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Steady state ensembles of thermal radiation in a layered media with a constant heat flux


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This paper describes steady-state ensembles of thermally excited electromagnetic radiation in nano-scale layered media with a constant non-vanishing heat flux across the layers. It is shown that Planck's law of thermal radiation, the principle of equivalence, and the laws of wave propagation in layered media, imply that in order for the ensemble of thermally excited electromagnetic fields to exist in a medium consisting of a stack of layers between two half-space, the net heat flux across the layers must exceed a certain threshold that is determined by the temperatures of the half spaces and by the reflective properties of the entire structure. The obtained results provide a way for estimating the radiative heat transfer coefficient of nano-scale layered structures.