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 classical description of this phenomenon postulated an "ultraviolet catastrophe," with there always being more light at the blue end.
In this context, the classical Maxwell equations lead to appearance of the so-called ultraviolet catastrophe; to remove this problem, Planck proposed the model of the electromagnetic field as an ideal Bose gas of massless photons with spin one.
(Two examples: she refers to Planck's solution of "the ultraviolet catastrophe" for "light in a box" [pp.
This breakdown of theory was known as the "ultraviolet catastrophe" and led to novel ways of approaching the problem.
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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