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Planck postulate

The Planck Postulate (or Planck's Postulate) was used by Max Planck in his derivation of his law of black body radiation in 1900. It is the postulate that the energy of oscillators in a black body is quantized by:


where n = 1, 2, 3, ..., h is Planck's constant, and ν is the frequency.

This assumption allowed Planck to derive a formula for the entire spectrum of a black body.

Planck was unable to justify this assumption based on classical physics. In 1905 in one of his three most important papers, Einstein adapted the Planck postulate to explain the photoelectric effect, but Einstein proposed that the energy of photons themselves was quantized, and that quantization was not merely a feature of microscopic oscillators.

Planck's postulate was further applied to understanding the Compton effect, and was applied by Niels Bohr to explain the spectrum of the hydrogen atom and derive the correct value of the Rydberg constant.

Book References

Tipler, Paul A. (1978). Modern Physics, Worth Publishers, Inc.

External links and sources

  • Planck Postulate — from Eric Weisstein's World of Physics

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Planck_postulate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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