The birth of quantum theory (deliciously, it involves cookies)

This is the story of how quantum mechanics — that physical science of the very, very small — came to be. It's a fascinating tale involving Max Planck, Albert Einstein, cookies and fussy light.

But what makes this video-narrative all the more enjoyable is that it emerged out of a collaboration between Henry Reich (creator of MinutePhysics) and Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the featured speaker at this year's Massey Lectures.

Not familiar with the Massey Lectures? Go check them out immediately.


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Corpore Metal

That's the first time I've heard Planck's solution to the black body problem, which is exactly what this video is actually talking about, in terms of cookies. And never referring to a black body once.

Secondly, I didn't know that Planck was set on this path for engineering reasons—to make more efficient light bulbs. I had thought it was just purely trying to solve an experimental or observational problem. Anyway, I like that. I like it when engineering occassionally kicks science into new territory.

However, I did know that it was Einstein, with his work on the black body problem and later the photoelectric effect, who laid the foundations of the thing he'd later come to hate, quantum theory.