Lecture16_10 - Physics19 GreatIdeasofPhysics...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style Physics 19 Great Ideas of Physics Lecture 16: The End of Classical Physics
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The End of Physics? The Mechanics, Electromagnetism and Thermodynamics  we’ve covered so far is often called classical physics Distinction between classical/modern physics is artificial but still  useful Around 1900 (just before Relativity and Quantum  Mechanics) most thought classical physics was practically  complete A few minor loose ends which didn’t seem very significant  at first eventually showed classical physics had a limited  range of validity The more general theories of modern physics imply that  nature works in much stranger ways than Newton or 
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Classical vs. Quantum Physics In classical physics: Waves are continuous and particles are point-like It is possible to measure a system without disturbing it The physical parameters of a system (position, momentum, etc)  have reality independent of whether we measure them or not The world behaves mechanically (like a machine) In quantum physics: Waves are lumpy and particles are smeared out Measuring a system means interacting with it – the system is  inevitably affected by a measurement The physical parameters of a system have reality only when we 
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Without Quantum Physics… Things impossible without Quantum Physics: Understanding the structure of atoms and molecules Chemistry DNA and metabolic reactions Nuclear energy and the Sun Metals, transistors and computers Superconductivity Magnetic computer disks Lasers and photocells CD’s, DVD’s
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The Beginnings of Quantum Physics Like many important discoveries, this major  breakthrough began with several seemingly  minor puzzles or problems which couldn’t be  explained with existing theories Radioactivity and new types of radiation Thermal radiation The interaction of light with matter
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Cathode Rays Cathode rays were studied  by setting up large electric  potentials inside a vacuum  tube Your TV or computer monitor  uses the same principle The beam could be  deflected by a magnetic  field, suggesting it was  somehow charged Others thought it was some 
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This note was uploaded on 11/26/2010 for the course PHYS Physics 19 taught by Professor Davidcasper during the Spring '10 term at UC Irvine.

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Lecture16_10 - Physics19 GreatIdeasofPhysics...

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