of which I developed in an address at Leyden entitled: “The Unity of the Physical Concept of the Universe.” Therefore I regard it as advantageous to consider again some of the topics of that lecture. The presentation will not and can not, of course, claim to cover exhaustively in all directions the principles of theoretical physics.
At the request of the Adams Fund Advisory Committee, and with the consent of the author, the following translation of Professor Planck's Columbia Lectures was undertaken. It is hoped that the translation will be of service to many of those interested in the development of theoretical physics who, in spite of the inevitable loss, prefer a translated text in English to an original text in German. Since the time of the publication of the original text, some of the subjects treated, particularly that of heat radiation, have received much attention, with the result that some of the points of view taken at that time have undergone considerable modifications. The author considers it desirable, however, to have the translation conform to the original text, since the nature and extent of these modifications can best be appreciated by reference to the recent literature relating to the matters in question.
A. P. Wills.