Born April 13, 1927 Died May 5, 2012 (aged 85) Nationality American Alma mater Known for Unified field theory Spouse(s) Children 4 Scientific career Fields Institutions Thesis Interactions in Paramagnetic Salts (1954) Doctoral advisor
Mendel Sachs (; April 13, 1927 – May 5, 2012) was an American theoretical physicist. His scientific work includes the proposal of a unified field theory that brings together the weak force, strong force, electromagnetism, and gravity.
Early life and education
Sachs was born in
Portland, Oregon, the third son of a rabbi. When just four months old, Sachs moved with his family to Toronto, Canada, where he grew up and attended school.
In March 1945, when Sachs was 17 years old, he enlisted to serve in the
US Navy during World War II. The Sachs family moved back to the United States to Los Angeles where other family members had already moved from Portland. From middle of 1945 onward, Sachs considered Los Angeles to be his hometown. After the war, in August 1945 Sachs enrolled in the Navy Eddy program in Chicago learning about electronics and radar equipment. He was then assigned to an aircraft carrier based in San Francisco that had been badly damaged in the war by a kamikaze airplane. In July 1946 Sachs spoke with the executive officer of the ship, explaining that he wanted to go to college and study physics and received an early honorable discharge from the Navy in August 1946.
Sachs earned his bachelors at the
University of California, Los Angeles, he then moved to Columbia University, New York for postgraduate study. Sachs had heard of the research at Columbia University while at UCLA. During that time Columbia's physics department was chaired by Isidor Isaac Rabi and was home to two Nobel laureates (Rabi and Enrico Fermi) and seven future laureates ( Polykarp Kusch, Willis Lamb, Maria Goeppert-Mayer, James Rainwater, Norman Ramsey, Charles Townes and Hideki Yukawa) While at Columbia Sachs was taught by Willis Lamb and Hideki Yukawa. Yukawa had agreed to be Sach's thesis advisor, but Sachs decided to complete his doctorate back at UCLA so that he could be reunited with Yetty Herman, whom he married in 1952.
Following the award of his PhD in 1954 Sachs first post-doctoral position was at the new
University of California Radiation Laboratory at both Berkeley and Livermore, which was run by Edward Teller and Ernest Lawrence and was also home to Bryce DeWitt, who Sachs would later co-author articles with in The new laboratory was intended to spur innovation and provide competition to the nuclear weapon design laboratory at Physics Today. Los Alamos in New Mexico, home of the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic weapons. In his new job Sachs intended to get in contact with Albert Einstein at his office at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton to arrange an appointment to discuss his research program. Sachs wanted to explore with him the features of nonlocality and nonlinearity that are absent in the quantum theory, but must be present in a field theory. Unfortunately Einstein died in April 1955 and Sachs never had the opportunity to talk to him about his ideas.
In 1956 Sachs became a Senior Scientist at
Lockheed Missiles and Space Laboratory, Based in Sunnyvale and adjacent to the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center, Moffett Field, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Systems was and continues to be one of the most important satellite development and manufacturing plants in the United States, covering 412 acres. While at Lockheed Sachs began developing with Solomon Schwebel a field theory of quantum electrodynamics that included broken symmetries that did not require recourse to renormalization or perturbation techniques – the "Schwebel-Sachs" model. During this time Sachs was also employed as Assistant Professor of Physics at San Jose State College. In 1961 he became a Research Professor at McGill University; this was followed by a post as Associate Professor of Physics at Boston University (1962–1966).
In 1964 while at
Boston University Sachs received an invitation from Paul Dirac to visit Cambridge University. Sachs, his wife and children first stayed for a one-month in Ireland, at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies where Sachs discuss various problems with Cornelius Lanczos, who had been one of Einstein's assistants in Berlin in the 1920s. Sachs also had discussions with Lanczos' colleagues John Lighton Synge, J. R. McConnell and Lochlainn O'Raifeartaigh. Following his trip to Ireland, Sachs stayed in England for three months where his wife Yetty had family. Sachs worked with Paul Dirac at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University. While working with Dirac, Sachs also had the opportunity to discuss ideas with John G. Taylor, John Polkinghorne and graduate students at DAMTP.
In 1965 Sachs had had a breakthrough while at the
Aspen Physics Institute, Colorado. Sachs was able to derive a result for a unified field theory if quantum mechanics was considered to be a linear approximation for a field theory of inertia expressed in general relativity. Sachs argued that the work of Einstein and Schrödinger in general relativity did not yet take account of the inertia of matter, which required consideration of the Mach principle. In the summer of 1966 Abdus Salam invited Sachs to spend a few months at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, in Trieste, Italy. During this time Sachs published the details of his formal structure of quantum mechanics from a generally covariant field theory of inertia in the Italian journal, .
