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Prepared by Erika B. Aranas
System versus Environment
In analysing a physical phenomenon, you must clearly differentiate the system (or object) from
its environment. In cognitive psychology, you may be familiar with the fact that no humans can strictly
perform multi-tasking in the sense that his attention cannot be given at once to all things that are
present in his environment. We move on with our daily businesses by focusing on one thing at a time:
when crossing the street, we focus on the speed of the car and neglect that the plate number of the car
is TIO 633. This is because, at that moment, it’s the speed and not the plate number that can kill us. The
same is true in physics. We focus our attention on the system, because we want to study its behaviour.
Everything else that is not the system is then the environment. But unlike in the psychological analogy,
the environment is still important because it influences the behaviour of the system.
Idealizations and Assumptions
To simplify the analysis of a physical phenomenon, we idealize the system. When a cat falls from
a tree, it may undergo rotation. The muscles of the cat contract and the atoms inside it perpetually
move. They all add to the complicated dynamics of the falling cat. However, as an initial approximation,
we consider our systems to be point objects so that the movement is purely translational (along a line).
Any internal movement, rotation, or compression will be neglected. In solving the problems and in using
the equations, you must know the idealizations and assumptions involved.


In mathematical sciences such as physics, definitions are important. Unlike in languages where
one word may mean different things depending on the context or usage, definitions of physical
quantities are rigid, precise and strict. Please memorize the definitions below. Of course there’s so much
more to physics than memorizing definitions. But if you can’t get these definitions right, I don’t think
you will get anything right in the exam. All the questions in the exam will be a test of how deeply you
understood and how well you dissected the definitions. By way of analogy, you can’t form decent and
meaningful sentences if you don’t know your vocabulary.
1. Position
Because of the correspondence of physical reality with mathematical structure, we can always
view Nature with mathematical lenses. Therefore, we can assign a coordinate system to physical
space (ex. number lines to denote position of free falling apple). The coordinates of the system is
called the position.
2. Displacement, Distance
Displacement is the change in position. Distance is the length of the trajectory or path taken by
the system. Displacement is a vector, and depends only in the initial and final positions. Distance
is a scalar, and depends on all positions taken throughout the motion.
3. Velocity, Speed
Velocity is the change of displacement over change in time. Speed is the change in distance over
change in time. Because the distance is not always equal to the magnitude of the displacement,
then so are speed and velocity. By the “change” of a quantity we mean the final quantity minus
the initial quantity. Initial time is usually taken to be zero.
4. Acceleration
Acceleration is the change of velocity over the change in time. So if you have an object that
moves with constant velocity, its acceleration is zero.
5. Force
Force is something from the environment that acts on the system to accelerate the system.
Thus, a system cannot exert a force on itself (e.g., you cannot lift yourself up).
6. Inertia
Inertia is the property of an object to resist acceleration. It is directly proportional to mass.
Inertia is different from the Law of Inertia. Inertia is a property of an object; the Law of Inertia is
a physical principle governing the motion of the object.
7. Work
Work is the product of the magnitude of the displacement (not the distance!) and the magnitude
of the component of the force parallel to the displacement. It captures both the concepts of
force (from the environment) and motion (of the system).
8. Potential Energy
Potential energy is the product of the mass, acceleration due to gravity and height. It is the
energy that a system has by virtue of its position. You can think of it this way: the reason why
you get hurt when hit by a falling coconut is because it has energy due to its high position.
Because height is always with respect to a reference point, so is the potential energy.

9. Kinetic Energy
Kinetic energy is the product of half of the mass and the square of the velocity. It is the energy
that a system has by virtue of its motion. The reason why people get hurt by a fast car is
because the car has energy due to its high velocity.
10. Mechanical Energy
Sum of the potential and kinetic energies of the system. Like potential and kinetic energies,
mechanical energy is a scalar quantity and is a property of the system (unlike work which is
dependent both on the motion of the system and force from the environment).
11. Momentum
Product of the system’s mass and velocity.

