DashenFrautschi Fiasco
 On April 29, at the 1965 spring meeting of the American Physical
Society in Washington,
Freeman J. Dyson
of Princeton's Institute of Advanced Study (institute created for Einstein)
presented an invited talk entitled "Old and New Fashions in Field Theory,"
and the content of his talk was published in the June issue of the Physics
Today (pages 2124). This paper contains the following paragraph.


Freeman Dyson (19232020).
Photo by Heka Davis, courtesy AIP Emilio Segrč Visual
Archives, Physics Today Collection.

 The first of these two achievements is the explanation
of the mass difference between neutron
and proton by Roger Dashen, working at the time as a graduate
student under the supervision of Steve Frautschi.
The neutronproton mass difference has for thirty years been believed
to be electromagnetic in origin, and it offers a splendid
experimental test of any theory which tries to cover the borderline
between electromagnetic and strong interactions. However,
no convincing theory of the massdifference had appeared before
1964. In this connection I exclude as unconvincing all theories,
like the early theory of Feynman and Speisman, which use one
arbitrary cutoff parameter to fit one experimental number.
Dashen for the first time made an honest calculation without arbitrary
parameters and got the right answer. His method is a
beautiful marriage between oldfashioned electrodynamics and modern
bootstrap techniques. He writes down the equations expressing
the fact that the neutron can be considered to be a bound state of a
proton with a negative pi meson, and the proton a bound state of
a neutron with a positive pi meson, according to the bootstrap method.
Then into these equations he puts electromagnetic perturbations, the
interaction of a photon with both nucleon and pi meson, according to
the Feynman rules. The calculation of the resulting mass difference is
neither long nor hard to understand, and in my opinion, it will become
a classic in the history of physics.
 Dyson was talking about the papers by R. F. Dashen and S. C. Frautschi
published in Phys. Rev. 135, B1190 and B1196 (1964). They use
the Smatrix formalism for bound states.
Later in the same year, Steve Adler and Roger Dashen became full
professors at the Institute for Advanced Study. Naturally, they were
admired by their colleagues, and many young physicists studied
Dashen's paper on the neutronproton mass difference.
I was one of those who studied the paper carefully during the summer of 1965.
I then published my paper in the Physical Review [142, 1150 (1966)],
telling that Dashen made a mistake.


 How could those two distinguished physicists make this kind of
mistake?
If you solve the Schrödinger equation for negative
energy states, there are two solutions: "good" and "bad." We then
impose a localization condition to eliminate bad wave functions.
This results in a discrete spectrum of boundstate energy levels.
Thus a slight departure from a given energy level will result in
a bad wave function.
Click here for an article on this subject.
Dashen and Frautschi use the Smatrix formalism where the boundstates
appear as poles in the complex energy plane. A slight mislocation
will lead to the inclusion of the bad wave function. This is
precisely the course of the socalled "DashenFrautschi Fiasco."
 I am indeed fortunate to have gone through an excellent undergraduate education
in physics. I took my firstyear quantum mechanics when I was a senior (195758)
at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now called Carnegie Mellon University) in
Pittsburgh.
Michel Baranger
was the professor, and taught me why boundstate energy levels are discrete.
I still remember those good and bad wave functions he drew on the blackboard.
In 1997, I attended his 70th birthday celebration held at MIT. My wife and
I posed with him in this photo. We were
very happy!


Toward a New Research Program
Feynman was on my side!
 After publication of my paper, many voiced objections based on the
belief that Princeton could not have made this kind of mistake or
misjudgment. There were also many who knew Dashen's calculation was
wrong, but they were not sympathetic to me. Their assumption was that
I would disappear from the physics world. One prominent Princeton
professor told me wave functions have nothing to do with physics and
everything should come the Smatrix and the current algebra.

I am standing in front of Feynman's portrait at the entrance of
Fermi Lab's Feynman Computing Center (June 2003).

Since then, I became devoted to wave functions. In 1970, I was very
fortunate to find a very important person who shared the same ideology as
mine. His name was
Richard P. Feynman. People these days ask me what
connection I have with Feynman. This was
the very beginning of my Feynman connection. Yet, it takes time to
transform ideology to concrete results in physics. For this, I lived
in isolation for fifteen or twenty years (depending on how to count).
It was like living in prison. The person who pulled me out of prison
was
Eugene Paul Wigner,
and I am forever grateful to him.
As for the wave functions, I was particularly interested in their
localization property, as you can see from the "good" and "bad" wave
functions. The burning issue was and still is whether the hydrogen
wave function localized in one Lorentz frame appears to be localized to
observers in other Lorentz frames. This is a welldefined problem,
and I enjoyed working on this problem in the past. I enjoy giving
invited talks on this subject under current titles, such as
symmetries of extended particles, covariance of Feynman's parton
picture, Feynman's rest of the universe, squeezed states, Feynman's
decoherence, Wigner's little groups, and other trademarks of current
interest.
 You may visit my
Scope of Research page to find out what I am talking about.


