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.max planck

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 [1] 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 [1]: “. . . 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 [8], 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. 

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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)

(1) Department of Radiology, The Ohio State University, 395 W. 12th Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA (2) Queensland, Australia E-mails: robitaille.1@osu.edu, steve@plasmaresources.com

Comments (21)

  • Avatar

    Group of Physicists

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    The whole concept of “parcels” of air is totally inapplicable when considering natural (free) convective heat transfer, which includes conduction and diffusion by definition, but occurs only in the absence of wind or any other forced convection. PARCELS OF AIR CAN ONLY BE HELD TOGETHER IN FORCED CONVECTION.

    Temperature is a measure of mean molecular (INTERNAL) kinetic energy. Heat transfers in natural convection can only occur via molecular collisions, because all wind of any form is excluded. If air moves because of pressure differences, that is wind. When net molecular movement is able to be detected in natural convection it is because of excess thermal energy driving the net motion away from that source.

    A molecule only “knows” about how hard it is hit by another molecule. It “knows” nothing about buoyancy, pressure or density in neighboring regions. The overall speed of heat transfer in natural convection depends entirely upon the differences in energy potentials, and those energy potentials must take into account molecular (internal) gravitational potential energy and not just molecular (internal) kinetic energy. When those energy potentials become equal, that is when natural convection stops because we then have maximum entropy and so we have the state of thermodynamic equilibrium.

    Thus, in the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, because we have no unbalanced energy potentials, we thus have homogeneous (PE+KE) for internal (molecular) energy. Thus, because PE varies with altitude, we have a temperature gradient.

    Natural convection only starts again when the energy potentials become unbalanced, normally due to the absorption of new thermal (kinetic) energy. The direction of the resulting convective heat transfer will be from the higher energy potentials to the lower energy potentials, and that may be downwards to warmer regions because we are including gravitational potential energy in the entropy calculations, not just kinetic energy.

    [b]And that obviates the “need” to try (incorrectly) to explain with back radiation the obvious short fall of energy into the surface.[/b]

    • Avatar

      Mack

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      “the obvious shortfall of energy to the surface”
      Sorry Doug, there’s no “obvious shortfall of energy into the surface”.
      There’s plenty of solar energy into the surface. Quite sufficient to keep this planet at the temps. we have.
      I’ll sit here and wait for you to, yet again, blurt out, your incorrect 168w/sq.m solar arriving at the surface.
      Planetary Physics, Group of Physicists,
      Climate Researcher,???
      Flag it away Duggie boy, your above physics ramblings look convincing, but are not convincing enough to explain the massive 324w/sq.m of “backradiation” belting down from the atmosphere.
      You’re going to have to find some other explanation…I have it…it’s the sun,stupid.

      • Avatar

        Pat Obar

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        [quote name=”Mack”]”the obvious shortfall of energy to the surface”
        Sorry Doug, there’s no “obvious shortfall of energy into the surface”.
        There’s plenty of solar energy into the surface. Quite sufficient to keep this planet at the temps. we have.
        I’ll sit here and wait for you to, yet again, blurt out, your incorrect 168w/sq.m solar arriving at the surface.
        Planetary Physics, Group of Physicists,
        Climate Researcher,???
        Flag it away Duggie boy, your above physics ramblings look convincing, but are not convincing enough to explain the massive 324w/sq.m of “backradiation” belting down from the atmosphere.
        You’re going to have to find some other explanation…I have it…it’s the sun,stupid.[/quote]

        Please demonstrate that your 342W/m^2 of “radiance” resolves into any “back” radiative flux? That 168 W/m^2 is indeed a fictitious average Solar something.
        Check with the manufactures of Solar Panels foe actual fluxes and the flux distribution during some 24 hours each day of the year at each latitude. they have measured. The Peak numbers will be a little low as each that has measured wants their panels to be more electrically efficient an converting solar EMR to electrical current. The measurements are of EMR never heat!

        • Avatar

          Mack

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          “That 168w/sq.m is indeed a fictitious average solar something”
          The last time I looked at the sea, it wasn’t a solid block of ice.
          Is that indeed fictitious enough for you, O boyo.?

          • Avatar

            Pat Obar

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            [quote name=”Mack”]”That 168w/sq.m is indeed a fictitious average solar something”
            The last time I looked at the sea, it wasn’t a solid block of ice.
            Is that indeed fictitious enough for you, O boyo.?[/quote]

            Any power input even a milliWatt for the whole planet. Must increase the temperature of that planet, if not allowed to exit that planet. Please show why a continuous 168 W/m^2 of this Earth does not raise the Earth’s temperature to that of the Sun?
            Please demonstrate any ‘back” radiative flux!!
            Do you have any idea of the difference in radiative flux and radiance?

