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A Basic Understanding Of Quantum Theory

540 words - 3 pages

A Basic Understanding of Quantum Theory When most people think of atoms they picture the common picture of electrons spinning around a nucleus. In spite of the popularity of the image, according to classic Newtonian physics these atoms would become unstable and collapse. Thus scientists came up with a new theory that describes physics on an atomic and subatomic level. This new theory is called quantum theory and the new kind of physics is known as quantum physics. One thing that is true about the common picture of atoms is that electrons circle around the nucleus. They each have a certain orbit that they stay in. When an electron is affected by a packet of energy called a quanta, it changes orbit and ...view middle of the document...

It's orbit is then quantized and it changes to a different orbit. Quanta comes in forms of energy. For example, you could have a light quanta or a heat quanta. These float around and affect atoms. In 1927 a scientist named Werner Heisenberg developed the uncertainty principle. This stated that for these particles you could never know the position or the momentum of any of them. This is in contrast to Newtonian physics which stated you could predict you could predict the path and momentum of a particle based on it's current conditions. When a electron changes to a higher orbit it absorbs a light particle. When it goes to a lower orbit it emits a light particle. Scientists used to think that light came in a wave form. Then Einstein found that it comes in a particle form. The particles are called photons. It was later discovered that these photons behave in wave form and each have a certain frequency. So, as you can see, quantum theory has made an important impact on 20th century physics. Scientists can now understand how light works and how electrons interact with energy and light.BibliographyBryant, M., Light. Encyclopedia of Technology and Applied Sciences, New York, New York, 2000.Cole, Francis T., Quantum Theory. World book 2000, World Book, New York, New York, 2000.Hey, Tony and Walters, Patrick, The Quantum Universe. Cambridge University Press, New York, New York, 1987.McKeever, Susan, The DK Science Encyclopedia. DK Publishing, New York, New York, 1998.Thomas, Dan, Rudiments of Quantum Theory .O'Connor, J. J. and Robertson, E. F., A History of Quantum Mechanics,No Author, Definition of Quantum Theory,

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