From purely thermodynamic reasoning, Wien arrived at the relation

where *e*_{λ} is the monochromatic emissive power of a black body within the wavelength range *λ* to *λ + dλ* and at absolute temperature *T*.

Wien arrived at the following relation

on certain arbitrary assumptions; these assumptions are as follows:

- The radiation was produced by oscillators of atomic dimensions.
- The frequency of the emitted waves was proportional to the kinetic energy of the oscillators.
- The intensity in any particular wavelength range was proportional to the number of oscillators ...

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