Saturday, 20 July 2013

Problems with classical physics


As you have read earlier that Classical Physics was only applicable to bodies of size 10-6m and moving at a speed of speed far less than that of speed of light (Refer Classical Physics). However beyond its scope, all its laws are not applicable. Relativistic laws was introduced for the bodies moving with very high speed and Quantum mechanics was introduced to explain the bodies of size less than 10-6m. Together these laws were put under Quantum Theory of physics.


Major flaws in classical physics were : 

1. Classical Physics was based on Mechanics. It always gave the mechanical property of a body and not its composition. When studies were made at sub atomic levels it was realized that Classical Physics was limited and cannot fully explain the nature.

2. Classical Physics was unable to explain the cause of Gravitational force. It was believed that it is a natural attractive force that arises due to the presence of matter.

3. Classical Physics was unable to explain the absolute nature of light.

Problems with Newtonian and Galilean Universe

Newton's Gravity and Laws of Motion and Galilean Frames of Reference was well appreciated till the end of the 19th century, after which such philosophy started breaking down. Up to that time it was believed that space and time was relative and time passed equally for everyone. It was believed that absolute time was measurable using an invisible medium called "ether" as a Frame of reference. However in 1887 when the motion of Earth was being studied, an unexpected result came out. When light was sent to a particular point in space from two different locations, one of whose distance was greater than the other, it was observed that light reached the point of space at the same time. It was also seen that light covered unequal distances in equal intervals of time, i.e the speed of light was not constant but it varied in different frames of reference. These findings suggested that light doesn't follow same rules as a object moving at a high speed, for example a bullet.

In simple words the experiments said that if we fired a bullet at 100 m/s per second and chased it at a speed of 10 m/s, then the diatance covered by us and bullet would be 100m and 1000m respectively. But if we were to chase light at one-tenth its speed it would continue to move away from us at exactly the same velocity, i.e you might have covered 30,000m in 10 seconds but light might have covered infinitely long distance in comparison with you.



<- Previous Chapter                                                                                                                 Next Chapter ->