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*From*: "Folkerts, Timothy J" <FolkertsT@BARTONCCC.EDU>*Date*: Mon, 2 Aug 2004 19:51:43 -0500

Things have been a little slow, so I thought I’d liven it up a bit. I have an acquaintance from elsewhere in cyberspace who is a “self-taught physicist” who has been spouting what I feel are some unusual (or completely incorrect!) views about physics in the early 1900’s. Now, I’m not a great expert on the motivations and histories of Einstein, Planck, & Millikan, so before I politely call him a complete nut ;-) I thought I’d run some of his ideas past this group.

Below are a couple of the major points – there’s much more, but this should be more than enough for starters! I’ll put my interpretation in [square bracket]; feel free to add your own comments or to comment on my comments.

If you don’t’ feel like wading through some “fringe physics” please feel free to ignore the rest of the post!

Tim Folkerts

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... everyone now agrees {Einstein’s 1905 paper on photoelectric effect} was the real starting point of the quantum theory revolution, although Planck started it in 1900.

[Does “everyone” agree on this? I would still say Planck is the starting point of the revolution.]]

y = A (f^n) exp(-hf/kT) + c .................................... (1)

y = A (f^n) { exp(-hf/kT) /[1 + b exp(-hf/kT)] } + c ............(2)

What did Einstein do? He looked at equation 2. This is Planck's equation. He said, "Nah! too complicated. Let me put b = 0. That captures the "essence" of Planck." ...

[That sure doesn't sound like the "essence" of Plank's ideas to me. It also doesn't sound like the first step in any derivation of E = hf that I can think of.]

Anyway, Einstein takes entropy and energy and says temperature is the ratio of energy to entropy...

[dQ = TdS perhaps, but T = (energy)/(entropy)??? And attributing this to Einstein?]

Then, Einstein looks at the whole thing again. He sees that when equation 1 is simplified, it means that y goes up in steps of hf. Or in his case K goes up in steps of hf...

[First of all, I can’t see how you get from (1) to E = hf. Secondly, E doesn’t “go up in steps of hf”, it IS hf for the photon.]

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