July 9, 2019 (updated September 4, 2019)
Published by Sai Teja
Until the beginning of the 20th century, we have developed laws and equations which govern the behaviour of relatively larger objects. In the early 20th century, we started digging deeper and deeper into the matter and found out that the laws we have developed over centuries don’t work at atomic and sub-atomic levels. This was the beginning of Quantum Physics.
Quantum Mechanics was started by Max Planck who is known as the Father of Quantum Mechanics. Quantum Mechanics tells that matter also have wave-particle duality and it is significant at the atomic scale. Thus it was thought that a wave equation might explain the properties and thus the first such wave equation was developed by Erwin Schrodinger and is named as Schrodinger’s equation.
Schrodinger’s wave equation looks like:
is the reduced Planck constant,
m is the electron mass,
is the Laplacian operator,
Ψ is the wave function,
V is the potential energy,
E is the energy eigenvalue,
(r) denotes the quantities are functions of spherical polar coordinates (r, θ, φ)
As always, I am not going to bore you explaining those complex terms. Instead, let us know why is this equation so important. We all know about Newton’s laws of motion, they changed the course of physics as we could tell the destination of a moving body by knowing its initial conditions. Schrodinger’s role in Quantum mechanics is somewhat similar to that of Newton.
The Schrodinger equation is used to find the allowed energy levels of quantum mechanical systems (such as atoms, or transistors). The associated wavefunction gives the probability of finding the particle at a certain position. A particle whose position and momentum was completely unpredictable according to the uncertainty principle got at least boundaries by using Schrodinger’s equation. It really means a lot. Though there are many implications of this equation, the above one is the most important.
I hope you got a glimpse of Schrodinger’s equation.
June 26, 2019 (updated June 27, 2019)
Published by Sai Teja
Maxwell’s set of four equations forming the basis for electromagnetism are as important as Newton’s laws in mechanics. Maxwell’s equations are applied in almost all modern technologies. The equations provide a mathematical model for electric, optical, and radio technologies, such as power generation, electric motors, wireless communication, lenses, radar, etc. Firstly let us see these four sweet equations one by one and then discuss them as a whole.
1. Gauss’ Law or Maxwell’s first equation
Electric charges produce an electric field. The electric flux across a closed surface is proportional to the charge enclosed.
2. Gauss’ Law for Magnetism or Maxwell’s second equation
There are no magnetic monopoles. The magnetic flux-and-faradays-law-quantitative across a closed surface is zero.
3. Faraday’s Law or Maxwell’s third equation
Time-varying magnetic fields produce an electric field.
4. Ampere’s Law or Maxwell’s fourth equation
Steady currents and time-varying electric fields (the latter due to Maxwell’s correction) produce a magnetic field.
Maxwell’s Equations as a Whole
As a whole, what do Maxwell’s Equations mean?
Maxwell’s equations describe how electric and magnetic fields are generated by charges, currents, and changes of the fields. One important consequence of the equations is that they demonstrate how fluctuating electric and magnetic fields propagate at a constant speed (c) in the vacuum, the “speed of light“. These electromagnetic waves have a wide variety of usage, they are used in small things like routers to big things like search for aliens using radio telescopes and all these devices involves the use of Maxwell’s equations. Maxwell understood the connection between electromagnetic waves and light with these equations in 1861, thereby unifying the theories of electromagnetism and optics.
Using these equations only we got a relation between the speed of light (an electromagnetic wave) and permeability and permittivity of free space. So now you know why the speed of light depends on the medium it is traveling in.
So, I hope you got the essence of Maxwell’s equation. So, if you want to know about these equations in-depth, then consider reading the references.
- A Student’s Guide to Maxwell’s Equations (Student’s Guides)
- Maxwell’s Equations – Wikipedia
June 18, 2019
Published by Sai Teja
Einstein, an absolute genius, has given a lot of groundbreaking theories and the one which completely changed our understanding was the Theory of Relativity. Being one of the most famous and fundamental scientific theories, it has a lot of revolutionary equations. In this article, we are going to talk about one such equation which is one of the most well-known equation in Physics. It is the Mass-Energy Relation.
- E is energy
- m is mass
- c is the speed of light
I am sure that most of you might be knowing this equation. Did you ever think that why is this equation so important and groundbreaking? Let us know.
Before Einstein giving this equation, the world used to think that energy and mass are two very different things. Newtonian mechanics told that object at rest has no energy but this equation opened our eyes and told that even an object at rest has an energy of mc2. This equation has drastically changed our understanding and told us that mass and energy are the same and are interconvertible.
So, the equation tells that you can create mass out of pure energy and you can get energy from the mass. When you add one joule of energy to a system, you are adding 1.11×10−17 kg of mass to that system. In daily life this is negligible but we see its consequences when we travel at speeds close to that of light. Einstein has given a mass velocity relation which tells the increase in mass with an increase in velocity.
Coming to the reverse process, the mass to energy conversion, 1 Kilogram of mass is equal to 9×1016 Joules which is really huge. If we could invent some method which can harness complete energy from mass then we wouldn’t need any other source for power. We know a process called Nuclear Fusion which can harness 0.7 times of this energy but sadly we don’t have the technology to do nuclear fusion on earth yet.
So, I hope that you got an essence of what this equation means and how did it change our understanding regarding mass and energy.
Read More: Famous Equations
May 28, 2019 (updated May 29, 2019)
Published by Sai Teja
Mathematics is a vast subject and is considered as the mother of all the science as it is a tool to solve problems in all other sciences. Mathematics is a subject with so many equations which can fill oceans.
There are many wonderful equations in mathematics which really surprises us as to how can so many different things can be connected with a single equation.
One among such equation is the Euler’s identity, and it is considered as the most beautiful equation in mathematics especially Number theory. A poll of readers conducted by The Mathematical Intelligencer named Euler’s identity as the “most beautiful theorem in mathematics“ in 1990.
So, Euler’s identity is
- e is the Euler’s number
- Π is the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle
- i is the imaginary unit satisfying i2 = −1
Now, let us know why is this equation so special. We know that Mathematics has Real numbers and Complex numbers which are two different things. Then Real numbers have rational numbers and irrational numbers which are two different parts of real numbers.
To understand its beauty we also have to know about transcendental numbers. These numbers are real or complex numbers which are not a solution of a non-zero polynomial equation.
Now, as we have good background let us know the specialty of this equation.
In this equation, three of the basic arithmetic operations occur exactly once each: addition, multiplication, and exponentiation
The equation is considered as deep mathematical beauty because it connects very different things in mathematics and those are
- Two irrational and transcendental number that are e and Π
- The imaginary unit i
- Rational number 1 and 0
I hope you understand and feel the beauty of this mathematical equation.
- Euler’s Identity(Wikipedia)