Il Nuovo Cimento
In the Autumn of 1966 he was appointed Professor of Physics at State University of New York at Buffalo.
Sachs was an editor for the
International Journal of Theoretical Physics
On his retirement in 1997 he was given the title Professor of Physics Emeritus. A symposium was held in Sachs honour to mark his retirement, the event was attended by
Nobel laureates Willis E. Lamb and Herbert A. Hauptman and a subsequent festschrift was published. Sachs published 13 books and over 200 journal articles during his life.
Unified field theory
Sachs progressed towards completing Albert Einstein's unified field theory, i.e. unifying the fields in
general relativity, from which quantum mechanics emerges under certain conditions.
His theory rests on three axioms. The general idea is (1) to make precise the
principle of relativity, aka general covariance. To do this, Sachs found, requires (2) generalizing Einstein's Mach principle, positing that all manifestations of matter, not only inertial mass, derive from the interaction of matter. From this, (3) quantum mechanics can be seen to emerge via the correspondence principle, as a nonrelativistic approximation for a theory of inertia in relativity.
The result is a continuous
quaternion-based formalism modeling all manifestations of matter. Sachs called the transformation symmetry group that Einstein sought in completing general covariance 'the Einstein group', which approaches the Poincaré group towards the flat spacetime of special relativity. Sachs described how quantum mechanics, first in relativistic two-component spinor form, and then under low energy-momentum as Schrödinger's equation emerges therefrom. Quoting Sachs, "...by dropping the (unnecessary) space and time reflection symmetry elements from Einstein's field equations, they factorize from 10 independent relations to 16 independent relations. This generalization then yielded a unified field theory of gravitation and electromagnetism. This factorization is entirely analogous to Dirac's factorization of the Klein Gordon equation to yield the special relativistic spinor form of Schrödinger's wave mechanics."
"The well known trouble with
RQFT," Sachs wrote, "is that when its formal expression is examined for its solutions, it is found that it does not have any! This is because of infinities that are automatically generated in this formulation." Through general relativity, he instead produced a myriad of theoretical results without resorting to arbitrary parameters or renormalization, some in closer agreement with experiment than derived from quantum field theory, e.g. for the Lamb splitting with N = 4.
Yet another phenomenon that Sachs' theory can accommodate (that standard cosmology might not) is the
Huge-LQG large quasar group, since general relativity does not presuppose homogeneity or isotropy, i.e. the cosmological principle.
Sachs believed that fundamental incompatibilities between
relativity theory and quantum theory preclude there from being a quantum theory of gravity.
Selected academic papers
Sachs, Mendel (1954). "Interactions in Paramagnetic Salts". University of California, Los Angeles. Bibcode: 1954PhDT.........5S.
Sachs, Mendel (1953). "Nuclear Hyperfine Structure of Mn ++". Physical Review. 90 (6): 1058–1060. Bibcode: 1953PhRv...90.1058S. doi: 10.1103/PhysRev.90.1058. ISSN 0031-899X.
Hurd, F. Kenneth; Sachs, Mendel; Hershberger, W. D. (1954). "Paramagnetic Resonance Absorption of Mn ++ in Single Crystals of CaCO 3". Physical Review. 93 (3): 373–380. Bibcode: 1954PhRv...93..373H. doi: 10.1103/PhysRev.93.373. ISSN 0031-899X.
Sachs, Mendel (1956). "Semiempirical Model for Direct Nuclear Breakup Reactions". Physical Review. 103 (3): 671–673. Bibcode: 1956PhRv..103..671S. doi: 10.1103/PhysRev.103.671. ISSN 0031-899X.
Sachs, Mendel (1957). "Selection Rules for the Absorption of Polarized Electromagnetic Radiation by Mobile Electrons in Crystals". Physical Review. 107 (2): 437–445. Bibcode: 1957PhRv..107..437S. doi: 10.1103/PhysRev.107.437. ISSN 0031-899X.
Sachs, Mendel (1959). "Implications of Parity Nonconservation and Time Reversal Noninvariance in Electromagnetic Interactions". Annals of Physics. 6 (3): 244–260. Bibcode: 1959AnPhy...6..244S. doi: 10.1016/0003-4916(59)90081-8. ISSN 0003-4916.
Sachs, Mendel; Schwebel, Solomon L (1959). "Implications of Parity Nonconservation and Time Reversal Noninvariance in Electromagnetic Interactions: Part II. Atomic Energy Levels". Annals of Physics. 8 (4): 475–508. Bibcode: 1959AnPhy...8..475S. doi: 10.1016/0003-4916(59)90074-0. ISSN 0003-4916.
Low, William; Seitz, Frederick; Turnbull, David; Sachs, Mendel (1960). "Paramagnetic Resonance in Solids". Physics Today. 13 (9): 48–50. Bibcode: 1960PhT....13i..48L. doi: 10.1063/1.3057120.
