The Heisenberg relations to SOMA
According to history Mr. Piet Hein had his idea for the SOMA puzzle in 1936,
while attending a lecture about quantum physics, given by Mr. Werner Heisenberg.
We may raise questions to this "birth" and on my web pages about SOMA I
seek to gather as much relevant information about SOMA as possible,
and present it in these Newsletters.
The question however is, "How do we find this information".
One way is that 'you' the readers of these pages, send e-mails to me at
this is a great way ;o)
Another way is that I sometimes just browse around on the web, and this
time i stumbled upon some historic documents.
First I found the article:
“Heisenberg’s lattice world: The 1930 theory sketch”
Written by Mr. Helge Kragh and Mr. Bruno Carazza
I hurried to copy the article, and wrote a mail to Mr. Kragh asking
permission to present this article on the SOMA website.
He responded within the same day, granting his permission for which I am thankfull.
Heisenbergs lattice world 1930.pdf
Chapter "VI" on page 602 seem to be the central part for SOMA.
B. Carazza, H. Kragh: Heisenberg's lattice world: The 1930 theory sketch, American
Journal of Physics 63 (Issue 7) pp. 595-605 (1995).
The same day I continued my browsing of the web, and found something else.
"Lattice Gauge Theory and the Origin of Mass"
written by Andreas S Kronfeld
This article describe a range of interesting theories.
As it turns out, Heisenberg worked briefly on an approach to quantum
electrodynamics with a fundamental shortest length. The idea was to define the
electric and magnetic fields (and another field for the electron) only on the
sites of a 3d lattice. This idea might be connected to Soma.
Heisenberg wrote a letter to Bohr
(which is translated in the article) and he talked about it at a conference
in Copenhagen, Easter 1930 (also mentioned in the article).
Later Heisenberg abandoned the idea. But perhaps it was this work and not the
uncertainty principle, that inspired Piet Hein. Important is that the timing do
predate the patent of SOMA.
In the document appendix on page 18-19, Andreas touch on the subject of
“Heisenberg’s Gitterwelt and Hein’s Soma”. This information could
be interesting for SOMA players, relating to the historic development of the SOMA puzzle.
Actually I had contact with Andreas Kronfeld already in may 2012 as
he was writing his article, but then I forgot about it, until today.
Of course, I immediately wrote to Andreas and again the same day
received a mail giving me permission to post his paper. (A special thank you to Andreas for this permission)
Lattice Gauge Theory and the Origin of Mass.pdf
A slight warning is appropriate, this is mathematically heavy stuff
- but take a peak anyway, and especially at page 18-19
Andreas S. Kronfeld's Home Page is located at:
Document details at "The physics arXiv": http://arxiv.org/abs/1209.3468
Prof. Dr. G. Muenster of "Institut fuer Theoretische Physik" (a friend of
Andreas Kronfeld), commented to me that.:
- - Indeed Piet Hein once claimed that he got the idea of the Soma cube during a
lecture by Heisenberg. as it is mentioned by e.g.
Martin Gardner in "Mathematical Games" Scientific American, 1958, and
Martin Gardner in "The Second Scientific American Book of Mathematical
Puzzles & Diversions". New York: Simon and Schuster, 1961.
Whether this was a lecture about Heisenberg's "lattice world" from 1930, or a
general lecture about field quantisation, where the canonical commutation relations
are introduced via discretised space, is unknow to me. I guess it was a general
lecture in 1933.
Heisenberg's "lattice world" is from 1930, and he talked about it in Copenhagen
already in 1930.
As described in the text at the top, in the "The 1930 theory sketch"
Gardner on SOMA.pdf
The article was originally printed in 1961 by Martin Gardner in:
"The 2'nd SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN book of Mathematical Puzzles & Diversions"
SOMA is mentioned at page: 65 through 77
The article is linked here with permissions.
Written by Helge Kragh <email@example.com>
Written by Andreas S Kronfeld <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Comments by G. Muenster <email@example.com>
Edited by Thorleif Bundgaard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
BACK to news index