Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg devise a quantum theory

In the 1920s, physicists were trying to apply Planck's concept of energy quanta to the atom and its constituents. By the end of the decade Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg had invented the new quantum theory of physics. The Physical Institute of the University of Zürich published Schrödinger's lectures on Wave Mechanics (the first from 27 January 1926) and in 1930 Heisenberg's book The physical principles of the quantum theory appeared.

The problem now was that quantum theory was not relativistic; the quantum description worked for particles moving slowly, but not for those at high or "relativistic" velocities, close to the speed of light.