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Einstein’s Miraculous Argument of 1905: The Thermodynamic Grounding of Light Quanta.

Norton, John D. (2007) Einstein’s Miraculous Argument of 1905: The Thermodynamic Grounding of Light Quanta. In: HQ1: Conference on the History of Quantum Physics, 02 July 2007 - 06 July 2007, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

A major part of Einstein’s 1905 light quantum paper is devoted to arguing that high frequency heat radiation bears the characteristic signature of a microscopic energy distribution of independent, spatially localized components. The content of his light quantum proposal was precarious in that it contradicted the great achievement of nineteenth century physics, the wave theory of light and its accommodation in electrodynamics. However the methods used to arrive at it were both secure and familiar to Einstein in 1905. A mainstay of Einstein’s research in statistical physics, extending to his earliest publications of 1901 and 1902, had been the inferring of the microscopic constitution of systems from their macroscopic properties. In his statistical work of 1905, Einstein dealt with several thermal systems consisting of many, independent, spatially localized components. They were the dilute sugar solutions of his doctoral dissertation and suspended particles of his Brownian motion paper.


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Details

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Norton, John D.jdnorton@pitt.eduJDNORTON
Date: 2007
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: HQ1: Conference on the History of Quantum Physics
Event Dates: 02 July 2007 - 06 July 2007
Event Type: Conference
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Einstein, light, quantum, 1905, entropy, fluctuation, ideal, gas, law
Date Deposited: 21 May 2009 20:54
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:11
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2670

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