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Unformatted text preview: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS February 8, 2012 Content Questions How do we use the formula I , where its all differentials? The formula for I , the specific intensity, is a distribution (sometimes called a differential distribution): this is a very important kind of function that is used often in science and engineering. I think the best way to think of a distribution f ( x ) = dn ( x ) dx is as a his- togram , for which the bins are taken to be infinitesimally small. First think of a histogram, with M bins of finite size x i . You have a total of N items (people, photons, chunks of energy, gallons of water, whatever) to be dis- tributed among the bins. Bin i has n i of them, such that M i =1 n i = N . So what the histogram describes is number of items per x as a function of x , or, for a continuous quantity, amount of stuff per x as a function of x . In the limit that the bin width gets infinitesimally small, x dx , the distribution can be described as...
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course PHYSICS 105 taught by Professor Kruse,m during the Spring '08 term at Duke.
- Spring '08