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I In woo Max Planclr was able to solve the problem how to describe the distribu tion of energy in blackbody radiation, in other words, how the total energy
divides among the different wavelength intervals at a given temperature.
The two assumptions making the discovery of Planck's Radiation Law possible
initiated the science of quantum theory. iiThe energy of vibrating molecules
within the blackbody material is quantized, transitioning in discrete units of
energy between allowed energy states called quantum states. 2} Light energy
is absorbed or emitted in discrete units, now called photons. Photon energy is directly proportional to light frequency. I A blackbpdy is an idealized object that only absorbs and emits light, so the
radiation leaving a blackbody contains no reﬂected light, This makes the
blackbody a very useful model system because the spectral characteristics of
the light depend only on the intrinsic properties of the object. I Planck’s Radiation Law can be used to determine the peak of the energy dis
tri bution, what wavelength range is the most prominent. As the temperature
increases, a greater proportion of light is emitted at shorter wavelengths {as
an object gets hotter, it shifts from glowing red to glowing blue]. THE RELhTIEIHSHIF arrivEEu PHoTou ENERGY AND FHEdUEHcv {E mm It. are are THE MOST
iMPDRTANT REATIDNSHIPS IN FH‘rSIcs, HEARL‘I' tinrr coMPREHEHSIvE PH'rs'Ics Emu Has AT
LEAST out quEsnoH wHEaE vou HEEp THIS HHDWLEDGE. E m J mm ...
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 Spring '11
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