Test your understanding:
False Statements
1. An object in motion continuously changes its position.
2. The magnitude of the displacement is less than the
distance travelled.
3. An object travelling a curved path accelerates.
4. The initial acceleration of a free falling object is greater
than its final acceleration.
5. An external, unbalanced force is necessary for an
object to have a displacement.
6. A change in velocity results from a zero total, external
7. The acceleration of an object is inversely proportional
to its inertia.
8. An object can be at rest even if forces are applied to it.
9. The total force acting on a 2000-kg car travelling with a
constant velocity of 10 m/s is 20,000 N.
10. An object that has a greater speed than a second
object also has greater acceleration.
11. An elevator moving from the second floor to fifth floor
making stops along the way has constant acceleration.
12. Object A travels at +10 m/s, while object B of the same
mass travels at -10 m/s. Therefore object A has greater
kinetic energy than object B.
13. The heavy truck at rest has greater momentum than a
moving snail.
14. An object cannot reverse its direction of travel and
maintain a constant acceleration at the same time.


Physical Laws and Concepts
Now that you know your vocabulary, it’s time to form sentences. Words are useless by
themselves if they are not used to express a complete thought. The following physical laws or concepts
establish the relationship between different physical quantities, and express meaningful ideas about
how Nature works. I want you to memorize and understand the following laws and concepts. By
understand, I mean, you are able to dissect the law by identifying the key terms, explaining the finer
points, and underscoring the subtleties involved (recall that in explaining Newton’s laws, I drew your
attention to the word “external”, and explained how internal forces may exist as well, but they are not
considered when applying the law). It also means that you are able to come up with your own
application of the concept. Giving back correct and complete explanations and applications I’ve given in
class would be good, but coming up with your own application is much better. The highest form of
learning is not being able to return what I’ve given to you. That only goes to show that you listened well.
But to learn well, you must form new insights, own explanations. The highest form of learning then is
creativity and innovation. If a teacher stops teaching and begins to learn from a student, then she has
done her job well.
1. Newton’s First Law: Law of Inertia
The law of inertia states that when no external, unbalanced force acts on an object, the object
moves with constant velocity.
2. Newton’s Second Law: Law of Acceleration
The law of acceleration states that when an external, unbalanced force acts on an object, the
object will have acceleration equal to the total force divided by the mass of the object.
3. Newton’s Third Law: Law of Action and Reaction
The law of action and reaction states that the (action) force of object 1 to object 2 is equal in
magnitude and opposite in direction to the (reaction) force of object 2 to object 1.
4. Conservation of (Mechanical) Energy
The (mechanical) energy of an isolated system is the same at all times. An isolated system
means that no exchange of energy or mass happens between the system and the environment.
5. Work-Energy Theorem
The work done of a force on an object is equal to the change in the kinetic energy of the object


More Difficult Physics Concepts
I’ve been talking a lot the past couple of weeks about physical concepts which I believe you did
not encounter much during high school. I know there’s just too much information to absorb so let me
try to explain myself again. What I will write here is a product of all I’ve read and studied. But please
refer to Feynman Lectures if you want to read more. I don’t suppose you will understand Feynman
completely, especially his discussion of Quantum Behavior in Chapter 37. But I think you would
appreciate the first few chapters nonetheless.
Atomic Hypothesis
In the words of Feynman, the atomic hypothesis states that “all things are made up of atoms,
little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little
distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.” The atomic hypothesis is the key
to explaining a lot of physical phenomenon. Feynman even claimed that if the world was to end and only
one scientific idea survives, it is the atomic hypothesis that would carry the most scientific information.
Almost all the subtleties in this statement can be explained by the fact that particles have
inherent mass and charge. Why do atoms aggregate in the first place to make things? Answer: because
of the long-range attractive gravitational force preventing things from blowing up. Why do atoms attract
and repel each other? Answer: because of the attractive or repulsive electric force generated by the
protons and electrons inside the atom. The exact behaviour is this: at short enough distances, the
electrons of atom A get attracted to the nucleus of atom B, and vice versa. The attraction is both
gravitational and electrical, but the contribution of the former is very small; the attraction is mainly
because of the electrical force between unlike charges. Beyond a threshold distance, however, the
repulsive force between the electrons of atoms A and B dominates, thus preventing the two atoms from
coming “too close”. Imagine if this repulsive force were not present, my hand can go through the
keyboard as I type this reviewer!
The explanation as to why atoms are in perpetual motion will have to be deferred until the
discussion of quantum physics. But this important fact is the key to explaining a lot of physical
phenomena like evaporation, dissolution of salt in water or rising of mercury when thermometer is
dipped into a hot object. As an example, what really happens when we smell perfumes? The perfume
at the surface are always moving according to the atomic hypothesis. However, their
movement is limited by the intermolecular forces that bind these surface molecules to the rest of the
material. Sometimes, however, due to the (more rapid) motion of the air particles just above the
perfume, some perfume molecules get hit and are knocked out. Luckily, some of these perfume
molecules reach our nose, and that is when we are able to smell the fragrance. On the flip side, the
same thing goes when we smell poop. Poop molecules reach our noses for real and this makes me wish
sometimes that I didn’t know much about the atomic hypothesis!
Particles versus Waves
There are many different kinds of things in this universe: planets, humans, ping pong balls,
tsunamis, music, etc. How do we make sense of all of those? Well, we can group them according to

