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Homework Help: Calculate number of modes incident on detect from black body

  1. May 9, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    In an experiment to measure photon statistics of thermal light, the radiation from a black-body source is filtered with an interference filter of bandwidth 0.1 nm centered at 500 nm, and allowed to fall on a photon-counting detector. Calculate the number of modes incident on the detector, and hence discuss the type of statistics that would be expected.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I feel pretty lost with this question. I'm not even sure what is meant by MODES. Is it the different frequencies of the photons in the 499.05 to 500.05 nm range?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2009 #2
    Isn't it something like "number of modes per volume"? Just the "number of modes" sounds meaningless to me, too.
  4. May 11, 2009 #3
    Yes it is the number of modes per volume. I think one of the issues I was having with this problem was that I didn't realize the peak of the black body was supposed to be at 500 nm, and that the filter was centered at the peak.
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