Quantum mechanics was developed during the 20th century when it became clear that the existing laws of classical mechanics and electromagnetic theory were not successfully applicable to such systems. Because quantum mechanics treats physical events that we cannot directly perceive, it has many concepts unknown in everyday experience. Louis de Broglie struck out from the old quantum theory (see Max Planck and the origins of quantum theory) when he suggested that particles have a wavelike nature (see de Broglie and matter waves). This wavelike nature is significant only for very small particles such as electrons. These ideas were developed by Erwin Schrödinger and others into the branch of quantum mechanics called wave mechanics. Werner Heisenberg worked along parallel lines with a theory incorporating only observable quantities such as energy, using matrix algebra techniques and called matrix mechanics. Paul Dirac incorporated relativistic ideas into quantum mechanics.
Related categories• ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
• PARTICLE PHYSICS
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