their, say, size. But, wait, how do we size up music? So you see, it’s not easy to understand things using a
single, succinct framework. That is what physics is trying to do, and it has done its job partially well.
The word “particle” is a very loaded term. In classical physics (or physics during the time of
Newton), everything in this universe is either a particle or a wave. So imagine, with the plethora of
objects that exist in this universe, you only need two categories to organize them: particle or wave. Ping
pong balls are particles, music is a wave.
Let us first focus on the properties of a particle. Particles occupy a particular position, and when
they do, no other particle can occupy the same space. Particles have inherent properties called mass and
charge. Don’t ask me why and where mass and charge came from. I also cannot define what they are, in
the same way I can define displacement is (displacement is a change in position). This is because masses
and charges are very fundamental physical quantities. The most I can do is to tell you what their effects
are. We’ve been dealing with mass when we talked about Newton’s laws. For one, it is what gives
particles a resistance to acceleration (remember, inertia?). You cannot arbitrarily increase mass in the
sense that it comes in small lumps or packages. If you want to add mass to a gold bar, you can only
increase it by a factor of the mass of one gold atom. In another vein, charges, which can be positive or
negative, are the reason why we get electrified when we touch a live wire, or why metals get attracted
to magnets. Similarly, the total charge of an object can only be increased by a factor of the charge of an
In summary, here are the differences between particles and waves:
Particle Wave
Has a definite mass Meaningless to assign mass
Occupy a particular position Tends to spread everywhere
Two particles cannot occupy the same position at
the same time.
Can “occupy the same position” through
destructive and constructive interference
Tend to exist in “discrete lumps”. Mass can only
be increased one atom at a time.
Continuous in the sense that intensity of waves
can increase arbitrarily.
Associated with tangible objects, masses Associated with disturbance, energy

Nature of Light
Why do we ever have to be interested in understanding the nature of light? I don’t know with
you, but I am motivated enough by the realization that light is all that we can ever see. Everything –
from YouTube videos to rainbows and the faces of our loved ones – we see them only because of light.
Before the 1920’s, there were two frameworks by which light was understood: light as a
particle, and light as an electromagnetic wave.
Light as a Particle. Newton proposed around that light consists of are particles like sand, but with much
tinier masses. This particle framework is able to explain four facts about light: straight line motion within
a uniform medium, reflection, refraction, and dispersion. First, when masses are projected in the
presence of a gravitational field, they undergo projectile motion (that’s why the path taken by fired

