# One quantum.

JDude13
What is the value, in joules, of one quantum of energy?
I read somewhere that it is equal to h (Planck's Constant). How much merit does this information hold?

## Answers and Replies

What is the value, in joules, of one quantum of energy?
I read somewhere that it is equal to h (Planck's Constant). How much merit does this information hold?

None.

h is the quantum of action, which does not have the units of energy.
For a photon of frequency nu, the quantum of energy is E=h*nu. Thus it can be arbitrarily small for sufficiently soft photons.

maverick_starstrider
Well just take your Schrodinger Equation solution for a particle in a box of dimension L and let L go to infinity. Your energy eigenvalues becomes a continuum. There is really no notion of a "smallest" unit of energy of a free-particle, at least with continuous space. If one quantizes space you might get a smallest unit but I have no idea about that stuff.

JDude13
If we could quantize space we could define it as half the energy it takes to move the particle with the least non-zero mass, the shortest non-zero distance in the shortest non-zero time.

If quantum mechanics is based on the fact that the universe can be quantized and we haven't quantised time, space, matter or energy yet... Why do we call it quantum mechanics?

Staff Emeritus
If we could quantize space we could define it as half the energy it takes to move the particle with the least non-zero mass, the shortest non-zero distance in the shortest non-zero time.

If quantum mechanics is based on the fact that the universe can be quantized and we haven't quantised time, space, matter or energy yet... Why do we call it quantum mechanics?

This is puzzling. Quantum mechanics also produces BANDs of energy (i.e. a continuous range of energy) in matter that forms the conduction band, the valence band, etc. in metals, semiconductors, and insulators.

I suggest you stop getting hung up on the name, and learn the physics.

Zz.

maverick_starstrider
This is puzzling. Quantum mechanics also produces BANDs of energy (i.e. a continuous range of energy) in matter that forms the conduction band, the valence band, etc. in metals, semiconductors, and insulators.

I suggest you stop getting hung up on the name, and learn the physics.

Zz.

Although BANDS are only truly continuous within the unphysical assumptions of condensed matter on a lattice. Infinitely many periodic, perturbative potentials. To me I always assumed surface effects would produce some level of coarse graining in real systems.