Appendix A: Derivation of the Planck Function

In accordance with Boltzmann statistics, if A ^ o denotes the number of oscillators in any given energy state, then the number A ^ in a state having energy higher by an amount s is given by A ^ = Noe-'/^^, (A.l)

where K is Boltzmann's constant and T is the absolute temperature. On the basis of Planck's first postulation, an oscillator cannot have just any energy, but rather only energies given by Eq. (1.2.1). Thus, the possible values of E must be 0, hv, 2hv, and so on. If the number of oscillators with zero energy is NQ, then by virtue of Eq. (A.l), the number with energy hv is N^e'^^^^^, the number with energy Ihv is Noe~^^^^^'^, and so on. The total number of oscillators with frequency v for all states is therefore A ^= A ^ o + Noe-^'^^^ + Noe-^^'^^^ + • • • = A^o[l+^-''/''^ + (^-''/^^)' + ---] = A^o/(l - ^ " ^ ' / ^ ^ ) . (A.2)

The total energy of these oscillators may be obtained by multiplying each term in Eq. (A.2) by the appropriate energy level: E=:0-No-\-hvN^e-^^'^^ + 2hv • Noe'^^^'^^ + 3/zi) • Noe'^^^^^^ + • • •

= /iyA^o^-^^/^^[l + 2^-^^/^^ + 3(e-^^/^^)2 + . • •] = hvNoe-^^/^^/(l - e-^^'^^f. (A.3)

The average energy per oscillator is then given by = hv/ie^'"'^^ - 1). (A.4)

N

No/il - e-h^/^'^)

According to Planck's second postulation, the quanta of energy are emitted only when an oscillator changes from one to another of its quantized energy states. The average emitted energy of a group of oscillators is, therefore, given by Eq. (A.4), which is the factor appearing in Planck's formula.
523

we write Uy = Ahv/{e^'^'^^ .8) . Thus. we let W y denote the monochromatic energy density. With this definition.1). the energy per unit volume per unit frequency interval in a cavity with temperature T. On substituting Eq. the energy density in a cavity is given by the classical RayleighJeans formula: u^ = {%7Tv'^/c^)KT.524 Appendix A Derivation of the Planck Function To obtain the Planck function. we find A = STTV^/C^. (A.8). In accordance with the principle of equipartition of energy.e.(T) = u. Thus. (1. (A.5) where A is a constant to be determined. the monochromatic energy density is For blackbody radiation. we obtain the Planck function in the form BviT)= as stated in Eq.. ^^l (A. By letting hv/KT -> 0 in Eq.5). the emitted intensity (or radiance) in a cavity with a temperature T in units of energy/area/time/sr/frequency may be expressed by B.3). the emitted photons travel in all directions (47r solid angle) at the speed of light c.9) (A. (A.6) This formula is valid when the temperature T is high and the frequency v is small.7) into (A. i. (A.2.c/47T.

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