Wed, Oct 09
4:00 PM — 5:00 PM
Marshak Science Building160 Convent AvenueNew York, NY 10031
Marshak Science Building, 418N
Paul Cadden-Zimansky, Professor, Bard College (NY)Paul Cadden-Zimansky
Professor, Bard College (NY)
"Planck in New York and the Origin of Quantum Probabilities"
In 1909 Max Planck traveled to New York City to give a series of eight lectures on the state of theoretical physics. Planck was then in the process of reexamining the microscopic assumptions behind his derivation of the blackbody radiation formula, a process which several years later would result in what has come to be known as his second quantum theory. This theory is one of the first to posit microscopic behavior governed by probability distributions, a concept that would later come to be one of the hallmarks of quantum mechanics. In this talk I will explain the history of how Planck’s particular views on thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, outlined in his New York lectures, led him to the introduction of quantum probabilities.