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Black body radiation

  1. Sep 2, 2011 #1
    If you consider the standard cavity experiment for black body radiation, you know that the number of standing wave modes at higher frequencies is higher than the number of modes at lower frequencies. Therefore, according to classical equipartition theorem, there should be more energy in the higher frequencies. However, the Boltzmann distribution, which also holds classically predicts that there's a greater probability of finding the system in a lower energy state. Why do the two contradict or am I missing something here?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2011 #2


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    You meant Planck's distribution, not Boltzmann's?
    It can't be explained in classical physics. Actually, the explanation of black body radiation distribution was one of the milestones confirming quantum theory 100 years ago.
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