New Study Invalidates Kirchhoff’s Law of Thermal Emission
Written by Dr Pierre-Marie Robitaille & Stephen J. Crothers
New peer-reviewed study casts doubt on the validity of Max Planck’s famous theory of radiation. It is shown that Planck misrepresented Kirchhoff’s Law such that the behavior of nature is not properly accounted for.
Below is an excerpt from the new study titled, ‘‘The Theory of Heat Radiation” Revisited: A Commentary on the Validity of Kirchhoff’s Law of Thermal Emission and Max Planck’s Claim of Universality’
Throughout “The Theory of Heat Radiation’ Planck employed extreme measures to arrive at Kirchhoff’s Law. First, he redefined the nature of blackbodies, by adopting transmission as a central element of his derivation.
Second, he neglected the role of absorption at the surface of such objects, in direct contradiction to experimental findings and Kirchhoff’s understanding of blackbodies. While it could be argued that absorption does not take place entirely at the surface, Planck could not assume that no absorption took place in this region.
He was bound to include its contribution, but failed to meet this requirement.
Third, he sidestepped re- flection, by neglecting its presence in arriving at Eq. 12 [5, Eq. 27]. Nonetheless, the energy of the system under investigation included both that which was involved in emission/ absorption and that associated with the reflection terms. Stewart has well highlighted that such terms are central to the nature of the radiation within arbitrary cavities  and the concept has recently been re-emphasized [18, 19].
Fourth, Planck had recourse to plane-polarized light, whereas blackbody radiation is never polarized.
Below is the In the end, Planck’s presentation of Kirchhoff’s Law did not properly account for the behavior of nature. Arbitrary cavities are not always black and blackbodies are highly specialized heated objects. Planck’s characterization of the carbon particle as a simple “catalyst” constituted a dismissal of Stewart’s Law : “. . . That the absorption of a particle is equal to its radiation, and that for every description of heat.” Planck could not transform a perfect absorber into a catalyst.
Yet, without the carbon particle , the perfectly re- flecting cavities, which he utilized throughout “The Theory of Heat Radiation” for the derivation of his famous Eq. 1 [4, 5], remained devoid of radiation.
Perfectly reflecting cavities are incapable of producing radiation, precisely because their emissivity is 0 by definition. Planck can only properly arrive at Eq. 1 by having recourse to perfectly absorbing materials, a truth which he did not acknowledge.
The presence of reflection must always be viewed as suboptimal to the creation of a blackbody, since significant reflection acts as a hindrance to the generation of photons through emission. It is never clear that the reflection term can easily be driven to arrive at the desired radiation, since thermal equilibrium, under these circumstances, can easily be violated, as the temperature of the cavity increases.
Planck’s detachment from experimental findings relative to Kirchhoff’s Law was evident in his presentation of Eq. 20 [5, Eq. 40]. His conclusion, with respect to the equivalence of the reflection in arbitrary materials, was false. Obviously, if reflection was always the same, then all opaque cavities would become identical. Eq. 20 [5, Eq. 40] became the vital result in Planck’s derivation of Kirchhoff’s Law. Unfortunately, the conclusion that ρ=ρ ′ [5, Eq. 40] constituted a distortion of known physics and, by extension, so did Kirchhoff’s formulation.
Without a proper proof of Kirchhoff’s Law, Planck’s claim for universality loses the role it plays in science. This has significant consequences in both physics and astronomy [8, 17, 24]. The constants h and k do not have fundamental meaning. Along with “Planck length”, “Planck time”, “Planck mass”, and “Planck temperature”, they are to be relegated to the role of ordinary and arbitrary constants. Their value has been defined by our own selection of scales, not by nature itself.
The above paper is published in PROGRESS IN PHYSICS, Issue 2 (April), as ‘“The Theory of Heat Radiation” Revisited: A Commentary on the Validity of Kirchhoff’s Law of Thermal Emission and Max Planck’s Claim of Universality.’ Authors: Pierre-Marie Robitaille (1) and Stephen J. Crothers (2)