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In my new found passion to understand the "inner meaning" of this thing called quantum theory, I've been trying to find Planck's derivation of -- or explanation for choosing -- the "constant of nature" that has become so popular.

I expected to be able to find the empirical basis for it very easily on google, but all I could find were explanations like, "a photon is a unit of radiation whose energy content can be found by E=hv." Well, this doesn't help me too much.

The closest thing I have been able to find to an "explanation" is from this article...

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/373

I expected to be able to find the empirical basis for it very easily on google, but all I could find were explanations like, "a photon is a unit of radiation whose energy content can be found by E=hv." Well, this doesn't help me too much.

The closest thing I have been able to find to an "explanation" is from this article...

http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/373

What's the reason for using this precise value?To find W, Planck had to be able to count the number of ways a given energy can be distributed among a set of oscillators. It was in order to find this counting procedure that Planck, inspired by Boltzmann, introduced what he called "energy elements", namely the assumption that the total energy of the black-body oscillators, E, is divided into finite portions of energy, epsilon, via a process known as "quantization". In his seminal paper published in late 1900 and presented to the German Physical Society on 14 December - 100 years ago this month - Planck regarded the energy "as made up of a completely determinate number of finite equal parts, andfor this purpose I use the constant of nature h = 6.55 x 10-27 (erg sec)". Moreover, he continued, "this constant, once multiplied by the common frequency of the resonators, gives the energy element epsilon in ergs, and by division of E by epsilon we get the number P of energy elements to be distributed over the N resonators".

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