Blackbodies and Maxwell's Whole Number Wavelength Theoryby Apophilius Tags: blackbodies, maxwell, number, theory, wavelength 

#1
Jun711, 10:22 AM

P: 14

I've been reading The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene and everything has rolled along smoothly until just recently. He writes:




#2
Jun711, 10:41 AM

Sci Advisor
Thanks
P: 3,853

It's like the vibrations of a drumhead or of an organ pipe. Only the resonant waves that exactly fit within the length of the pipe will be found, because they're the only ones that can persist. Waves with other wavelengths die out.




#3
Jun711, 10:50 AM

P: 14

I hate to be a pain, but can you elaborate more on how exactly they die out?
And I had thought that as frequency reaches a certain threshold, the minimum possible energy exceeds that allowed for each wave and therefore they cannot exist. So the statement isn't entirely false, is it? All the waves that can exist have the same amount of energy. 



#4
Jun711, 12:51 PM

P: 87

Blackbodies and Maxwell's Whole Number Wavelength Theory
Ask yourself, how would you envision such a wavelength in a piece of string? For the second part of your last question, I'm not sure what you mean, but I think you have a wrong idea about the energy carried by a wave, in terms of wavelength vs. amplitude.




#5
Jun711, 03:08 PM

P: 14

So if the resonant frequencies are the only ones that exist within the oven, the waves that are detected are standing. Do resonant wave mechanics apply just the same then for the light bouncing around?
And what I said was that blackbodies emit energy, with equal distribution of energy to all frequencies of light within the possible range of frequencies. When you get a frequency with minimum energy that exceeds the energy threshold allowed for frequencies, it doesn't exist. Is this a correct statement? If not, how is it incorrect? 


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