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The story of the blackbody radiation and the ultraviolet catastrophe which eventually led to quantum mechanics.
Blackbody radiation refers to an object or system which absorbs all radiation incident upon it and re-radiates energy which is characteristic of this radiating system.
A good introductory page to this topic.
In order to explain the frequency distribution of radiation from a hot cavity (blackbody radiation) Planck proposed the ad hoc assumption that the radiant energy could exist only in discrete quanta ...