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Planck's Law
In physics, Planck's law describes the spectral density of electromagnetic radiation emitted by a black body in thermal equilibrium at a given temperature , when there is no net flow of matter or energy between the body and its environment. At the end of the 19th century, physicists were unable to explain why the observed spectrum of black-body radiation, which by then had been accurately measured, diverged significantly at higher frequencies from that predicted by existing theories. In 1900, German physicist Max Planck heuristically derived a formula for the observed spectrum by assuming that a hypothetical electrically charged oscillator in a cavity that contained black-body radiation could only change its energy in a minimal increment, , that was proportional to the frequency of its associated electromagnetic wave. This resolved the problem of the ultraviolet catastrophe predicted by classical physics. This discovery was a pioneering insight of modern physics and is of ...
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Planck–Einstein Relation
The Planck relationFrench & Taylor (1978), pp. 24, 55.Cohen-Tannoudji, Diu & Laloë (1973/1977), pp. 10–11. (referred to as Planck's energy–frequency relation,Schwinger (2001), p. 203. the Planck relation, Planck equation, and Planck formula, though the latter might also refer to Planck's law) is a fundamental equation in quantum mechanics which states that the energy of a photon, , known as photon energy, is proportional to its frequency, : E = h \nu The constant of proportionality, , is known as the Planck constant. Several equivalent forms of the relation exist, including in terms of angular frequency, : E = \hbar \omega where \hbar = h / 2 \pi. The relation accounts for the quantized nature of light and plays a key role in understanding phenomena such as the photoelectric effect and black-body radiation (where the related Planck postulate can be used to derive Planck's law). Spectral forms Light can be characterized using several spectral quantities, such as freq ...
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Quantum Mechanics
Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory in physics that provides a description of the physical properties of nature at the scale of atoms and subatomic particles. It is the foundation of all quantum physics including quantum chemistry, quantum field theory, quantum technology, and quantum information science. Classical physics, the collection of theories that existed before the advent of quantum mechanics, describes many aspects of nature at an ordinary (macroscopic) scale, but is not sufficient for describing them at small (atomic and subatomic) scales. Most theories in classical physics can be derived from quantum mechanics as an approximation valid at large (macroscopic) scale. Quantum mechanics differs from classical physics in that energy, momentum, angular momentum, and other quantities of a bound system are restricted to discrete values ( quantization); objects have characteristics of both particles and waves ( wave–particle duality); and there ar ...
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Watt
The watt (symbol: W) is the unit of power or radiant flux in the International System of Units (SI), equal to 1 joule per second or 1 kg⋅m2⋅s−3. It is used to quantify the rate of energy transfer. The watt is named after James Watt (1736–1819), an 18th-century Scottish inventor, mechanical engineer, and chemist who improved the Newcomen engine with his own steam engine in 1776. Watt's invention was fundamental for the Industrial Revolution. Overview When an object's velocity is held constant at one metre per second against a constant opposing force of one newton, the rate at which work is done is one watt. : \mathrm In terms of electromagnetism, one watt is the rate at which electrical work is performed when a current of one ampere (A) flows across an electrical potential difference of one volt (V), meaning the watt is equivalent to the volt-ampere (the latter unit, however, is used for a different quantity from the real power of an electrical cir ...
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Radiance
In radiometry, radiance is the radiant flux emitted, reflected, transmitted or received by a given surface, per unit solid angle per unit projected area. Radiance is used to characterize diffuse emission and reflection of electromagnetic radiation, and to quantify emission of neutrinos and other particles. The SI unit of radiance is the watt per steradian per square metre (). It is a ''directional'' quantity: the radiance of a surface depends on the direction from which it is being observed. The related quantity spectral radiance is the radiance of a surface per unit frequency or wavelength, depending on whether the spectrum is taken as a function of frequency or of wavelength. Historically, radiance was called "intensity" and spectral radiance was called "specific intensity". Many fields still use this nomenclature. It is especially dominant in heat transfer, astrophysics and astronomy. "Intensity" has many other meanings in physics, with the most common being power per unit ...
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Unit Of Measure
A unit of measurement is a definite magnitude of a quantity, defined and adopted by convention or by law, that is used as a standard for measurement of the same kind of quantity. Any other quantity of that kind can be expressed as a multiple of the unit of measurement. For example, a length is a physical quantity. The metre (symbol m) is a unit of length that represents a definite predetermined length. For instance, when referencing "10 metres" (or 10 m), what is actually meant is 10 times the definite predetermined length called "metre". The definition, agreement, and practical use of units of measurement have played a crucial role in human endeavour from early ages up to the present. A multitude of systems of units used to be very common. Now there is a global standard, the International System of Units (SI), the modern form of the metric system. In trade, weights and measures is often a subject of governmental regulation, to ensure fairness and transpare ...
