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Homework Help: Urgent: Why can't the Stefan-Boltzmann Law be explained in classical mechanics?

  1. Aug 20, 2009 #1
    I've looked all over the internet, and can't find a decent explanation.

    Could someone please explain why the stefan-boltzmann radiation law of I = oT^4 be explained in classical mechanics rather then quantum?

    It's urgent, sorry to be pushy.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2009 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    It can and was. Stefan deduced the rule in 1879 and Boltzmann provided a formal derivation a few years later. This was long before quantum physics.

  4. Aug 24, 2009 #3


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    This sounds like a reference to the "ultraviolet catastrophe".

    As Andrew points out, the proportionality with T4 was derived in classical physics; but there was a problem in trying to find the energy at different frequencies, and this was resolved by having quantized energy. The link above may help.
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