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Planck's constant

noun, Physics.
1.
the fundamental constant of quantum mechanics, expressing the ratio of the energy of one quantum of radiation to the frequency of the radiation and approximately equal to 6.624 × 10− 27 erg-seconds. Symbol: h.
Also, Planck constant.
Origin
1905-1910
1905-10; named after M. K. E. Planck
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Planck's constant

Planck constant

noun
1.
a fundamental constant equal to the energy of any quantum of radiation divided by its frequency. It has a value of 6.62606876 × 10–34 joule seconds h See also Dirac constant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Planck's constant in Medicine

Planck's constant (plängks)
n.

Symbol h The constant of proportionality relating the energy of a photon to the frequency of that photon. Its value is approximately 6.626 × 10-34 joule-second.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Planck's constant in Science
Planck's constant
  (plängks)   
A physical constant that is used extensively in quantum mechanics and fixes the scale of quantization of many phenomena, such as the relation between the energy of a photon (a quantum of light) and its wavelength. Its value is approximately 6.626 × 10-34 joule-seconds (equivalent to units of angular momentum). Planck's constant is fundamental to phenomena as the quantization of angular momentum and is used in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. See also Dirac's constant, quantize.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Planck's constant in Culture

Planck's constant definition


A universal constant, first discovered by Max Planck, that states the mathematical relationship between the frequency of an electromagnetic wave and the energy in that wave. Planck's discovery unifies the seemingly contradictory observations that energy sometimes acts like a wave and at other times acts as if it is made up of particles.

Note: Knowing Planck's constant sets the scale of energy for events in which the atom and subatomic particles take part.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for Planck's constant

(symbol h), fundamental physical constant characteristic of the mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics, which describes the behaviour of particles and waves on the atomic scale, including the particle aspect of light. The German physicist Max Planck introduced the constant in 1900 in his accurate formulation of the distribution of the radiation emitted by a blackbody, or perfect absorber of radiant energy (see Planck's radiation law). The significance of Planck's constant in this context is that radiation, such as light, is emitted, transmitted, and absorbed in discrete energy packets, or quanta, determined by the frequency of the radiation and the value of Planck's constant. The energy E of each quantum, or each photon, equals Planck's constant h times the radiation frequency symbolized by the Greek letter nu, nu, or simply E=hnu. A modified form of Planck's constant called h-bar (), or Dirac h, frequently appears in the formulations of quantum mechanics, in which equals h divided by 2pi.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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