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5.

61 Fall 2004 Lecture #3 page 1

The DEMISE of CLASSICAL PHYSICS (cont’d)

(a) Blackbody radiation -- All things emit light when heated up!

Classically: (1) Radiation from a blackbody is the result of electrons


oscillating with frequency 
Oscillating charged particle  antennae

(2) The electrons can oscillate (& radiate) equally well at any
frequency

 Rayleigh-Jeans Law for spectral density (), where intensity of emitted


light in frequency range from  to  + d is I() ~ ()d

8 kT 2
( )
d  =   ,T d =
c 3
 d   2

where d(,T) = density of radiative energy in frequency range


from  to  + d at temperature T

k = Boltzmann’s constant [= R/NA (gas constant per molecule)]


c = speed of light

Rayleigh- ()
    2  divergence at high freq.
Jeans Law  lots of emission in UV, x-ray regions!
“UV catastrophe” – not observed in exp’t
( )

Exp’t T3
T2 T1 < T2 < T2
T1


5.61 Fall 2004 Lecture #3 page 2

Planck (~1900)  First “quantum” ideas

(1) The energy of the oscillator  frequency

E  

(2) The energy  an integral multiple of 


(the # of oscillators n)
E  n

or E = nh

constant

h becomes a “quantum” of energy

Planck used statistical mechanics (5.62) to derive the expression for black body
radiation
8 h 3  1 
( )
d  =   ,T d =
c3  eh kT  1

d

3

( )
 1 
 eh kT  1

Fitting exp’t to model  h = 6.626 x 10-34 J-sec

Planck’s constant
5.61 Fall 2004 Lecture #3 page 3

(b) Photoelectric effect

UV light e-
Exp’t:
K.E. = _mv2

metal

Classically K.E. K.E.


expect:

I 

Exp’t: K.E. K.E. linear


Opposite!

I 0 

thresshhold

Einstein (1905) proposed:

(1) Light is made up of energy “packets: “photons”

(2) The energy of a photon is proportional to the light frequency

E = h h  Planck’s constant
5.61 Fall 2004 Lecture #3 page 4

New model of photoelectric effect:

E K.E. energy of
of e- photon = h
0
 = work function
of metal

 K.E. = h –  = h – h0 = h( – 0)

K.E.
 K.E. = h( – 0)

0 = / h 

Comparing to exp’t, value of “h” matches the one found by Planck!

This was an extraordinary result !

Summary:

(1) Structure of atom can’t be explained classically


(2) Discrete atomic spectra and Rydberg’s formula can’t be explained
(3) Blackbody radiation can be “explained” by quantifying energy of
oscillators E = h
(4) Photoelectric effect can be “explained” by quantifying energy of light
E = h