ultraviolet catastrophe


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ultraviolet catastrophe

[¦əl·trə′vī·lət kə′tas·trə·fē]
(statistical mechanics)
The prediction of the Rayleigh-Jeans law that the energy radiated by a blackbody at extremely short wavelengths is extremely large, and the total energy radiated is infinite, whereas in reality it must be finite.
References in periodicals archive ?
The presumed continuous fieldlike nature of radiation led to the ultraviolet catastrophe however, if the energy were assumed to be particlelike as emitted, then the catastrophe could be averted.

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