Marquis de Laplace in the 1800s came to theassumption that the universe is deterministic. There is a set of laws that predictseverything. This assumption remained in science until the early 1900s. Succeedingresearch, however, has proven this false.Lord Rayleigh and Sir James Jeans suggestedthat a hot object, like a star for example, radiates energy at an infiniterate. Furthermore, Max Planck suggested that X-rays and other light waves couldnot be emitted at random but only in certain packets called quanta. Eachquantum had a certain amount of energy that increases with the frequency of thewaves.
They cannot be predictedDeterminism was completely debunked byWerner Heisenberg in 1926 with the uncertainty principle. It entails that inorder to predict a particle’s future velocity, its current position has to bemeasured accurately first. Using only short light waves, it would be pinpointedexactly.
By Planck’s hypothesis, at least one quantum should be used. However, thisquantum will disturb the particle and change its velocity. To sum up, the moreaccurately he position of the particle is measured, the less accurate its speedwill be, and vice versa. Therefore, it is impossible for them to be predicted.Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle doesn’tonly apply in particles. It is fundamental and has strong repercussions onearth as a whole. In the 1920s, Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and Paul Diracformulated the quantum mechanics, based on uncertainty principle.
In thistheory, particles do not have distinct positions and velocities. Instead, they areunder a quantum state which is a combination of position and velocity. Quantummechanics predicts a number or a set (not a single one) of possible outcomesand their corresponding probability. All these present the inevitable elementof randomness into science. Though Einstein never accepted that theuniverse was governed by chance, quantum mechanics is at the foundation of modernchemistry and biology.
It rules the behavior of transistors and circuitsessential for the production of television and computers. The only limits ofquantum mechanics are the concept of gravity and the large-scale framework ofthe universe. The gravitational pull between negative andpositive charge is what keeps the nucleus orbited by electrons. The problemwith this was, before quantum mechanics, the general assumption was that the electronswould soon lose energy, spiral inward and collide with the nucleus. Niels Bohr formulateda resolution for this in 1913. He thought that maybe electrons do not orbit atany random distance from the nucleus but instead at specific distances only.
This idea could be represented very well byhydrogen which only has one electron. However, the hydrogen model cannot applyto more complex atoms. This conflict was resolved by quantum mechanics. Itpresumes that an electron “waves” around the nucleus on its specified velocity.Thereafter, it became possible to calculate the allowed orbits in morecomplicated atoms through equations.Quantum mechanics predict nearly everythingwithin the bounds of uncertainty principle. Einstein’s theory, on the otherhand, does not accept uncertainty.
This is the reason why the two partialtheories cannot be combined. Chapter 5