Thursday, July 18, 2024 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

James Jeans

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This fallacious result is not... a peculiarity of classical mechanics; it is given also by a very wide class of possible systems of mechanics. This being so, no minor modification of the classical mechanics can possibly put things right. Something far more drastic is needed; we are called upon to surrender either the continuity or the causality of classical mechanics, or else the possibility of representing changes by motions in time and space.

James Jeans

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Bohr had... discovered that the frequencies corresponding to very large integers could be calculated accurately from the classical mechanics; they were simply the number of times that an ordinary electron would complete the circuit of its orbit in one second when it was at a very great distance from the nucleus of the atom to which it belonged. This could only mean that when an electron receded to a great distance from the nucleus of its atom, it not only assumed the properties of an ordinary electron, but also behaved as directed by the classical mechanics. Yet the classical mechanics failed completely for the calculation of frequencies corresponding to small orbits.

James Jeans

It seems clear that the present quantum mechanics is not in its final form. Some further changes will be needed, just about as drastic as the changes made in passing from Bohr's orbit theory to quantum mechanics. Some day a new quantum mechanics, a relativistic one, will be discovered, in which we will not have these infinities occurring at all. It might very well be that the new quantum mechanics will have determinism in the way that Einstein wanted.

Paul Dirac

Certainly we do not need quantum mechanics for macroscopic objects, which are well described by classical physics this is the reason why quantum mechanics seems so foreign to our everyday existence.

Alain Aspect

Precisely similar ideas are applicable to the molecules that form the air in a room. ...The classical mechanics now predicts that the whole energy of motion will be changed into radiation [heat], so that the molecules will shortly be found lying at rest on the floor... In actual fact they continue to move with undiminished energy, forming a perpetual-motion machine in defiance of classical mechanics. ...We have passed from one to another of three worlds... from the man-sized world to the world of the electron.

James Jeans

Another conspicuous failure of classical mechanics was with one aspect of the problem of radiation. ...Imagine a crowd of steel balls rolling about on a steel floor. ...There must... be a steady leakage of energy from... causes, such as air resistance and the friction of the floor, so the balls will eventually lose energy, and, after no great length of time, will be found standing at rest on the floor. The energy of their motion seems to have been lost... most of it has been transformed into heat. The classical mechanics predicts that this must happen; it shows that all energy of motion, except possibly a minute fraction of the whole, must be transformed into heat whenever such a transformation is physically possible. It is because of this that perpetual-motion machines are a practical impossibility.

James Jeans
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