SCI-DEFI. Part 5. Swallowing the pride

People may hold on to their belief for a very long time despite contradicting scientific evidence. Even if fundamental facts suggest a different picture, we still wish to find pseudo-explanation just not to compromise the practice and our deeply held belief. Centuries ago, people considered the earth as the center of the universe despite opposing facts. This happens even to this very day: crypto enthusiasts very often judge the value of tokens by totally relying on the current price while completely ignoring the strategic or intrinsic value that some of the tokens may provide. Only very few people are brave enough to think wider and look for another picture of the world. These people swim against the vast current of the masses: we call it out-of-the-box thinking. Let's take a look at how greatest physicist, Max Planck, has solved a very sophisticated problem of classical physics and then try to understand what it has in common for crypto.

Blackbody and ultraviolet catastrophe

Blackbody is the term in physics that stands for imaginary physical body that absorbs 100% of light/electromagnetic radiation. In reality blackbody is just an idea, hypothetic object. I does not exist and the closest material with that property in our universe was created in 2014 and called Vantablack (carbon nanotube array). It absorbs 99,965% of all electromagnetic radiation. However, the notion of a blackbody is still useful and often used in physics to test theories and prove our knowledge of the world. Obviously, if a blackbody absorbs radiation, it has to emit the same volume of radiation too. Otherwise, only acquiring energy without giving it away, the blackbody will inevitably explode.

The 1904 Nobel prize winner and British scientist, Lord Rayleigh, and his fellow scientist, Sir Jeans, derived the law that governs the blackbody energy emission dependency of the wavelength of the radiation absorbed.

w - wave frequency
c – speed of light
k – Boltzmann constant
T - temperature
Practical measurements of the spectral emission of the bodies close to blackbody (they used ordinary soot) revealed that the emission agreed with the Rayleigh-Jeans law at low frequencies but diverged at high frequencies; reaching the maximum and than falling with frequency. This shows that the total energy emitted is finite. See the picture.
Despite the fact that this law perfectly works with long wavelengths, it creates inherent problems for shorter wavelengths: in case ultraviolet spectrum (very short wavelengths) the law predicts an energy output that diverges to infinity. This failure – known as ultraviolet catastrophe – cannot be resolved within the fundamental belief of classical physics prevalent for hundreds of years around that time: energy is continuous and can assume any arbitrary value even to the 1000s-digit if well calibrated.

Here comes Planck

Many scientists have tried to adjust the Rayleigh-Jeans law, searching for flaws or exceptions. Max Planck was radical and suggested the unbelievable at that time – moving against the beliefs of the entire generation of physicists. He suggested that energy is emitted in small portions called quants and the blackbody energy emission can only be changed with minimal increments proportional to the frequency of its associated electromagnetic wave. This discovery completely resolved the problem of ultraviolet catastrophes predicted by classical physics before. Needless to say, until Max Planck's idea was accepted as the new fundamental belief in physics, countless fights and critics had to be won: radical ideas are never easily adopted by the masses.

The beauty of Planck's invention is that it leads immediately to unification. It turns that the law does not deny the Rayleigh-Jeans law but rather extend it. If you take a look at the formula of Planck's law, you will notice that under the approximation of long waves (> 2,000 nm), the formula is magically converted into the precise view of classical Rayleigh-Jeans law. See the calculation below.
Vladimir Demin
2021