In some of the past BMC posts, I have blogged about how statistical mechanics, in the 19th century, came perilously close to uncovering quantum mechanics early. A number of “problems” with statistical mechanics arose due to the classical treatment used. One of the most serious was the Ultraviolet Catastrophe. This problem was not easily solved with the hand-wavey pseudo-quantum explanations used in some previous cases. It took a full-on, quantized description of electromagnetism, and helped usher in quantum mechanics to being the foremost theory in subatomic physics.