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            This Pat Obar really goes to pieces and convincingly demonstrates I’m dealing with another highly educated, very intelligent crackpot.
            First he rants about milliwatts not being allowed to exit the planet. Are you some sort of closet “greenhouse” warmist Pat Ol boy…some blockage up there in the atmosphere? What about the milliwatts not being allowed to ENTER the planet? Some sort of blockage in your cerebral synapses, methinks.
            The next sentance is a classic ,over the top, looney one…”Please show why a continuous 168w/sq.m. of this Earth does not raise the Earth’s temp. to that of the Sun?”
            Nah,Patsy boy, reserve that sort of unintelligable, unrealistic verbal tripe to somebody in the believer brigade..except don’t include your 168w/sq.m wattage because you understand it doesn’t cook the Earth, but freezes it. Hot and Cold..you know?.. or have your peripheral synapses become blocked too?
            “Please demonstrate any “back” radiative flux!!” You’re already demonstrating that here.
            “…difference in radiative flux and radiance?” just cause and effect ,I would have thought.
            Have a nice day.

          • Avatar

            Pat Obar

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            Just another troll, perhaps worse than Doug Cotton, but always willing to throw wood chips into the concrete, with nary a thought.

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            Better the troll you know than the one you don’t eh? The Doug Cotton “troll” was running rings around you in any case, Patsy boy.

          • Avatar

            Squid2112

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            [quote]Any power input even a milliWatt for the whole planet. Must increase the temperature of that planet, if not allowed to exit that planet.[/quote]

            Wrong Pat. The Atmosphere Does NOT “Pile Heat” http://climateofsophistry.com/2015/01/21/atmosp
            here-not-insulation/

            It doesn’t work that way Pat.

          • Avatar

            Pat Obar

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            [quote name=”Squid2112″][quote]Any power input even a milliWatt for the whole planet. Must increase the temperature of that planet, if not allowed to exit that planet.[/quote]

            Wrong Pat. The Atmosphere Does NOT “Pile Heat” http://climateofsophistry.com/2015/01/21/atmosp
            here-not-insulation/

            It doesn’t work that way Pat.[/quote]

            Really! Who said anything of an atmosphere?
            Power either leaves somehow, or it accumulates. With no exit, How much does a years of that, 20 killoJoules raise the temperature? How about after 1000 years? just what is the temperature? Interesting, define temperature, if you can!

          • Avatar

            Squid2112

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            Pat, it doesn’t matter if it is an atmosphere or not. Heat cannot “Pile”. If you were to have read that article, and particularly the comments therein, you would understand why. One comment that I left there explains it in very simple terms, and is irrefutable.

            Heat is like a rotating bicycle wheel. The faster the wheel is turning equals the higher the temperature. In order to make that wheel turn faster, I have to exert more energy to spin it (slap my hand along the tire). If I slap the tire with less energy (lower heat) then the wheel slows (cools). It does not matter how efficient the ball bearings are, even perfectly frictionless bearings and in a vacuum I have to exert more energy to increase the speed (temperature). Slapping the tire at any energy less than the wheel transfers energy to my hand, not to the wheel. Additionally, the faster the wheel is spinning (the higher the temperature) the ever increasingly more energy it takes to increase the spin rate (temperature).

            This is exactly how the atoms work in vibrational states in terms of thermal energy. Exactly how they work. There is no amount of sophistry that can get around this extremely basic and fundamental natural law of our universe, and is precisely why a Perpetuum Mobile is impossible, and also precisely why heat cannot “pile up”, and precisely why a “radiative greenhouse effect” is also impossible in this universe.

            What I described above is exactly how the whole thermodynamics system works, and as I mentioned, is precisely why a Perpetuum Mobile is not possible. Even for a wheel, in a vacuum, with a perfect bearing, you cannot get more spin without exerting more energy. This is analogous to the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (conservation of energy). Further more, energy applied to the spin that is less than the inertia of the spin itself will only serve to transfer energy [b]away[/b] from the spin (cooling) and into the entity attempting to apply additional spin. This is analogous to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (energy always flows from warm to cold), while also maintaining the 1st Law of Thermodynamics (if you take from one side, you must also give to the other side, the very basis of mathematics itself).

          • Avatar

            Pat Obar

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            What a pile of sophistry!
            You do not define heat!
            You do not define pile!
            There is nothing about a spinning tire or slapping a tire that has anything to do with heat or temperature.

            I stated power “watts” input and unable to leave. That power “must” accumulate if it cannot leave. If that power accumulates as sensible heat in some mass the result must be an increase in temperature as per the specific heat of that mass. I never mentioned energy. Why do you? I suppose someone that can observe atoms working may have other special traits.
            What Perpetuum Mobile when is one milliwatt is continually supplied?

          • Avatar

            Mack

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            Can anybody understand what this guy Pat OBar is on about?

      • Avatar

        W.Thompson

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        Whatever arrives at the surface, you still have to deduct what is lost by sensible heat transfer and evaporative cooling – in total about 110W/m^2 according to NASA. Even the IPCC did that, adding solar radiation (168) and back radiation (342) and then deducting sensible heat to come back to 390W/m^2 which gives 288K black body temperature.