bullets eventually curves down). However, the tiny masses of light particles allow them to sustain nearly
straight-line motion for long distances before their path curves down because of gravity. This makes it
appears to human observers that light travels in a perfectly straight line. Second, when a ping pong ball
strikes the table, they reflect. The incident angle at which they strike the surface is equal to the reflected
angle at which they leave the surface. Light, because they are particles much like ping pong balls, should
reflect in the same way. Third, when light travels through different media, they bend. When you dip
yourself in a pool, the image underwater is distorted because of this bending of light which we call
refraction. Suppose the light particles are travelling from water to air. Within the water medium, the
water particles are evenly distributed around the light particles so that the forces cancel out, thereby
making the total force acting on the light particle zero. By Newton’s Law of Inertia, the light particle will
thus travel at a constant velocity, meaning in a straight line only. However, as the light particle travels to
the boundary, half of it is surrounded by water particles, while half of it is surrounded by lighter air
particles. The effect is to create a net force on the light particle. By Newton’s Law of Acceleration, the
light particle will then accelerate. That is why in crossing the air-water boundary, light changes its
direction – it bends. Lastly, the additional hypothesis that light particles of different colours have
different masses explains what is observed during dispersion – the splitting of white light to its
components. Red, for example, has a bigger mass than blue. That is why when passing white light
particles through a prism, red light particles deflect less than blue light particles (recall Newton’s Law of
Acceleration: assuming that the force is constant, the bigger the mass, the lesser the acceleration, and
the lesser the deflection). The particle framework seemed to work for light.
Light as an Electromagnetic Wave. However, in the 1800’s, an experiment which passed light through
two slits (Young’s two-slit experiment) showed an anomalous result that Newton’s particle framework
was not able to explain. If light were particles like sand, then they should only accumulate on the region
in front of the slits. However, the image formed by light after it went through the slits consisted of
alternating light and dark fringes. This is clearly against the particle nature of light so it has to be
discarded and light has to be understood using another framework. Clearly, the formation of light and
dark fringes is a consequence of diffraction and interference – behaviours only exhibited by waves.
The problem then is to know exactly what waves in light. Ocean waves are a periodic
disturbance in water, sound waves are a periodic disturbance in air, so what is to be disturbed in light
To understand what waves with light, we must understand the concept of a field. If we want to
accelerate a grocery cart, we hold it and push forward. We exert a contact force. But we are also aware
that some things are able to exert force on other things without really being in contact with them. The
sun is able to exert a force on earth even if they are miles away. Magnets can move iron fillings even if a
cardboard is placed between them. How exactly do the sun and the magnet do this?
To answer this, we need to introduce the concept of a field. Every particle has properties called
mass and charge. When a particle has mass, it produces a gravitational field. Ultimately, the
gravitational field depends on the source mass (its amount and configuration); hence, the gravitational
field of the sun is different from that of the earth. Gravitational fields depend on space and time. This

means that for every given position and instant of time, there is an associated strength of the
gravitational field. It is important to know the strength of the gravitational field because when another
mass is placed at a certain point and time, the gravitational force that it will experience due to the
source mass is proportional to the gravitational field of the source mass at that point and time.
There are also other types of field: electric field and magnetic field. Electric fields are produced
by charges, moving or not. When the charge is at rest, it produces and electric field that is constant (in
time). Otherwise, it produces a time-changing electric field. Magnetic fields are produced by charges in
motion only. When the motion is steady, the magnetic field is constant (in time). When the motion is not
steady/accelerating, the magnetic field is changing (in time). It should be obvious by now that fields,
whatever type it is, should change in space because as one goes farther and farther away from the
source, the strength of the field must decrease.
These may be different kinds of fields but they share the same properties as the gravitational
field. In general, fields are a condition in space created by a source (mass or charge) which have
different strengths associated for all positions and times. When another object (of the same kind) is
placed in the field, they will experience a force proportional to the strength of the field at that point and
time. The concept of the field therefore facilitates the phenomenon of long-range forces. The Sun
therefore does not have to be placed side by side the earth; the earth only has to be within the
(gravitational) field of the sun in order to feel a force from the sun.
To continue with the question of what waves with light, at the same time that there was
confusion about the nature of light, scientists were also occupied in explaining other curious sets of
experiments about the initially separate subjects of electricity and magnetism. First, it was found that
when a compass needle is brought near a current carrying wire, the wire produced magnetism causing
the needle to deflect. Second, when a bar magnet is moved up and down while inside a coiled wire, a
current is produced in the wire. These experiments imply that, first, changing electric field (current,
moving charges) produces magnetic fields, and second, changing magnetic fields (up and down
movement of the magnet) produces electric fields. Imagine that if both the electric fields and magnetic
fields are changing at the same time, then they sort of sustain the existence of each other, thereby
producing the so-called electromagnetic waves. To change both the electric field and magnetic field, the
charges must then be accelerated or oscillated. The cork analogy is useful at this point. When a cork in a
pool is oscillated, it will create a disturbance that will travel at long distances, so long as the oscillation is
maintained. This disturbance is analogous to electromagnetic waves. But unlike water or sound waves,
electromagnetic waves can propagate without a medium; it is just a periodically-changing and mutually-
sustaining electric and magnetic fields travelling in space.
How much electric field (magnetic field) is produced by a particular change in the magnetic field
(electric field) can be quantified using experimentally known values of the “electric constant” and
“magnetic constant”. Now a mathematically gifted scientist named Maxwell played around with these
constants and discovered that they are related to the speed of light. Again, let me stress that, back then,
the business of understanding the nature of light were very much different and disconnected from the
business of studying electricity and magnetism. But Maxwell had this ingenious insight to interpret his

