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Quantization in Quantum Physics


Quantization: The situation where physical quantities like position, energy and momentum can have only certain discrete values.

The position, energy and momentum for a particle in free empty space these physical quantities are continuous but for a particle bound to an area of space can only have certain discrete values. The energy contained in a given frequency of electromagnetic waves is quantized in that it always has the same value at the same frequency. The electromagnetic energy is found in discrete packet called photons.

The quantization of electron energy within an atom explains much of their behavior such as why atoms emit only discrete frequencies of light.

Electron in a low orbit of an atom.

Photon comes along and is absorbed by  electron

Electron jumps to a higher orbit

Electron then emits a photon

Electron jumps back to the lower orbit

Quantization of space-time

There are several natural units that were proposed by Max Planck based on five universal physical constants.

  1. Gravitational constant

  2. Reduced Planck constant

  3. Speed of light in a vacuum

  4. Coulomb constant

  5. Boltzmann's constant

Most of them have no physical significance but two of them Planck Length and Planck Time are the smallest possible measurements of space-time according our current understanding of the laws of Physics; specifically the  uncertainty principle when a plied to these scales. This suggests that time and space themselves are Quantized.


Planck Length

l p = 1.616 252 10−35 m

This is the smallest measurement of length that has any meaning with in the laws of physics as we understand them today.


Planck Time

tp = 5.391 24 10−44 s

This is the amount of time it takes a photon to cross a Planck Length. It is the smallest measurement of time that has any meaning with in the laws of physics as we understand them today.


Quantization requires physical quantities like position, energy and momentum to have discrete values. It explains much of what goes on in side atom and based on our current understanding of the laws of physics it suggest that time and space are quantized


Reference

Hydrogen Spectrum Activity

The Planck scale: relativity meets quantum mechanics meets gravity.

What is Planck length? What is Planck time?

 


 

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