ME colloquium

The THz Catastrophe

Andrea Neto

The THz Catastrophe: 

Planck’s Law failure to explain thermal radiation experiments on Silicon Wafers, and the perfect match offered by the new classical theory based on Degrees of Freedom.

Abstract— The thermal energy radiated by silicon wafers is characterized experimentally in the mm and sub-mm wave ranges. The samples are heated and the energy they radiate thermally is captured by horn antennas and then detected. For moderate conductivities the measurements show a descending pattern as a function of the frequency which is not in line with expectations from Planck’s law.  The Degrees of Freedom theory presented last year to this same audience provides a perfect, completely classical  explanation for the results. Should these experiments have been available 120 years ago, the community of the time would probably have been concerned about avoiding the THz catastrophe, rather than the Ultraviolet catastrophe!

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