mathematical discovery as a connection between these disparate researches. To answer then what
waves in light, Maxwell said: electric and magnetic fields. In other words, light is an electromagnetic
Quantum Theory
For a time, scientists were satisfied with light as an electromagnetic wave. However, the
photoelectric effect experiment in around 1920 ended this complacency. In this experiment, different
frequencies (colors) of light were shone on a metal plate and the ejection of electrons was observed.
Note that waves carry energy by virtue of their amplitude or intensity (that is why a tsunami has more
energy than a ripple in a pond). Since light is a wave, it is much to the surprise of scientists to find out
that whereas blue light ejects electrons out, red light does not. Increasing the intensity of red light does
not do good either. It appeared then that the energy of light does not depend on its amplitude but on its
frequency, a behaviour that is unbecoming of waves but cannot be explained using any existing
framework. An analogy is useful here. For example you want to knock down a statue (electron). Using a
single but heavy rock (low intensity, high frequency blue light) should be able to do the job than using
many but light ping pong balls (high intensity, low frequency light). The energy of light, it seemed, only
arrives in “discrete packages” as in “particles of energy” instead of a “continuous flow” that is
characteristic of waves. Specifically, the energy of light was found to be equal to the product of its
frequency and some important constant (Planck’s constant: 6.626 x 10
This left the
scientists really confused as to whether light is a particle or a wave. This was confounded by another
curious photograph showing the diffraction of electrons. Yes, particles such as electrons showing
wavelike behaviours such as diffraction.
The way out of this mess was quantum physics. There are three basic quantum-physical ideas
that I will state. I will not try to derive them, or explain where they came from because that will take us
to a physics hell ride. I want you to just accept them for now as fundamental principles that govern the
behaviour of all objects.
Wave-Particle Duality. Everything is both a particle and a wave. For example, we have a special name for
light that captures both its particle- and wave-like properties: photon. The dichotomy that was
established in classical physics was false and is a consequence of the mass scales of the objects involved.
This does not mean that classical physics is wrong, this only means that classical physics is a good
approximation when analysing the behaviour of everyday objects. However, the error incurred from this
approximation gets larger as the length scales of your objects become smaller. That is why classical
physics cannot explain well the behaviour of electrons, for example. More on this below.
Uncertainty Principle. In classical physics, we were made to believe that we can determine certainly
what the position and momentum (mass times velocity) of an object are at any given instant of time.
Recall the free-fall equations:


. If you can’t recall them, then
what they do is to give you, certainly, the position and the velocity of your free-falling object at any
instant of time . It doesn’t tell you that your coconut will fall by maybe around 4-5 m after 1 s, with
probably a velocity of 10 m/s. It rather tells you, with utmost certainty, that your coconut will fall by 4 m
after 1 s with a momentum of of 1 kg 10 m/s.

Quantum physics doesn’t do that because knowing both the position and momentum of an
object violates a basic principle in quantum physics that applies to all objects regardless of their size: the
uncertainty principle. The uncertainty principle states that the product of the uncertainty in the position
and the uncertainty in the momentum should be greater that of equal to the Planck’s constant:
, where

. Recall that we first encountered this constant in relating the
energy of light to its frequency.
You may be confused by now. If classical physics is certain about the position and momentum of
objects so that the uncertainties in both are zero, and if quantum physics is to be true for all objects so
that being certain in both the position and momentum violates the uncertainty principle, then are we
saying that one or the other is wrong?
The answer is a qualitative no. Definitely, quantum physics is not wrong; the uncertainty
principle should hold always. But when dealing with everyday objects with large enough masses, we can
still follow the uncertainty principle even if we choose very small values of the uncertainties. It appears
then that we are really certain about the position and momentum of objects. Example, assuming that

But when we go to smaller mass scales, say the mass of an electron

, the large certainty in
the position will have to be compensated by the large uncertainty in the momentum, or vice versa. We
cannot be certain with both because that will violate the uncertainty principle.
One of the things that classical physics cannot explain is why electrons don’t just sit on top of
the nucleus. After all, negative and positive charges attract, right? The reason is that they will violate the
uncertainty principle if they stop and sit on top of the nucleus. Electrons have to move around the
nucleus for us to be uncertain in their position and momentum. This is also the reason why atoms jiggle
around a little even if the temperature is absolute zero.
We’ve been talking about uncertainty principle and how it seems to boss around nature. Why
does the uncertainty principle have to be followed in the first place? Where did it even come from? It
may surprise you that the uncertainty principle manifests itself first through mathematics. Mathematics
is a very delicate subject. It builds itself from one absolute truth to another so that even if only one
aspect is found to be wrong, the whole enterprise crumbles. That is why every mathematical statement
which follows logically from one true statement is certainly true. The uncertainty principle is one such
mathematical statement. And it’s a wonder how nature follows this mathematical principle dutifully, as
validated through experiments. Mathematics and physics really go along well each other!

