The Old Quantum Theory pdf


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The Old Quantum Theory pdf

The Old Quantum Theory pdf : Pages 205

By D. ter Haar

Publisher : Pergamon Press, Year: 1967

ISBN : 978-0-08-012102-4

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THERE exists an essential formal difference between the theoretical pictures physicists have drawn of gases and other ponderable bodies and Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetic processes in so-called empty space. Whereas we assume the state of a body to be completely determined by the positions and velocities of an,’ albeit very large, still finite number of atoms and electrons, we use for the determination of the electromagnetic state in space continuous spatial functions, so that a finite number of variables cannot be considered to be sufficient to fix completely the electromagnetic state in space. According to Maxwell’s theory, the energy must be considered to be a continuous function in space for all purely electromagnetic phenomena, thus also for light, while according to the present-day ideas of physicists the energy of a ponderable body can be written as a sum over the atoms and electrons. The energy of a ponderable body cannot be split into arbitrarily many, arbitrarily small parts, while the energy of a light ray, emitted by a point source of light is according to Maxwell’s theory (or in general according to any wave theory) of light distributed continuously over an ever increasing volume.
functions in space has been excellently justified for the representation of purely optical phenomena and it is unlikely ever to be replaced by another theory. One should, however, bear in mind that optical observations refer to time averages and not to The wave theory of light which operates with continuous6
Ann. Physik 17, 132 (1905).

D. ter Haar and D. ter Haar (Auth.) – The Old Quantum Theory-Pergamon Press (1967)


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