Lester Zick (email@example.com)
Tue, 04 May 1999 11:34:28 -0400
Thanks to everyone who replied to earlier posts.
There seems to be a degree of confusion regarding the nature of Planck's
quantum and the nature of random events, particularly as related to
The only experimentally defined quantum in physical terms is Planck's
quantum of angular momentum. Even my otherwise excellent Random House
Dictionary of the English Language exhibits confusion on this point.
There is no absolute quantum of energy. Planck's quantum is simply the
frequency gradient on which electromagnetic energy is transferred. But
this does not suggest that the transferred energy is somehow quantized.
Planck originally devised the so-called quantum to correlate the
distribution of frequencies in blackbody radiation as a function
radiation frequencies. However, this says nothing about the nature of
radiant frequencies or their units or multiples. There is nothing to
suggest that such frequencies only occur in discrete multiples. Photonic
energy transfer in atoms occurs in discrete multiples of Planck's
constant per second, but the mechanical basis for this is the quantum of
angular momentum and not a quantum of energy.
Atomic dipoles have discrete multiples of 0, 1, 2 ... of Planck's
constant per second not because energy is quantized spatially but
because angular momentum in particles and atomic dipoles is quantized
spatially. The plenum is a continuum in this regard that causes the time
gradient of energy absorption but not the amount of energy absorbed. And
if an atomic dipole energy of
1/2 h per second were possible, so too would the transfer of that
It is interesting to speculate whether unstable orbits of such
fractional energy states are possible in mechanical terms. But even if
not, the point remains that it is angular momentum that is spatially
constrained in residual terms and not the transfer of energy, which is
simply and accidental consequence of the quantized nature of angular
momentum in temporal terms.
For those who are interested, a more complete treatment of particle
structure and the origin of quantum mechanical phenomena are available
at http://home.earthlink.net/~lesterzick under the section Analytical
Mechanics. Also included are the origin of Planck's constant in
mechanical terms as well as the mechanical liason among Einstein's
energy-mass equivalence, Planck's constant, and Heisenberg's uncertainty
Regards - Lester
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