Obtaining the correct black body spectrum is one of the great triumphs of quantum physics. It is also touted as a total failure of classical physics, since with very basic assumptions, namely thermal equilibrium and the validity of Maxwell's equations, one gets the well known divergent spectrum.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

I was wondering if anyone had any information about how physicists of the time tried to get around this problem. In particular, something which always seemed natural to me was the relaxing of the thermal equilibrium assumption. For example, its not obvious to me (given 19th century knowledge) why extremely high frequency light should be in thermal equilibrium with ordinary matter. Did the physicists of the time think about such high energy physics?

Beyond history, I welcome any and all comments on my comments.

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# Quasi-historical question about black body radiation

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