Tag Archives: Planck’s constant

Some thoughts on unification of quantum and classical mechanics

Anselm of Aosta was a Benedictine monk in the 11th Century who rose through the ranks of the church to become Archbishop of Canterbury and eventually a Saint.  Anselm thought that belief in God was more than just an article of faith but was also rational. He sought to show this by proving the existence […]

How far is it around the earth?

How far is it around the earth? More specifically, if I was to set off from here in Wokingham following a great circle route, how far would I have to travel before I found myself back here in Wokingham? Well, if you look it up on Google the circumference of the earth is near enough […]

Louis de Broglie

Louis de Broglie

Prince Louis Victor Pierre Raymond de Broglie was born in Dieppe on August 15th 1892.  De Broglie first studied history, but developed an interest in physics as a result of working with his older brother Maurice.  Maurice had been a naval officer where he worked on early radio systems for ship to ship and ship […]

The Schrödinger Wave Equation

Following Bohr’s model for the hydrogen atom Louis de Broglie suggested that the electron could be considered as a wave rather than a particle and proposed that the wavelength of such a wave was Planck’s constant divided by the linear momentum of the orbiting electron.   In effect he was restating Bohr’s adopted assumption that angular […]

The Quantum Catechism

Over recent years much has been said about the similarities between religion and science.  Religion and science, and especially physics, it are said are on a convergent path.  The religious establishment is particularly fond of this idea, especially when spoken by a scientist, since it enhances their credibility, bolsters their position of authority and helps recruit […]

Einstein and Bohr and the nature of reality

Perhaps the most important scientific debate of the 20th Century was that which took place between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein during the 1930’s and 40’s. At issue was the very nature of reality. By that time Bohr had become convinced that the laws of physics had to be different on the scale of the […]

Johannes Rydberg

The Rydberg Formula

In Sampling the Hydrogen Atom I introduced the idea that the orbital velocity of the electron is close to light speed and is itself affected by relativity. Derivation of the Rydberg formula based on this model is very straightforward and I think rather elegant. The story starts with Joseph Jakob Balmer (1825-1898) who was a Swiss […]

Quantization of angular momentum ?

To date all models for the structure of the atom are based on a hypothesis first put forward by the British physicist John Nicholson in 1911.  Nicholson recognized that the units of Planck’s constant were those of angular momentum and so he reasoned that Planck’s constant was the angular momentum of the electron orbiting the […]