Relativistic Dynamics in Basic Chemistry

This paper revisits the historical sequence in which some of the major developments of 20th-century physics occurred, and explores how theories could have turned out differently, if the sequence of developments had been different. It shows how a delay in founding special relativity theory until after (1) at least one puzzling problem in electromagnetic theory could be acknowledged, and (2) sat least some of the experimental observations pertinent to the development of quantum mechanics had become well known, could have resulted in a larger theory that covers both domains in a manner quite different from that of any of the theories we use today. The revised theory dispenses with a separate postulate introducing Planck’s constant h, identifying instead a physical mechanism that implies the constant. Some important aspects of quantum chemistry then follow.

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Correspondence to Cynthia Kolb Whitney.

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Editor, Galilean Electrodynamics, Proceedings of the Natural Philosophy Alliance; Visiting Industry Professor, Tufts University, retired

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Whitney, C.K. Relativistic Dynamics in Basic Chemistry. Found Phys 37, 788–812 (2007).

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  • relativistic dynamics
  • electrodynamics
  • quantum mechanics of atoms
  • ionization potentials