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Quantum Physics by Norah Berrah PhD, Paul V. Pancella, Marc Humphrey

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CHAPTER5

The Quantum of Action

In This Chapter

  • A catastrophic failure of classical physics
  • How the quantum of action saved the day
  • Energy levels, quantization, and quantum states
  • The small scale at which quantum physics emerges

In this chapter we’ll pull at one of the loose threads that emerged in Part 1, and in so doing unravel the fabric of classical physics. We will see that despite classical physicists’ ability to explain and predict many extraordinary things, they were utterly incapable of explaining why fireplace pokers glowed as they did.

We will meet Max Planck, a true master in the ways of classical physics, and see how he managed ...

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