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Unformatted text preview: Einstein's paper on Brownian motion was conservative in its application of statistical methods to the random motions of Newtonian atoms. However, far more revolutionary (Einstein used the term himself) was his paper entitled "Concerning a Heuristic Point of View about the Creation and Transformation of Light." In this paper, Einstein argued that under certain circumstances, light behaves not as continuous waves but rather as discontinuous, individual particles called quanta. Einstein was driven to formulate this quantum hypothesis in response to an experimental puzzle that had challenged physicists throughout the nineteenth century. This motivating puzzle concerned blackbody radiation, the electromagnetic radiation given off by a hot, glowing coal that absorbs all the light that falls onto it (thus appearing black). This radiation was studied by measuring its spectrum, the amount of energy of black)....
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- Fall '09
- Evolution, Planck, continuous waves, standard physical theory, physicist Max Planck.