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By Zwicky F.

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Extra resources for Transfer of Energy from Electrons to Atoms

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13 18 Quantum of Radiation affirmed with certainty, however, because these experiments were difficult ones. Because of the fact, in addition to the prevailing belief in Wien's distribution formula, that Planck succeeded in deriving Wien's formula from Wien's displacement law together with a simple consideration, according to which the inverse of the second derivative of the entropy of an oscillator with respect to its energy was proportional to the energy, Planck thought that Wien's distribution formula was a correct law.

Immediately after having set up the new formula, Planck started his effort to find a realistic and physical meaning in it. As is described by Amano, 24 ) "if Planck had been satisfied simply with an empirical formula, the discovery of the action quantum would not have become his scientific achievement", and "in giving the phenomenon a right more than a simple description" he found a clue to arrive at the great discovery. Here, we see a vivid example of the immediate effectiveness of philosophical methodology on scientific studies.

45), that is, dUnAUnf(Un) = ndUAUf(U), which was taken as the starting point in the former study, Planck says "I would consider it well possible, even so not easily understandable and anyway hardly provable, that the expression does not possess generally the meaning ascribed formerly by me to it". Then, about the mistake22) of having simply applied in a formal way the expression dU AU f (U) derived for a single resonator to the case of n resonators in Eq. (45), considering that "the values of Un, dUn and Un are not sufficient to determine the change in entropy in question, but at the same time U must also be known", he states "Following this thought I have finally come to construct quite arbitrary expressions of the entropy, which, though more complicated than Wien's expression, nevertheless seem to satisfy all the demands of the thermodynamical and electromagnetic theories just as much as that".

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