Motion: from Zeno to Schrödinger
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Motion: from Zeno to Schrödinger book
The idea that space is 'continuous' is one that is appealing to intuition but difficult to express in a quantitative fashion. Problems associated with this notion of continuity first began to cause embarrassment to mathematicians as long ago as the time of Pythagoras. The problem was brought into particular focus in the late-fourth and early-third centuries BC by the Phoenician philosopher Zeno. Though neither a mathematician nor a physicist, Zeno concerned himself with the problem of describing motion. The most often quoted of Zeno's four paradoxes involves the flight of an arrow. The theory of light rays is a special limiting case of the theory of light waves, and Schrodinger reasoned 'Why should there not be a theory of particle waves that bears the same relationship to particle trajectories as light rays have to light waves?' Schrodinger's approach seemed to most to convey a more definite physical picture than did the matrix method.