### So what?

Ok, so the explanation of the origin of the quantum was a bit abstract and technical. Here are a couple of interesting thoughts that writing about this stuff brought to the surface of my mind:

Is there a physical reality to the concept "infinity"? In other words, is there such a thing as "infinitely small" in the real universe? Alternately, is the universe infinitly big, has it existed forever, or, will it exist forever? Whenever infinities crop up in mathematics, they cause things to break. A lot of 20th-century theoretical physics was driven by the desire to get rid of infinities in the theories, so that sane results could be derived. Planck's work showed that black-body radiation only makes sense if infinitely small amounts of energy

Planck needed statistics to get his results. Most people think of physics as a science of exact predictions: if you have this starting state, apply these rules, and you can predict what will happen next. In practice, it seems, physicists were already dealing with such complicated systems in 1900 that they had to turn to calculations of probability. This is something we'll see more of in later discoveries.

Coming next: Hormones, which will be a lot less abstract.

Is there a physical reality to the concept "infinity"? In other words, is there such a thing as "infinitely small" in the real universe? Alternately, is the universe infinitly big, has it existed forever, or, will it exist forever? Whenever infinities crop up in mathematics, they cause things to break. A lot of 20th-century theoretical physics was driven by the desire to get rid of infinities in the theories, so that sane results could be derived. Planck's work showed that black-body radiation only makes sense if infinitely small amounts of energy

**cannot**be absorbed by atoms. To my mind, it would be equally amazing if the universe contained something infinite, and if it didn't.Planck needed statistics to get his results. Most people think of physics as a science of exact predictions: if you have this starting state, apply these rules, and you can predict what will happen next. In practice, it seems, physicists were already dealing with such complicated systems in 1900 that they had to turn to calculations of probability. This is something we'll see more of in later discoveries.

Coming next: Hormones, which will be a lot less abstract.