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Wavelength
In physics, the wavelength is the spatial period of a periodic wave—the distance over which the wave's shape repeats. It is the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase on the wave, such as two adjacent crests, troughs, or zero crossings, and is a characteristic of both traveling waves and standing waves, as well as other spatial wave patterns. The inverse of the wavelength is called the spatial frequency. Wavelength is commonly designated by the Greek letter '' lambda'' (λ). The term ''wavelength'' is also sometimes applied to modulated waves, and to the sinusoidal envelopes of modulated waves or waves formed by interference of several sinusoids. Assuming a sinusoidal wave moving at a fixed wave speed, wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency of the wave: waves with higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths, and lower frequencies have longer wavelengths. Wavelength depends on the medium (for example, vacuum, air, or water) tha ...
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Speed Of Light
The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted , is a universal physical constant that is important in many areas of physics. The speed of light is exactly equal to ). According to the special theory of relativity, is the upper limit for the speed at which conventional matter or energy (and thus any signal carrying information) can travel through space. All forms of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light, travel at the speed of light. For many practical purposes, light and other electromagnetic waves will appear to propagate instantaneously, but for long distances and very sensitive measurements, their finite speed has noticeable effects. Starlight viewed on Earth left the stars many years ago, allowing humans to study the history of the universe by viewing distant objects. When communicating with distant space probes, it can take minutes to hours for signals to travel from Earth to the spacecraft and vice versa. In computing, the speed of light fixes ...
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Planck Constant
The Planck constant, or Planck's constant, is a fundamental physical constant of foundational importance in quantum mechanics. The constant gives the relationship between the energy of a photon and its frequency, and by the mass-energy equivalence, the relationship between mass and frequency. Specifically, a photon's energy is equal to its frequency multiplied by the Planck constant. The constant is generally denoted by h. The reduced Planck constant, or Dirac constant, equal to the constant divided by 2 \pi, is denoted by \hbar. In metrology it is used, together with other constants, to define the kilogram, the SI unit of mass. The SI units are defined in such a way that, when the Planck constant is expressed in SI units, it has the exact value The constant was first postulated by Max Planck in 1900 as part of a solution to the ultraviolet catastrophe. At the end of the 19th century, accurate measurements of the spectrum of black body radiation existed, but the distr ...
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Boltzmann Constant
The Boltzmann constant ( or ) is the proportionality factor that relates the average relative kinetic energy of particles in a gas with the thermodynamic temperature of the gas. It occurs in the definitions of the kelvin and the gas constant, and in Planck's law of black-body radiation and Boltzmann's entropy formula, and is used in calculating thermal noise in resistors. The Boltzmann constant has dimensions of energy divided by temperature, the same as entropy. It is named after the Austrian scientist Ludwig Boltzmann. As part of the 2019 redefinition of SI base units, the Boltzmann constant is one of the seven " defining constants" that have been given exact definitions. They are used in various combinations to define the seven SI base units. The Boltzmann constant is defined to be exactly . Roles of the Boltzmann constant Macroscopically, the ideal gas law states that, for an ideal gas, the product of pressure and volume is proportional to the product of amount ...
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Absolute Temperature
Thermodynamic temperature is a quantity defined in thermodynamics as distinct from kinetic theory or statistical mechanics. Historically, thermodynamic temperature was defined by Kelvin in terms of a macroscopic relation between thermodynamic work and heat transfer as defined in thermodynamics, but the kelvin was redefined by international agreement in 2019 in terms of phenomena that are now understood as manifestations of the kinetic energy of free motion of microscopic particles such as atoms, molecules, and electrons. From the thermodynamic viewpoint, for historical reasons, because of how it is defined and measured, this microscopic kinetic definition is regarded as an "empirical" temperature. It was adopted because in practice it can generally be measured more precisely than can Kelvin's thermodynamic temperature. A thermodynamic temperature reading of zero is of particular importance for the third law of thermodynamics. By convention, it is reported on the '' Kelvin scale ...
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Frequency
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is also occasionally referred to as ''temporal frequency'' for clarity, and is distinct from ''angular frequency''. Frequency is measured in hertz (Hz) which is equal to one event per second. The period is the interval of time between events, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency. For example, if a heart beats at a frequency of 120 times a minute (2 hertz), the period, —the interval at which the beats repeat—is half a second (60 seconds divided by 120 beats). Frequency is an important parameter used in science and engineering to specify the rate of oscillatory and vibratory phenomena, such as mechanical vibrations, audio signals (sound), radio waves, and light. Definitions and units For cyclical phenomena such as oscillations, waves, or for examples of simple harmonic motion, the term ''frequency'' is defined as the number of cycles or vibrations per unit of time. The ...
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