Not Even Wrong on Group Theory

Peter Woit’s weblog is an interesting source for information about the intersection of math and physics. His latest is a post on the early history of using group theory in quantum mechanics. While group-theoretic methods in physics (and chemistry) are uncontroversial these days, the original emergence of the subject was painful, with pro- and anti-group theory partisans. (Wolfgang Pauli termed group theory the “Gruppenpest”.)