Download PDF by Schombert J.: Astronomy 123: galaxies and expanding universe (lecture

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The atoms themselves remain unchanged, but move about in space to combine in various ways to form all macroscopic objects. Early atomic theory stated that the characteristics of an object are determined by the shape of its atoms. So, for example, sweet things are made of smooth atoms, bitter things are made of sharp atoms. In this manner permanence and flux are reconciled and the field of atomic physics was born. Although Democritus' ideas were to solve a philosophical dilemma, the fact that there is some underlying, elemental substance to the Universe is a primary driver in modern physics, the search for the ultimate subatomic particle.

Where trends and rhythms are apparent, they are usually of an approximate and qualitative form. How are we to reconcile these seemingly random acts with the supposed underlying lawfulness of the Universe? html (2 of 9) [15-02-2002 22:34:38] entropy For example, consider falling objects. Galileo realized that all bodies accelerate at the same rate regardless of their size or mass. Everyday experience tells you differently because a feather falls slower than a cannonball. Galileo's genius lay in spotting that the differences that occur in the everyday world are in incidental complication (in this case, air friction) and are irrelevant to the real underlying properties (that is, gravity).

Wave-Particle Dualism: The wave-like nature of light explains most of its properties: ● reflection/refraction ● diffraction/interference ● Doppler effect But, the results from stellar spectroscopy (emission and absorption spectra) can only be explained if light has a particle nature as shown by Bohr's atom and the photon description of light. html (2 of 7) [15-02-2002 22:34:48] wave-particle duality, uncertainity principle This dualism to the nature of light is best demonstrated by the photoelectric effect, where a weak UV light produces a current flow (releases electrons) but a strong red light does not release electrons no matter how intense the red light.

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Astronomy 123: galaxies and expanding universe (lecture notes) by Schombert J.


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