Probability Amplitudes and Atomic Structure. Because nature doesn’t allow full certainty, physical
events are described through probabilities instead. The nostalgic Sineskwela atom is a bogus.
The idea
of tracing an electron’s path as it orbits around the nucleus just doesn’t make sense. Because if we can
do that, we can know exactly the position and momentum of the electron and uncertainty principle
would scold us. The correct model for the atomic structure is to assign a probability to the electron’s
behaviour. Remember the electronic configuration (1s
and so on) that we’ve mechanically and
thoughtlessly churned out given the number of protons in the atom? Each of those strings corresponds
to a particular region in space called “orbital” wherein the probability of finding the electron is the
highest. I am not saying that the electron moves around that confined space as a butterfly flutters
around a closed garden. The correct understanding is that the electron has the highest probability to be
everywhere in that orbital. The electron is a wave in that sense, being everywhere at once, in the sense
that there is a non-zero probability amplitude associated to every position in space which tells how
probable it is to find the electron at that position.
Electronic Transitions. Light carries energy (recall the photoelectric experiment) so that when the
photon energies are just enough, the electrons absorb this energy and “jump to a higher energy level”.
This only means that their orbital changes so accommodate the increase in energy. Similarly, by the law
of conservation of energy, when electrons jump to a lower energy level, they sometimes release energy
in the form of photons. This transition is the basis for our lighting devices. For example, when electrons
flows through the incandescent lamp, electrons bump to the electrons of the tungsten filament found
inside the bulb. The extra energy incurred by the tungsten electrons due to this constant bumping make
them jump to a higher energy level. Nature, of course, always want things to be in their lowest energy
possible (just like the apple which falls down because Nature prefers lower potential energies) so that
this promotion in the energy level doesn’t last long enough. The electrons (very) soon go down and
release this lost energy as photons, that’s why our incandescent bulb lights up. The energy of the
photons (which are related to their colour) depends on how many energy levels the electrons went
down. In incandescent bulbs, the electrons are not promoted to the same energy levels so they release
different colours of light in different timings – some red, others yellow, a little of blue – so that they add
up together to produce a scattered white-yellowish light. The thing with lasers is that electrons are
promoted to the same energy levels and go down together, thereby producing a beam of light with one
colour only. Lasers have a lot of medicinal and industrial applications. Do you suppose that your laptops
and car pieces are cut with hand saws? Of course they are cut using fine precision, high-powered lasers!
Lasers have gone so commonplace that I can buy myself a green one in Divisoria for star-gazing. We
have enjoyed lasers so much that we often forget that this mechanism for producing light is only made
possible through centuries of excessive curiosity and overthinking of many scientists who worked with
the muddy details, often unrecognized, except maybe for Einstein, Newton and a few more others.


If you think of it more deeply, is there really such thing as “contact” forces? Do things every really get in contact with each
Don’t ask me why there are only two kinds of charges (in fact, there are other values of charges, but let us not go through that
muddy detail) and why there are only two kinds of responses: attraction and repulsion. That is all that we observe in Nature
thus far. Yes, we may be missing out something, but unless they manifest themselves to us, they remain to be non-existent.
Similarly, we may be missing out three-headed orange minions, but nobody has ever seen one, so we better off believing they
don’t exist at all.
Molecules are just a certain combination of atoms. When you zoom in, some materials don’t just have a singl e atom as its
basic unit (like gold bars) but a certain combination of them.
How is the relationship between energy and frequency established in the first place? How is Planck’s constant measured? The
answer is the Planck’s constant is not measured. It is a constant that persistently manifests itself in mathematical calculations
(just like how inevitably pops whenever there are circles and periodic motion). And the equation relating the energy and
frequency of light is a mathematical necessity, keeping everything together in a consistent, logical framework. It just turns out
that these mathematical niceties are exactly what are observed in experiments. In this case then, nothing holds us from
believing that the energy-frequency relationship is true.
How ridiculous can that get? Science shows depicting wrong science. Dammit, I’ve been fooled. Oh, did I mention that their
logo sucks? K.I.S.S.