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The Evolution and Development of the Quantum Theory

Nature volume 119, page 193 (05 February 1927) | Download Citation



PROF. MAX PLANCK, whose photograph adorns its frontispiece, contributes a short foreword to this little book. The author sets out with the praiseworthy object of producing a “concise handbook” for the “general scientific reader.” In Part 1 he sketches the classical arguments leading to Wien's radiation law and the Raleigh-Jeans law, and describes how their disagreement with each other and with experiment led Planck to his formula and law. Part 2 is a description, which does not profess to be complete, of some applications of the theory; band spectra, for example, are barely mentioned in two sentences. Planck's second hypothesis and a somewhat irrelevant discussion of Nernst's heat theorem, however, fill a whole chapter. The chapters on the light quantum hypothesis, specific heats, and optical spectra, though of necessity brief, are good.

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