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Origin of Quantum Mechanics

In view of the failure of classical mechanics to explain the phenomena associated with the small particles, a new mechanics has been put forward to explain these phenomena. One of these is called the matrix mechanics put forward by Heisenberg in 1925. It is purely mathematical and does not assume any atomic model. The others called the wave mechanics put forward by Schrodinger in 1926. It is based upon de Broglie concept of dual character of matter and thus takes into account the particle as well as wave nature of the material particles. However it has been shown that both mechanics are essentially equivalent so far as the basic physical concepts are concerned. Wave mechanics being comparatively simpler and more useful in application to chemistry will be discussed in the present chapter. It also called ‘particle mechanics’ or ‘quantum mechanics’ because it deals with the problems that arise when particles such as electrons, nuclei, atoms, molecules etc., are subjected to a force.

The branch of science which takes into consideration de Broglie concept of dual nature of matter and Planck’s quantum theory and is able to explain phenomena related to small particles is known as quantum mechanics.

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