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The birth of new physics



 

In the early part of this century classical physics  seemed to be nearly complete. It provided a elegant intuitively satisfying model that could be used to solve a vast array of physical problems with precision. There were a few loose ends. The Michelson Morley experiment  failed to detect the ether expected to be the medium of propagation for light. The black body radiation anomaly  remained unexplained. In a short time these loose ends would lead to the two great revolutions in twentieth century physics of relativity and quantum mechanics. The birth of quantum mechanics in contrast to relativity involved a long labor and a great deal of pain. The explanation of the black body radiation anomaly lay in the quantization of radiation. Light could not be emitted in arbitrary amounts. The energy was quantized so that the minimum radiation at a given frequency v was hv where h is Planck's constant  .




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