Revised Chapter 8 of my Einstein book

After many months away from writing as I designed and built my iTV-Studio and began webcasting regularly, I spent the weekend relearning Adobe InDesign. It’s always a challenge to use a sophisticated desktop publishing program unless you work with it regularly.  And my use has been sporadic despite having developed the first such program 33 years ago (MacPublisher for the Apple Macintosh introduction in 1984).

Since my goal is to call attention to the many concepts in quantum mechanics that Einstein either discovered or invented, I wanted to add this footnote I recently reread from Albert Messiah’s classic text on Quantum Mechanics, which I used in my graduate courses on QM at Harvard in the 1960’s.

Historically, the first argument showing the necessity of “quantizing” material systems was presented by Einstein in the theory of the specific heat of solids (1907).   (p.21, 1961 English edition)

Einstein’s insight into energy levels and quantum “jumps” between them was written six years before Niels Bohr’s atom model.  Einstein wrote

the energy of an elementary resonator can only assume values that are integral multiples of (R/N)βν : by emission and absorption, the energy of a resonator changes by jumps of integral multiples of (R/N)βν. (In modern notation, hν.)  

Notice Einstein’s use of “jumps,” and of integral multiples – thus “quanta.” Although Bohr’s model is almost always described as quantum jumps and emission or absorption of photons, I will show that Bohr opposes Einstein’s concept of photons until the  middle 1920’s

Please checkout my new chapter 8 here…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s