nLab
ultraviolet catastrophe

Contents

Context

Physics

physics, mathematical physics, philosophy of physics

Surveys, textbooks and lecture notes


theory (physics), model (physics)

experiment, measurement, computable physics

Contents

Idea

What is called the ultraviolet catastrophe is a paradox in classical field theory/statistical mechanics which predicts an infinite amount of energy in high frequency (whence: ultraviolet) black body radiation.

The observed absence of the ultraviolet catastrophe in experiment (a kind of null result) led to the hypothesis of energy/frequency-quantization (now expressed by Planck's constant) and hence to the development of quantum physics.

References

Last revised on January 26, 2019 at 07:26:29. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.