History of Quantum Physics

Act I

Piano music in the background

(Planck is playing the piano, then stops and goes to the board)

Planck: hm… this doesn’t look right. The relationship between the excitation energy and absorbed energy should be continuously increasing… But that doesn’t make sense. If this was the case the energy level could technically get to infinity.

Wait… what about… *scribbles equations on the board*… Hmm… So if the energy levels are discrete, and if I assume this to be certain packets of energy…

*Scribbles down equations and numbers*

So this perfectly makes sense… all the calculations fit the data we have, but somehow I feel like this is not right…

Act II

Planck: Ladies and gentlemen, today I’d like to present to you my latest work. For the past few years I’ve committed myself to finding an explanation for the black body radiation curve mystery, and I think I may have found it.

*Goes on to present the basic ideas*

Whispers in the audience

-This is preposterous! Everybody knows energy is proportional to amplitude, not frequency!

-He’s wasting our time here.

-This does explain the data we’ve got though, and it’s a very intriguing idea.

-Oh please, you’re better off trying to prove unicorns exist. This is just another one of those nonsensical theories.


(It’s a Sunday morning, Einstein walks into his study, sits down, picks up some papers on his desk, starts reading)

Einstein: No way… no way… HOLY ****!

(Random faceless character): Are you doing okay sir?

Einstein: Oh no no, it’s fine. (Random character name), Ground has been pulled out from under me, with no firm foundation anywhere, upon which one could have built.

(Random character again): Sir, I’m afraid I’m not quite following you.

Einstein: You see, in classical physics, we have always represented energy with some sense of continuity to it, but look at this, this paper was written by a physicist named Max Planck, and he suggested that energy actually comes in packages, which he named quanta. Do you see the significance of this?

(Clueless and nameless character): Sir, I’m afraid I do not.

Einstein: I can foresee a revolution coming, I’m telling you.

(Clueless character): I haven’t seen anyone with pitch forks and torches around. And I also haven’t seen any ad for guillotines either.

Einstein: We’re not the French. I’m talking about a scientific revolution here! This new concept could change the way we view the entire universe! *proceeds to explain the theory in details*

(Clueless character): *looks around, sighs* I still see the world the same way I did an hour ago.

Act IV

Einstein: Morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today I’d like to talk a bit about radiation. It’s been a subject of my fascination for the last couple of years, and quite frankly, I think I’ve encountered certain ideas that I think would be the forefront of theoretical physics from here on out.

(Proceeds to talk about Planck’s theory)

After the conference

Planck: Dr. Einstein, I’m surprised you didn’t talk about your theory, but chose to talk about my proposed idea instead.

Einstein: Dr. Planck, I found your paper on black body radiation very intriguing. I certainly think there’s a lot of merit to it.

Narrator: In 1913, Planck puts his reservation in writing when he proposed Einstein for the prestigious membership of

Prussian academy of sciences. ” Einstein has gone overboard in his speculations about light quantum and he urged the

committee not to hold again him”.... Einstein remarked that “Planck is stubbornly attached to preconceived opinions

which are undoubtedly false”... Both are surprised about the news from Copenhagen, about the Bohr theory...

Einstein and Planck then talked about Einstein’s photoelectric effect…

The scene ends with the 2 scientists playing some instruments together.

Act V

Pauli works on the Bohr model and orbits

Pauli: Hmm…. Interesting… so electrons in discrete energy levels perform quantum jumps when given a specific amount of energy…

Heisenberg works on some mathematical equations

Heisenberg: If I express this using matrices… this goes here… that goes over here. Eureka!

Switching to Schrodinger

Schrodinger: Hmm this is not right, it’s too specific. I need to find a way to generalize this theory…

What if I do this… scribbles down some equations…

Act VI

Heisenberg: What in world is this!? I respect Schrodinger as a fine scientist but this is beyond nonsense. This makes no sense, the quantum jumps should be explained by matrices, not this crap!