Sachs, Mendel; Schwebel, Solomon L. (1961). "A Self-consistent Field Theory of Quantum Electrodynamics". Il Nuovo Cimento. 21 (2): 197–229. Bibcode: 1961NCim...21S.197S. doi: 10.1007/BF02747777. ISSN 0029-6341.
Sachs, Mendel; Schwebel, Solomon L. (1962). "On Covariant Formulations of the Maxwell‐Lorentz Theory of Electromagnetism". Journal of Mathematical Physics. 3 (5): 843–848. Bibcode: 1962JMP.....3..843S. doi: 10.1063/1.1724297. ISSN 0022-2488.
Sachs, Mendel (1964). "On Spinor Connection in a Riemannian Space and the Masses of Elementary Particles". Il Nuovo Cimento. 34 (1): 81–92. Bibcode: 1964NCim...34...81S. doi: 10.1007/BF02725871. ISSN 0029-6341.
Sachs, Mendel (1964). "A Spinor Formulation of Electromagnetic Theory in General Relativity". Il Nuovo Cimento. 31 (1): 98–112. Bibcode: 1964NCim...31...98S. doi: 10.1007/BF02731539. ISSN 0029-6341.
Sachs, Mendel (1966). . Bedford, Massachusetts: Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories. Quantum Electrodynamics from the Point of View of Topological Groups OCLC 58405300. Archived from the original on 7 May 2017.
Sachs, Mendel (1969). "Space, Time and Elementary Interactions in Relativity" (PDF). Physics Today. 22 (2): 51–60. Bibcode: 1969PhT....22b..51S. doi: 10.1063/1.3035402. ISSN 0031-9228.
Bilaniuk, Olexa-Myron; Brown, Stephen L.; DeWitt, Bryce; Newcomb, William A.; Sachs, Mendel; Sudarshan, E. C. George; Yoshikawa, Shoichi (1969). "More About Tachyons". Physics Today. 22 (12): 47–52. Bibcode: 1969PhT....22l..47B. doi: 10.1063/1.3035294. ISSN 0031-9228.
Sachs, Mendel (1970). "On the Most General Form of a Field Theory from Symmetry Principles". Nature. 226 (5241): 138–139. Bibcode: 1970Natur.226..138S. doi: 10.1038/226138a0. PMID 16057133.
Ballentine, Leslie E.; Pearle, Philip; Walker, Evan Harris; Sachs, Mendel; Koga, Toyoki; Gerver, Joseph; DeWitt, Bryce (1971). "Quantum‐Mechanics Debate". Physics Today. 24 (4): 36–44. Bibcode: 1971PhT....24d..36.. doi: 10.1063/1.3022676. ISSN 0031-9228.
Sachs, Mendel (1971). "A Resolution of the Clock Paradox". Physics Today. 24 (9): 23–29. Bibcode: 1971PhT....24i..23S. doi: 10.1063/1.3022927. ISSN 0031-9228.
Sachs, Mendel (1972). "On the Electron-Muon Mass Doublet from General Relativity". Il Nuovo Cimento B. 7 (2): 247–264. Bibcode: 1972NCimB...7..247S. doi: 10.1007/BF02743598. ISSN 1826-9877.
Sachs, Mendel (1972). "On the Lifetime of the Muon State of the Electron-Muon Mass Doublet". Il Nuovo Cimento B. 10 (1): 339–347. Bibcode: 1972NCimB..10..339S. doi: 10.1007/BF02911430. ISSN 1826-9877.
Sachs, Mendel (1978). "On Stellar Collapse and the Black Hole Limit from a Dynamical View" (PDF). Annales de l'Institut Henri Poincaré A. 28 (4): 399–405. Bibcode: 1978AIHPA..28..399S.
Sachs, Mendel (1980). "A New Look at Electromagnetic Field Theory". Foundations of Physics. 10 (11–12): 921–936. Bibcode: 1980FoPh...10..921S. doi: 10.1007/BF00708689. ISSN 0015-9018.
Sachs, Mendel (1982). "A Pulsar Model from an Oscillating Black Hole". Foundations of Physics. 12 (7): 689–708. Bibcode: 1982FoPh...12..689S. doi: 10.1007/BF00729806. ISSN 0015-9018.
Sachs, M. (1982). "On the Possible Origin of CP violation in Neutral-Kaon Decay". Il Nuovo Cimento A. 72 (4): 361–376. Bibcode: 1982NCimA..72..361S. doi: 10.1007/BF02902480. ISSN 0369-3546.
Sachs, Mendel (1993). "On the Problem of Cosmology". Physics Essays. 6 (1): 32–38. Bibcode: 1993PhyEs...6...32S. doi: 10.4006/1.3029034. ISSN 0836-1398.
