Special Relativity and Quantum Physics

  • Jay Newman

This and the next chapter bring together a number of fundamental concepts about matter and radiation, some of which we have anticipated in previous discussions when needed. The title of this chapter names the two major theories developed in the 20th century that have most revolutionized physics. Relativity and quantum physics are together sometimes known as modern physics. We begin this chapter with a brief discussion of some aspects of special relativity, a theory developed by Albert Einstein that has brought about major changes in our understanding of the world. Thoroughly tested and consistently found to be correct, special relativity forms a framework on which modern physics rests. The chapter then continues with an overview of the probabilistic view of nature demanded by quantum physics, illustrated by a revisiting of the double-slit experiment. Some of the main features of quantum physics are then discussed, including the Schrödinger equation and the uncertainty principle. The...


Kinetic Energy Wave Packet Uncertainty Principle Photoelectric Effect Atomic Vibration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Newman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUnion CollegeSchenectadyUSA

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