        [b]In reality you should deduct the 340 back radiation from that 390 to get a mere 50W/m^2.[/b]

        There’s a much better explanation based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics – have you ever heard of it?

        http://climate-change-theory.com

        • Avatar

          Mack

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          “have you ever heard of it” :
          Boy have we heard of it! We’ve heard of it up to our back teeth Doug. W Thompson now Doug?…what happened to A Hamilton?
          “according to NASA” :
          Haven’t you heard Doug, You and NASA have made a big mistake…all those figures of yours are wrong…get this message..1360w/sq.m at the TOA and 340w/sq.m at the surface.
          If you keep on coming back to PSI, under more fake names,with your quack heat-creep hypothesis as a substitution for this crazy “greenhouse” “backradiation” figure of 324w/sq.m, we can only conclude that you’re either not the full quid. NFQ. or just perversely stupid.

  • Avatar

    Pat Obar

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    Perhaps Dr Pierre-Marie Robitaille & Stephen J. Crothers should concentrate on the difference between a resonant cavity and a black body surface or cavity. Then they might be able to read the work of Dr. Kirchhoff and Dr. Planck in the light that were written.

    • Avatar

      Pat Obar

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      [quote name=”Pat Obar”]Perhaps Dr Pierre-Marie Robitaille & Stephen J. Crothers should concentrate on the difference between a resonant cavity and a black body surface or cavity. Then they might be able to read the work of Dr. Kirchhoff and Dr. Planck in the light that were written.[/quote]

      Neither Dr. Robitaille nor Mr. Crothers appears to defend their claim a invalidation of Kirchhoff Laws of thermal electromagnetic radiation, that they call some law of thermal emission, please let me continue.

      There are three different issues:
      1.)The Kirchhoff equality of emissivity and absorptivity for any surface at each frequency and in each direction. This is but receiving and transmitting antenna gain is equal. No one has ever demonstrated anything else.
      2.) The Kirchhoff law that at “radiative” equilibrium, the input radiative flux for any body is equal to its output radiative flux. The term “radiative equilibrium” indicates that EMR flux is the only power transfer. This means only that at equilibrium, no power is accumulated by or dispersed from that body. All radiative flux passes through that body, with only a possible change in spectral distribution. No one has ever demonstrated anything else.
      3.) The Kirchhoff theoretical concept of a black-body surface or cavity. This concept only sets up a maximum limit to the wide band thermal electromagnetic flux between a surface or cavity aperture and the surrounding environment. That such limit has been exceeded has never been demonstrated.

      All modern interpretations of Dr. Kirchhoff’s work imply some thermodynamic equilibrium.
      That work had nothing to do with thermodynamic anything, only wide band EMR, and its spontaneous generation, propagation, and absorption as a function of temperature.
      Just what is the claimed invalidation? All that seems invalidated is the invalid post modern interpretation of Dr. Kirchhoff’s work.

      • Avatar

        Mack

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        It’s called Progress in Physics. It’s called coming into the real world and not just, as in the past, assuming CO2 to be a black body radiator. It’s called lengthening the equations slightly to not neglect overlooking the emissivity of CO2 which from real spectral measurements is calculated as 0.002 and not just buried in the equations as 1.
        Opps..not exactly black..more like an off white..enough to don some shades.

  • Avatar

    Planetary Physics group

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    Planets and satellite moons are not still cooling off in their cores. The Moon’s surface gets colder than -200°C on the dark side, so that would expedite cooling from its core which is hotter than 1300°C and so that core could easily have cooled right down if the Sun’s energy were not in fact maintaining its temperature.

    Sounds crazy. doesn’t it? But the laws of physics can be used to prove it is fact that the Sun is keeping everything at existing temperatures.

    No one really knows if their cores were hotter or colder than existing temperatures at the time of formation. To be sure they were molten, but less-hot temperatures could still correspond to molten states. The point is that by now they have attained radiative balance with the Sun and will not cool (even in their cores) unless the Sun itself cools or, more precisely, unless the solar radiation that is not reflected reduces in intensity.

    It is not a coincidence that the sub-surface temperature gradients (“lapse rates” if you wish) appear to be close to the expected quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the matter, namely g/Cp. We can prove why this is the expected temperature gradient using Kinetic Theory and the Second Law of Thermodynamics as in the development here that is based on sound physics.

    Solar radiation maintains existing temperatures by the inward heat transfers by conduction and diffusion (or “free convection”) whichever is possible above and below a planet’s surface.

    Note that, in particular, the temperature gradient forms by such processes even in insulated sealed cylinders because it does not require physical movement of gases at velocities such as occur in wind of any form from a breeze to a hurricane. In fact such wind (“forced convection”) tends to level out the gradient, as happens above the South Pole.

    And that’s why Stephen Wilde is wrong in what he says, and why he can’t prove me wrong without proving the Second Law itself wrong.

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    Al Shelton

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    Now… Does this provide further proof that the Big Bang Theory is false??

  • Avatar

    Joseph A Olson

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    A recommended introduction to this excellent analysis is the one hour video from the March, 2014 presentation to the Electric Conference in New Mexico, “On the Validity of Kirchoff” by Dr Robitaille, on youtube….

    youtube.com/watch?v=3Hstum3U2zw

    “We cannot order men to see the Truth, or prohibit them from indulging in error” ~ Max Planck, 1936

    Ironic that Planck had to ‘spike’ every test with absorbing Carbon to discover a constant that was dependent on Carbon.

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