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Peak Frequency of the CMB

  1. Feb 3, 2007 #1


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    What is the peak frequency of the Cosmic Microwave Background?

    Using Wien's Displacement (#1) and then converting the wavelength of frequency (#2), I get 282 GHz.

    #1. 0.0028977685 / 2.728 = 0.00106223185483871 Meters (1 millimeter)

    #2. 299792458 / 0.00106223185483871 = 282228834161.183 Hertz (282 GHz)

    This website seems to conclude that it's 160.4 GHz:

    Also, if something isn't a perfect black body, is there an easy way to get a more accurate result? Using the surface temperature of the Sun (5785) I get about 500 nanometers, which is green I believe. I imagined I should have gotten a frequency closer to yellow, around 570 nanometers.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2007 #2


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    I dont think this mismatch has actually something to do with anisotropies or deviations from the blackbody spectrum, but rather with the way that power or intensity are defined or measured per unit wavelength or per unit frequency. This leads to different forms of Wien's law and you have to check the definitions when you read about some "peak frequency". You can read about this here.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
  4. Feb 4, 2007 #3


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    The hyperphysics website gave 160 GHz as an answer using the linear frequency equation. I just have to use a different constant. Thanks for the help.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2007
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