I know that thermally excited materials "act as atomic oscillators" which can oscillate in a continuous range of frequencies, producing light in said frequencies. But in my searches, the nature of the oscillators isn't clear.
Are these quantum harmonic oscillators (i.e. each atom is a quantum oscillator)? If so, how is the frequency distribution continuous? And why is the energy of quantum oscillation related at all to the thermal energy distribution (Boltzmann distribution)?
In summary, what's the exact mechanism by which blackbody radiation is produced?
side question: I've read about the Bose-Einstein distribution for the blackbody spectrum, but don't understand much. How does that fit in here?