The Planck Hypothesis

Jun 17th, 2015
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In order to explain the frequency distribution of radiation from a hot cavity (blackbody radiation) Planck proposed the ad hoc assumption that the radiant energy could exist only in discrete quanta which were proportional to the frequency.

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The Planck HypothesisIn order to explain the frequency distribution of radiation from a hot cavity (blackbody radiation) Planck proposed the ad hoc assumption that the radiant energy could exist only in discrete quanta which were proportional to the frequency. This would imply that higher modes would be less populated and avoid theultraviolet catastropheof theRayleigh-Jeans Law.The quantum idea was soon seized to explain thephotoelectric effect, became part of theBohr theoryof discrete atomic spectra, and quickly became part of the foundation of modern quantum theory.http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mod2.html#c3The Photoelectric EffectThe details of the photoelectric effect were in direct contradiction to the expectations of very well developed classical physics.The explanation marked one of the major steps toward quantum theory.The remarkable aspects of the photoelectric effect when it was first observed were:1. The electrons were emitted immediately - no time lag!2. Increasing the intensity of the light increased the number of photoelectrons, but not their maximum kinetic energy!3. Red light will not cause the ejection of electrons, no matter what the intensity!4. A weak violet light will eject only a few electrons, but their maximum kinetic energies are greater than those for intense light of longer wavelengths!http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/mod1.html#c2http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/grexp.html#c1

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