On the Trail of Blackbody Radiation: Max Planck and the Physics of his Era (Hardcover)

On the Trail of Blackbody Radiation: Max Planck and the Physics of his Era By Don S. Lemons, William R. Shanahan, Louis J. Buchholtz Cover Image
Special Order


An account of Max Planck’s construction of his theory of blackbody radiation, summarizing the established physics on which he drew.

In the last year of the nineteenth century, Max Planck constructed a theory of blackbody radiation—the radiation emitted and absorbed by nonreflective bodies in thermal equilibrium with one another—and his work ushered in the quantum revolution in physics. In this book, three physicists trace Planck’s discovery. They follow the trail of Planck’s thinking by constructing a textbook of sorts that summarizes the established physics on which he drew. By offering this account, the authors explore not only how Planck deployed his considerable knowledge of the physics of his era but also how Einstein and others used and interpreted Planck’s work.
Planck did not set out to lay the foundation for the quantum revolution but to study a universal phenomenon for which empirical evidence had been accumulating since the late 1850s. The authors explain the nineteenth-century concepts that informed Planck’s discovery, including electromagnetism, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics. In addition, the book offers the first translations of important papers by Ludwig Boltzmann and Wilhelm Wien on which Planck’s work depended.

About the Author

Don S. Lemons is Professor of Physics Emeritus at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas and the author of Drawing Physics: 2,600 Years of Discovery from Thales to Higgs and Thermodynamic Weirdness: From Fahrenheit to Clausius (both published by the MIT Press).
William R. Shanahan, now retired, was a scientific staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Louis Buchholtz is Professor of Physics Emeritus at California State University, Chico. 

Praise For…

"Black-body radiation — emitted and absorbed by non-reflective bodies in thermal equilibrium — was named by Gustav Kirchhoff in 1862. But he and others were perplexed by calculations suggesting it should be infinite at high frequencies. This unavoidably mathematical history by three physicists follows the trail from Kirchhoff to Max Planck — who in 1900 explained that the radiation could change its energy only in minimal increments proportional to the wave’s frequency — and Albert Einstein’s quantum theory of radiation in 1917."

Product Details
ISBN: 9780262047043
ISBN-10: 0262047047
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English

Situated on the main street of the historic Delaware Riverfront town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Farley’s Bookshop and its knowledgeable, experienced staff have endeavored to satisfy the literary tastes of the area inhabitants for over fifty years. Whether you are Bucks County born-and-bred or just stopping by to enjoy the crisp river air and delightful scenery, you will be pleasantly surprised to find the largest and most diverse collection of books-in-print in Bucks County. Farley’s may have competition, but it has few peers. We encourage you to browse our website, but please remember that getting acquainted with our online persona is no substitute for exploring the narrow passageways and teeming shelves of our storefront and discovering that perfect book nestled amongst so many others.

New Hope for American Art

                                               New Hope for American Art is the most comprehensive book ever published on artists from, and surrounding, the New Hope Art Colony (also known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists). This book, with its 612 pages and over 1,000 color plates of artwork include biographies of 165 individual Pennsylvania Impressionists and New Hope Modernists as well as artists from the Philadelphia Ten, a pioneering group of women all educated at Philadelphia art schools. 

In this book, you'll find biographies and artwork from such artists as:

  • Daniel Garber
  • Edward Redfield
  • George Sotter
  • Arthur Meltzer
  • Robert Spencer
  • William Langson Lathrop
  • Kenneth Nunamaker
  • John Folinsbee
  • Henry Snell
  • William F. Taylor
  • Fern Coppedge
  • M. Elizabeth Price
  • Clarence Johnson
  • S. George Phillips
  • Rae Sloan Bredin
  • Walter Baum
  • Walter Schofield
  • Morgan Colt
  • Charles Rosen
  • Joseph Meierhans
  • Charles F. Ramsey
  • Louis Stone
  • Charles Evans
  • Josef Zenk

New Hope for American Art was authored, designed and published by James M. Alterman, an expert in the field of Pennsylvania Impressionist and Modernist painting. A longtime collector and owner of two fine art galleries, Alterman wanted to create a user-friendly book intended not only to educate collectors and enthusiasts about this art but to help train one's eye. The book offers valuable tips on how to avoid common mistakes often experienced by new collectors drawn from the author's personal experiences as a collector and fine art dealer.