1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is Plancks function a distribution one?

  1. Mar 16, 2010 #1
    In many textbooks Plancks law or function is also refered to as Plancks distribution.
    But is it a true distribution function?

    I was reading a textbook where it was describing Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution
    (which is a true distribution function since its integral across the range equals 1 )
    and a few pages later it was comparing it with Plancks distribution pointing out how similar they look.

    But is Plancks law a true distribution function?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Usually Planck's law is defined so that it is normalized to total power per unit area, rather than 1, which would have made it a probability distribution. But if you ignore the probability definition, it is a distribution.
  4. Mar 16, 2010 #3
    But the form of the Plancks function that gives radiance (Energy/time/area/steradian/wavelength or frequency) is not a probability density function,right?
  5. Mar 17, 2010 #4
    Ok,I got what you said.It is a distribution and should be treated as one.The reason its integral is not 1 is because it is multiplied by a factor to give irradiance, radiance etc.

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - Plancks function distribution Date
A The Ultraviolet Catastrophe Feb 17, 2018
I Equation for Brownian Motion Trajectory Jul 9, 2017
I Found a Planck value that relates to classical gravity Sep 29, 2016
Planck's law derivation Jun 15, 2014
The Planck Function and Flux Jul 4, 2011