### Post by stardustpilgrim on Jun 26, 2017 9:06:27 GMT -5

I considered starting last night when laughter got the invitation from Reefs, started think it through, but realized I had too many gaps to do it right, and all I had last night was my phone, so that was nixed, didn't want to do this on my phone. I also realized, like laughter, that's it's going to be a little work. But on my Mother's top bookshelf is a book that's been there for probably 45 years, Einstein, The Life and Times by Ronald W Clark. I think I pulled it down years ago, but didn't browse much. The copyright is 1971, I'm sure it was my sister's (I'm sure I didn't buy it). So anyway, I pulled it down this morning and filled in some gaps. And then with the further invitation by Reefs, decided to give it a go. So, trying to be as brief as possible, from the beginning.

In the late 1800's some physicists felt we knew just about everything in physics, with the exception of two dark clouds upon the horizon. One of these clouds was the problem of black body radiation. This concerns the energy coming off a heated body. The math of the time showed the energy coming off a black body to be infinite. But of course this did not match experimental results, and didn't in and of itself make sense. Max Planck had been considering the problem for over 15 years. At the time energy was consider to be a constant flow, sort of like water over a waterfall. So Planck decided to ~kind of~ reverse engineer the math to make it fit the experimental results. For this result Planck had to imagine the energy coming off a black body, not to be a continuous flow, but come in what he called quanta (from Latin), discrete packets of energy. This would kind of be like standing at the edge of a very slow moving waterfall and the water filling a bucket, before it tipped over the edge. Individual drops of water could not go over the edge, only buckets of water. One bucket of water would represent one quanta of energy. Planck solved the riddle, but he believed it merely to be a mathematical trick. That paper came out in 1901, and nobody considered Planck's math to be directly related to reality.

Now, if you happened to have watched the program about Einstein on NGEO, Genius, Einstein and his wife Mileva got the idea for a paper, in 1905, from a German physicist named Philipp Lenard (he was the guy who continually opposed Einstein, and eventually became a Nazi), who had been exploring another phenomenon in physics, the photoelectric effect. Physicists knew that when light hits a sheet of metal, electrons are ejected (and it leaves the metal sheet with a slight positive electric charge). But what physicists didn't understand, if you increased the amount of light, it did not increase the number of electrons emitted. However, if you shined light of a higher frequency on the metal sheet, then that did increase the number of electrons emitted. So this was a curious phenomenon, but nobody understood the why of it.

But in 1905 Einstein put the photoelectric effect together with Planck's quanta idea. He proposed that light of a certain frequency ~comes in~ certain ~packets~, IOW, light came in particles. When a quanta of light hits the metal, the energy releases this electric effect. OK, I need to back up some here. It's was Newton's opinion that light was particle in nature, what he called corpusles. But then about 1800 a physicist named Young designed a double slit experiment showing light is a wave. So basically for 100 years physicists knew light was a wave phenomenon. So in his 1905 paper Einstein showed light was a particle, a quanta of energy (later these light quanta came to be called photons). For about ten years Einstein's photoelectric effect paper continued to be theory, but by about 1915 there were experiments showing that Einstein was indeed correct. And for light of a higher frequency, the photons did indeed carry a bigger wallop.

So Einstein showed the reason for the photoelectric effect, and that Planck's quanta was no merely a mathematical trick, but was the way reality worked. And later even after Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was proven during a solar eclipse, he was given the Nobel prize for the photoelectric effect, not Relativity. IOW, Einstein got the Nobel prize for quantum physics, not Relativity.

So Planck gave birth to quantum mechanics, and Einstein gave it a slap on the bottom, got it breathing. But physicists were left with a problem, how could light be both a particle and a wave? Other physicists began exploring it more, Neils Bohr primarily, but it took about 20 years for a group of physicists to work out further the math, and along with this came the utter bizarreness of quantum mechanics.

In the late 1800's some physicists felt we knew just about everything in physics, with the exception of two dark clouds upon the horizon. One of these clouds was the problem of black body radiation. This concerns the energy coming off a heated body. The math of the time showed the energy coming off a black body to be infinite. But of course this did not match experimental results, and didn't in and of itself make sense. Max Planck had been considering the problem for over 15 years. At the time energy was consider to be a constant flow, sort of like water over a waterfall. So Planck decided to ~kind of~ reverse engineer the math to make it fit the experimental results. For this result Planck had to imagine the energy coming off a black body, not to be a continuous flow, but come in what he called quanta (from Latin), discrete packets of energy. This would kind of be like standing at the edge of a very slow moving waterfall and the water filling a bucket, before it tipped over the edge. Individual drops of water could not go over the edge, only buckets of water. One bucket of water would represent one quanta of energy. Planck solved the riddle, but he believed it merely to be a mathematical trick. That paper came out in 1901, and nobody considered Planck's math to be directly related to reality.

Now, if you happened to have watched the program about Einstein on NGEO, Genius, Einstein and his wife Mileva got the idea for a paper, in 1905, from a German physicist named Philipp Lenard (he was the guy who continually opposed Einstein, and eventually became a Nazi), who had been exploring another phenomenon in physics, the photoelectric effect. Physicists knew that when light hits a sheet of metal, electrons are ejected (and it leaves the metal sheet with a slight positive electric charge). But what physicists didn't understand, if you increased the amount of light, it did not increase the number of electrons emitted. However, if you shined light of a higher frequency on the metal sheet, then that did increase the number of electrons emitted. So this was a curious phenomenon, but nobody understood the why of it.

But in 1905 Einstein put the photoelectric effect together with Planck's quanta idea. He proposed that light of a certain frequency ~comes in~ certain ~packets~, IOW, light came in particles. When a quanta of light hits the metal, the energy releases this electric effect. OK, I need to back up some here. It's was Newton's opinion that light was particle in nature, what he called corpusles. But then about 1800 a physicist named Young designed a double slit experiment showing light is a wave. So basically for 100 years physicists knew light was a wave phenomenon. So in his 1905 paper Einstein showed light was a particle, a quanta of energy (later these light quanta came to be called photons). For about ten years Einstein's photoelectric effect paper continued to be theory, but by about 1915 there were experiments showing that Einstein was indeed correct. And for light of a higher frequency, the photons did indeed carry a bigger wallop.

So Einstein showed the reason for the photoelectric effect, and that Planck's quanta was no merely a mathematical trick, but was the way reality worked. And later even after Einstein's General Theory of Relativity was proven during a solar eclipse, he was given the Nobel prize for the photoelectric effect, not Relativity. IOW, Einstein got the Nobel prize for quantum physics, not Relativity.

So Planck gave birth to quantum mechanics, and Einstein gave it a slap on the bottom, got it breathing. But physicists were left with a problem, how could light be both a particle and a wave? Other physicists began exploring it more, Neils Bohr primarily, but it took about 20 years for a group of physicists to work out further the math, and along with this came the utter bizarreness of quantum mechanics.