Georgia Journal of Science
EVENTS OF THE EARLY QUANTUM PERIOD, HISTORICAL RECORD VS. TEXTBOOK PORTRAYAL
With respect to the early quantum period, there is often a discrepancy between how events are portrayed in textbooks and how they unfolded historically. In this talk the typical textbook presentation of Planck’s application of quanta to explain blackbody radiation; Bohr’s derivation of his hydrogen atom model; and Einstein’s application of quanta to explain the photo-electric effect, will be contrasted with the historical record, as found in original publications, and expounded upon by science historians. Three relevant questions to be considered are (1) Did Planck formulate his model in response to the failure of the Rayleigh-Jeans model, and how was energy quanta employed? (2) What role did the Bohr hypothesis and Balmer formula play in the formulation of Bohr’s hydrogen atom model? (3) Did Einstein discover light quanta in the process of explaining the photoelectric effect, and if so, how was Planck’s theory employed? Reasons for the “cleaned up” revisions of these events as presented in textbooks, and how students might benefit from a historically correct record will also be considered.
Roessle, Peter A.
"EVENTS OF THE EARLY QUANTUM PERIOD, HISTORICAL RECORD VS. TEXTBOOK PORTRAYAL,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 81, No. 1, Article 114.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol81/iss1/114