Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

CMB Peak Fregenucy (Planck's law vs. Wein's law)

  1. Apr 27, 2012 #1
    wikipedia says:
    "The CMBR has a thermal black body spectrum at a temperature of 2.725 K, which peaks at the microwave range frequency of 160.2 GHz, corresponding to a 1.873 mm wavelength. This holds if measured per unit frequency, as in Planck's law. If measured instead per unit wavelength, using Wien's law, the peak is at 1.06 mm corresponding to a frequency of 283 GHz."

    How come there is a difference in the peak frequencies, between using Planck's law vs. Wein's law?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    In short, the difference is because you have to transform the differential element [itex]d\lambda[/itex] to [itex] d \nu [/itex] (or vice-versa) rather than just substituting in the corresponding expression from the dispersion relation.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook