The ground state is the lowest energy most stable

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Unformatted text preview: tal data for large wavelengths but failed for small ones. This was known as the “ultraviolet catastrophe.” Planck’s Constant Max Plank In 1900 Max Planck came up with a revolutionary way to resolve the problem by assuming that energy came in discrete amounts (quanta). This was the beginning of quantum mechanics. Each quantum of light is called a photon, and its energy is given by E = h f, where f is the frequency of the radiation and h is the constant of proportionality called Plank’s constant. The formula states that higher frequency light has proportionally more energy per photon. Einstein lent credence to Plank’s ideas by explaining the photoelectric effect in a similar manner. Robert Millikan did a series of experiments involving the photoelectric effect and calculated the constant: h = 6.626 × 10-34 J s. Before Planck light was considered to be a wave. Today we know it can be interpreted as either a particle or a wave. As a wave, bright light can be explained as a large am...
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2011 for the course PHYS 121 taught by Professor Burgeson during the Fall '11 term at BYU.

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