The Development of Quantum Mechanics


Lerner KL. The Development of Quantum Mechanics. DRAFT COPY subsequently published in Science and Its Times: Understanding the Social Significance of Scientific Discovery. Thomson Gale,. 2001;2001.
Lee Lerner


Quantum mechanics describes the relationships between energy and matter on the atomic and subatomic scale. At the beginning of the 20th century, German physicist Maxwell Planck proposed that atoms absorb or emit electromagnetic radiation in bundles of energy termed quanta. This quantum concept seemed counter-intuitive to well-established Newtonian physics. Advancements associated with quantum mechanics (e.g., the uncertainty principle) also had profound implications with regard to the philosophical scientific arguments regarding the limitations of human knowledge…. Later in the 1920s, the concept of quantization and its application to physical phenomena was further advanced by more mathematically complex models based on the work of the French physicist Louis Victor de Broglie and Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger that depicted the particle and wave nature of electrons. De Broglie showed that the electron was not merely a particle but a wave form. This proposal led Schrodinger to publish his wave equation in 1926. Schroödinger's work described electrons as "standing wave" surrounding the nucleus and his system of quantum mechanics is called wave mechanics. German physicist Max Bornand English physicist P.A.M Dirac made further advances in defining the subatomic particles (principally the electron) as a wave rather than as a particle and in reconciling portions of quantum theory with relativity theory. more

Last updated on 07/09/2019