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Deriving Wien's Law from Planck's Formula

  1. Apr 4, 2006 #1
    As a refresher exercise in modern physics, I want to derive Wien's displacement law:


    from Planck's formula:


    by differentiating R([tex]\lambda[/tex]) and setting dR/d[tex]\lambda[/tex] = 0. I get to an expression like this:

    [tex]\exp^(\frac{hc}{\lambda\kT})(hc - 5kT\lambda)+5kT\lambda=0[/tex]

    If it wasn't for the "5kT[tex]\lambda[/tex]" term by itself on the left-hand side of the equation, the solution would simply be:

    ([tex]\lambda[/tex]) (T) = hc / 5k

    which is Wien's law. There must be something wrong though, or maybe there's a trick involved that I'm not seeing?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2006 #2


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    Yes, you're dealing with a typical transcendental equation, to which exact solutions cannot be found in most cases, this one included.

  4. Dec 5, 2011 #3
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