Cracking “The Photoelectric Effect” Nut

I don’t get what is the big deal with quantum mechanics

Richard Feynman was one of those lecturers in Physics every one wished they had and yet I cruised through life not knowing of him at all, until I was in my A-Levels. My A-Levels was from EDEXCEL: I studied for those British board examinations my whole life, even though sometimes dabbling in the Cambridge examinations in school for competitions, that I naturally won. I never studied the AQA, the largest examination board in England, for me it was always EDEXCEL, the largest examination board in the United Kingdom and it was tough to surf that successfully enough to study at one of the top universities in the world.

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I had Physics in my A-Levels. For that, I had many books. One of those books was an Oxford book on A-Level Physics. In it, there was a chapter on quantum mechanics. I was a big fan of that book because I had to spend so many hours on learning all by myself. The self-study mode is hard because it is so difficult to not procrastinate (for me: with Wiki/VF/The Simpsons) but these books made the task a lot simpler. I liked the book because it was clear, it was comprehensive and each of the chapter was divided into two separate pages, making it easier to break down all of the syllabus, for me to study.

In the book there was a quote from Feynman, I found very amusing:

I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.

I think I would like to disagree with that comment. I found quantum mechanics in my A-Levels to be a piece of cake. The photoelectric effect equation was not as tough of a nut to crack as so many students would make it out to be, although I realise that I would be the odd one out there, with that sentiment – that feels so amazing! I have always been naturally talented in mechanics in Physics, which is perhaps why, I didn’t find cracking the photoelectric effect equation, very challenging, after one-too-many mechanics experiments, with trolleys, a ticker-tape and a runway; it’s not tough: just input the values, where you are supposed to, after learning all the many Greek symbols and what they are all about!

I do not find quantum mechanics so challenging, I find it very interesting: it is no Kirchhoff’s Law; that is bloody annoying!


Author: Osmi Anannya

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