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Planck's Constant h

  1. Jul 14, 2008 #1
    Planck's Constant...."h"

    I am wondering if anyone knows why "h" was chosen for Planck's Constant? Or did they just randomly select a letter which didn't represent a constant at the time?
    Thanks.
    -Ford
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2008 #2

    Cthugha

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    Re: Planck's Constant...."h"

    When Planck first published his results, he thought of h as an auxiliary quantity. In German an auxiliary quantity is called Hilfsgröße, which is - at least according to some historical reports about Planck's life - the reason, why he used h, the first letter of Hilfsgröße, to represent this constant.
     
  4. Jul 14, 2008 #3
    Re: Planck's Constant...."h"

    Thank you very much Cthugha!
     
  5. Jul 14, 2008 #4
    Re: Planck's Constant...."h"

    The "h" was for "helpless," because he realized that's how students would feel when they were first learning about this stuff.:smile:
     
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