How Did Quantum Mechanics Happen ?: Max Plank and the Experiments which Gave Rise to the Quantum Hypothesis
Professor Emiritus, UC Santa Cruz
On December 14, 1900 Max Planck explained for the first time the spectrum of black body radiation by what later he called an act of desperation - the quantum hypothesis- which ushered in modern physics. This lecture will present a historical perspective on the circumstances which led to this event, including the crucial but often neglected experimental advances in measurements of long wave infrared radiation.