Thursday, August 06, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Paul Ehrenfest

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You will get your difficulties with the point electron.
as quoted by Hendrik Casimir in an interview by Thomas Kuhn, Léon Rosenfeld, Aage Bohr and Erik Ruedinger at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Copenhagen, 5 and 6 July, 1963.

Paul Ehrenfest

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It would, however, be wrong to think of an electron as a bullet-like structure with tentacles sticking out from its surface. We can calculate the mass of the bullet, and also the mass of the tentacles. The two masses are found to be identical, each agreeing with the known mass of the electron. Thus we cannot take the electron to be bullet plus tentacles... The two pictures do not depict two different parts of the electron, but two different aspects of the electron. They are not additive but alternative; as one comes into play, the other must disappear.

James Jeans

Actually the situation is even more complicated, since a separate tentacle picture is needed for each speed of motion of the electron, the speed being measured relative to the suspended magnet or other object on which the moving electron is to act. ...When the electron is at rest, the tentacles stick out equally in all directions. But an electron which is at rest relative to one magnet may be in motion relative to another, and to discuss the action of the electron on this second magnet we must picture it as having a belt of tentacles round its waist. This shows that we must have a different picture for every speed of relative motion, so that the total number of pictures is infinite, and we cannot form the picture we need unless we know the speed of the electron relative to the object it is about to meet.

James Jeans

If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no'. The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of a man's self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth century science.

Gautama Buddha

As the pattern of events is unaltered by motion, the mechanism must be the same when the electron is in motion as when it is at rest. But experiment shows that an electron in motion exerts additional forces which are not the same for all directions in space; if we picture this electron as moving head-foremost through space, these forces surround it like a belt around its waist.

James Jeans

In electron microscopy, the difficulties took considerably more time to surmount, and therefore the doubters held the field for a longer period. I can, however, also confirm from my own experience the observation of my colleagues that the doubt of the others has the advantage of leaving the field uncrowded. Mostly, this is understood only much later, in the beginning one is very disappointed.

Ernst Ruska
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