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Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física

Print version ISSN 1806-1117


STEWART, Seán M.. Wien peaks and the Lambert W function. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2011, vol.33, n.3, pp.1-6. ISSN 1806-1117.

Exact expressions for the wavelengths where maxima occur in the spectral distribution curves of blackbody radiation for a number of diferent dispersion rules are given in terms of the Lambert W function. These dispersion rule dependent "Wien peaks" are compared to those wavelengths obtained in a setting independent of the dispersion rule chosen where the "peak" wavelengths are taken to be those obtained on dividing the total radiation intensity emitted from a blackbody into a given percentile. The account provides a simple yet accessible example of the growing applicability of the Lambert W function in physics.

Keywords : blackbody radiation; Wien peaks; Lambert W function; polylogarithm.

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