Sachs, Mendel (1994). "On the Rotation of Galaxies from General Relativity". Physics Essays. 7 (4): 490–494. Bibcode: 1994PhyEs...7..490S. doi: 10.4006/1.3029169. ISSN 0836-1398.
Sachs, Mendel (1995). "An Interpretation of the Top-Quark Mass in Terms of a Proton Mass Doublet in General Relativity". Il Nuovo Cimento A. 108 (12): 1445–1449. Bibcode: 1995NCimA.108.1445S. doi: 10.1007/BF02821060. ISSN 0369-3546.
Sachs, Mendel (1995). "Relativistic Implications in Electromagnetic Field Theory". In Barrett, Terence W.; Grimes, Dale M. (eds.). Advanced Electromagnetism: Foundations, Theory and Applications. Singapore: World Scientific. pp. 541–559. doi: 10.1142/9789812831323_0019. ISBN . 9810220952 LCCN 96122946.
Sachs, Mendel (1996). "Changes in Concepts of Time from Aristotle to Einstein". Astrophysics and Space Science. 244 (1–2): 269–281. Bibcode: 1996Ap&SS.244..269S. doi: 10.1007/BF00642298. ISSN 0004-640X.
Sachs, Mendel (1997). "On the Source of Anisotropy in Cosmic Radiation from General Relativity". Nuovo Cimento A. 110A (6): 611–613. Bibcode: 1997NCimA.110..611S.
Sachs, Mendel (1999). "On Unification of Gravity and Electromagnetism and the Absence of Magnetic Monopoles". Nuovo Cimento B. 114B (2): 123–126. Bibcode: 1999NCimB.114..123S. ISSN 0369-3554.
Sachs, Mendel (2001). "Symmetry in Electrodynamics: From Special to General Relativity, Macro to Quantum Domains" (PDF). In Evans, Myron W. (ed.). . Advances in Chemical Physics. Advances in Chemical Physics, Volume 119, Part 1: Modern Nonlinear Optics 119. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 677–707. doi: 10.1002/0471231479.ch11. ISBN . 9780471389309 Sachs, Mendel (2002). "Cornelius Lanczos – Discoveries in the Quantum and General Relativity Theories". Annales Fondation Louis de Broglie. 21 (1): 85–92. arXiv: . quant-ph/0206054 Bibcode: 2002quant.ph..6054S.
Sachs, Mendel (1963). Solid State Theory. McGraw-Hill. LCCN 62021804.
Sachs, Mendel (1971). . McGraw-Hill. The Search for a Theory of Matter ISBN . 0070543836 LCCN 72127974.
Sachs, Mendel (1973). The Field Concept in Contemporary Science: A Monograph in American Lectures in Philosophy. Thomas. ISBN . 0398026076 LCCN 72081716.
Sachs, Mendel (1974). . Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press. Ideas of the Theory of Relativity: General Implications From Physics to Problems of Society ISBN . 047074832X LCCN 74001291.
Sachs, Mendel (1981). Ideas of Matter: From Ancient Times to Bohr and Einstein. University Press of America. ISBN . 0819116157 LCCN 80006069.
Sachs, Mendel (1982). . Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Company. General Relativity and Matter: A Spinor Field Theory from Fermis to Light-Years doi: 10.1007/978-94-015-7666-6. ISBN . 9027713812 LCCN 82007609.
Sachs, Mendel (1986). . Dordrecht: Reidel Publishing Company. Quantum Mechanics from General Relativity: An Approximation for a Theory of Inertia doi: 10.1007/978-94-009-4664-4. ISBN . 9027722471 LCCN 86017902.
Sachs, Mendel (1988). Einstein Versus Bohr: The Continuing Controversies in Physics. Open Court Publishing Company. ISBN . 0812690648 LCCN 88010333.
Sachs, Mendel (1993). . London: Taylor & Francis Ltd. Relativity In Our Time: From Physics to Human Relations ISBN . 0748401172 LCCN 93033030.
Sachs, Mendel (1998). . Singapore: World Scientific. Dialogues on Modern Physics doi: 10.1142/9789812816924. ISBN . 9810231911 LCCN 98005083.
Sachs, Mendel (2004). . The Frontiers Collection. Berlin: Springer Verlag. Quantum Mechanics and Gravity doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-09640-6. ISBN . 3540008004 LCCN 2003059074.
Sachs, Mendel (2007). . London: Imperial College Press. Concepts of Modern Physics: The Haifa Lectures doi: 10.1142/9781860948398. ISBN . 978-1860948213 LCCN 2008295941. Sachs, Mendel (2010). . London: Imperial College Press. Physics of the Universe doi: 10.1142/9781848165335. ISBN . 978-1848165328 LCCN 2009048635.
Sachs served as editor in the following books:
Sachs, Mendel; Roy, Arindam R., eds. (2003). Mach's Principle and the Origin of Inertia. Apeiron. ISBN . 0973291109