What is the value, in joules, of one quantum of energy?

In summary, the value of one quantum of energy is equal to h (Planck's Constant) and does not have units of energy. The information that it is the smallest unit of energy for a free-particle holds no merit, as it is a continuum for a particle in a box of infinite dimensions. The name of "quantum mechanics" may be puzzling, but it is based on the quantization of the universe and not just energy.
  • #1
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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?
 
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  • #2
JDude13 said:
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.
 
  • #3
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.
 
  • #4
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?
 
  • #5
JDude13 said:
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.
 
  • #6
ZapperZ said:
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.
 

1. What is a quantum of energy?

A quantum of energy is a discrete packet or bundle of energy that is the smallest amount of energy that can exist in a physical system. It is the basic unit of energy in the quantum field theory.

2. What is the value of one quantum of energy?

The value of one quantum of energy is determined by a fundamental constant known as Planck's constant (h), which has a value of approximately 6.626 x 10^-34 joules per second. This means that one quantum of energy has a value of 6.626 x 10^-34 joules.

3. How is the value of one quantum of energy calculated?

The value of one quantum of energy is calculated using the formula E = hf, where E is the energy, h is Planck's constant, and f is the frequency of the energy. This formula is based on the idea that energy is directly proportional to frequency.

4. What is the significance of one quantum of energy?

The significance of one quantum of energy lies in its role in quantum mechanics, where it is used to explain the behavior of particles at the atomic and subatomic level. It also helps to explain the discrete energy levels of electrons in an atom and the emission and absorption of energy in the form of photons.

5. Can the value of one quantum of energy be changed?

No, the value of one quantum of energy is a fundamental constant and cannot be changed. However, the number of quanta of energy present in a system can vary, and this can affect the overall energy of the system.

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