Physics And The Physics Of Physics Essay

1743 Words Dec 25th, 2015 7 Pages
No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that physics was heading for a crisis. It seemed like all the large questions had been answered. The behaviour of bodies, from asteroids to galaxies, was predicted by Sir Isaac Newton 's laws of gravity and motion. Magnetism, electricity and light were linked by James Clerk Maxwell’s Equations. The understanding of the atom had reached the plum pudding stage, where an atom was a globe of 'stuff ' with the positive and negative charges speckled throughout. Physicists were confident that all the important things had been discovered, and the future lay only in defining these discoveries more precisely. But the cracks were beginning to appear; something was about to go horribly wrong…
To understand why physics went wrong and what all the fuss is about, you are going to have to understand the physics, the time and the people. What follows is an introduction to the physics as seen through the eyes of the people who developed it. There’s a fair amount this before we can touch on gut-cp but those of you new to physics will need to understand the concepts and those of you who know physics may well be surprised by how little we actually know about physics fundamentals.
We will start with Max Planck, who is credited (to his chagrin) with heralding in the quantum era.
The Mathemagical Trick...
In 1900 Max Planck was investigating a small, but troubling, problem concerning warm or hot objects. We know from our own…

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