Bulg. J. Phys. vol.39 no.2 (2012), pp. 107-149



``Quantization Is a Mystery''

Ivan Todorov
1Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, F-91440 Bures-sur-Yvette, France
2Theory Division, Dept. of Physics, CERN, CH-1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland
Abstract. Expository notes which combine a historical survey of the development of quantum physics with a review of selected mathematical topics in quantization theory (addressed to students that are not complete novices in quantum mechanics). After recalling in the introduction the early stages of the quantum revolution, and recapitulating in Section 2.1 some basic notions of symplectic geometry, we survey in Section 2.2 the so called prequantization thus preparing the ground for an outline of geometric quantization (Section 2.3). In Section 3 we apply the general theory to the study of basic examples of quantization of Kähler manifolds. In Section 4 we review the Weyl and Wigner maps and the work of Groenewold and Moyal that laid the foundations of quantum mechanics in phase space, ending with a brief survey of the modern development of deformation quantization. Section 5 provides a review of second quantization and its mathematical interpretation. We point out that the treatment of (nonrelativistic) bound states requires going beyond the neat mathematical formalization of the concept of second quantization. An appendix is devoted to Pascual Jordan, the least known among the creators of quantum mechanics and the chief architect of the "theory of quantized matter waves".

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