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Quantization of EM in UV & vacuum

  1. Jan 20, 2015 #1
    UV catastrophe didn't occur because em are quantized.. so the higher frequency modes were not there. In vacuum.. if you compute the contribution of the em modes, it is 120 magnitude greater than observed.. the mystery is why it is not and they theorize it is just cancelled out. But why didn't they just propose the em is quantized and so the contribution of the em modes didn't occur in the vacuum just like in the UV catastrophe?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It is not.
    Based on quantum field theory, there is a possible way to assign something like an energy density to the vacuum in a way that leads to a huge value. There is no special reason to assume that value has any relevance for our world, however. The only way it could influence our world (if at all) is via general relativity, and the unification of this with quantum field theory is an open problem on its own.
    All this does not happen at all without quantization, so asking why it is not quantized does not make sense.
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