Birth of Quantum MechanicsPlanck, Einstein, Bohr Chapter uri icon


  • In this chapter, three problems whose resolution laid the foundation of quantum mechanics are discussed. First the pioneering work of Max Planck is described who explained the spectrum of light emitted from a so-called blackbody by making a bold ansatz that the energy associated with the oscillations of electrons comes in packets or quanta of energy. Second it is shown how Einstein invoked Plancks hypothesis to explain the photoelectric effect by arguing that light should come in packets or quanta of energy and this energy should be proportional to the frequency. Electrons are emitted if the energy of the quantum of light, which has come to be known as a photon, is higher than a critical value. The third problem relates to the atomic structure of hydrogen. A full description is given of how Bohr applied a quantization condition to explain the emission of light at certain specific frequencies.

author list (cited authors)

  • Zubairy, M. S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Zubairy, M Suhail

Book Title

  • Quantum Mechanics for Beginners

publication date

  • May 2020