History and Philosophy of Physics


Quantum Theory: Undulating Foundations, Uncertain Principles?

Authors: Sosale Chandrasekhar

Intriguing questions from the early history of quantum theory (QT) raise serious doubts about the accepted theory of black body radiation. (The Planck theory builds on the apparently flawed Rayleigh-Jeans approach.) Furthermore, the validity of the theory of diffraction, the basis of the wave theory of radiation and matter, seems uncertain. Together, these raise fundamental questions about the foundations of QT and its current status. The apparently symbiotic relationship between QT and the theory of atomic and molecular structure, a key paradigm of modern scientific thought, may be a misleading indicator of the validity of QT. The protocols deriving from the Schrödinger equation lead to quantized states, but only along with certain assumptions. It is argued that QT applies uniquely to the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter, and that its scope is not universal: thus, it is best regarded as a quasi-empirical formalism. It is possible that the uncertainty surrounding QT is a legacy of the troubled historical period during which it was founded. This apparently has fascinating implications for the history and philosophy of science in general.

Comments: 22 Pages.

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[v1] 2012-04-16 04:51:42

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