The temperature-dependant emission of electromagnetic waves. Combine this tag with [tag:thermodynamics] for a macroscopic view or [tag:quantum-mechanics] for a microscopic explanation.

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Heat Transfer From a Spaceship in Deep Space

Space is a very low temperature environment, however it also has an extremely small number of particles per unit volume. This leads me to believe that, contrary to popular portrayals of heat loss in ...
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Why stars are white? According to Rayleigh Scattering

According to Rayleigh Scattering, the red waves are capable of travelling a long distance, so that only we are seeing the Sun as reddish during Sunset and Sunrise. If this was true then all other ...
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How did Planck derive his formula $E=hf$?

Some time ago I asked my quantum physics lecturer the question: How did Planck derive his formula, the Planck–Einstein relation $$E=hf$$ with constant of proportionality $h$, the Planck ...
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Ideally black plates

Let's consider $m$ ideally black, thin, infinite plates. Let $T_i$ be the temperature of the $i$-th plate. For given $T_1 > T_m$, why is the radiant flux between any two adjacent plates the same ...
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91 views

What are the units of color matching functions?

In some computer vision book I read lately, the color matching function is invoked without clear definition of its units. I suspect the color matching functions are spectral irradiance or spectral ...
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Why is pale coloured skin said to absorb more UV?

Many resources state that light skin/pale skin absorbs more UV than dark-colour skin. Doesn't black absorb maximum radiation? For an example, see this article: Natural selection therefore ...
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576 views

Blackbody radiation and emissive power

According to blackbody radiation theory, and thanks to Planck, we now know that there is a energy density, $u(\lambda,T)$ [$J/m^3$], associated with a certain wavelength at a particular temperature. ...
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Is shape of a black body much of a concern in physics?

When I read a book on computer vision, I stumble upon the ideal black body model. Using Lambert's cosine law (wiki), one is able to compute the intensity of an area element dA w.r.t. some observer. ...
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Does tin foil keep heat out?

For example, if i were mailing a box of chocolates and lined the inside of the box with foil, then wrapped the chocolate in bubble wrap and placed it inside the foil lined box, would the box heat up ...
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What exactly is fire? [duplicate]

What is fire? Is it a wave or is it matter? Where does fire come from? Does everything burn with fire? (for example: water and some metals don't burn).
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Relationship between temperature and wavelength?

I am investigating the relationship between wavelength and temperature. As seen the figure below of Planks law What is the relationship between the lambda(max) and Temperature? or in simpler ...
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What happens to a body, initially at 300K, kept in isolated space? Will it's temperature drop to 0k?

With regards to Thermal Radiation, given a stable body initially at 300 Kelvin placed in isolation, after continuous Thermal Radiation will it's temperature gradually reduce to 0 kelvin asymptotically?...
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Does radiating heat to outer space through the atmospheric transparency window have any impact on heat loss?

I was reading this article: Passive radiative cooling below ambient air temperature under direct sunlight The authors are improving upon the age-old idea of reflecting incoming sunlight while ...
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Why is black the best emitter?

Why are emitters colored black better emitters than other colors? Why is white a worse emitter?
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What would it be like “inside” a star?

This question was triggered by a discussion regarding the computer game Elite: Dangerous, where spaceships routinely operate in close proximity to stars (two or three light seconds away), at which ...
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4answers
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I don't understand why a cavity with a hole is a black body [duplicate]

It makes no sense to me that a cavity with a hole is identical to a black body. Sure, the cavity will probably be a near perfect absorber, but I don’t see how it will be a perfect emitter as well. ...
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77 views

Minimum wavelength in black body radiation

Is there a minimum wavelength in a black body's radiation? If yes, is there a formula to calculate it? In this image from Wikipedia, it does seem that the curve is touching the x-axis rather than ...
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1answer
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2 level atomic system interacting with Black body radiation. Relaxation time issue

I am studying the transient regime of a 2 level atomic system ($N_1,N_2$) interacting with a blackbody radiation from a source at constant temperature $T_{nr}$. The initial state of the atomic system ...
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Why are stars white?

That is may be a easy question, but I am not a professional. The sun is a star and when I look at the sun is usually yellow. Why stars in the night are white? I suppose is for the distance. What is ...
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Why the CMB has not been dispersed so far?

Imagine you have a box of black body radiation. What happens if you open the box for a long time? It becomes dispersed and no radiation remains in the box. Now, apply this example to the Cosmic ...
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Optimizing surface geometry for thermal radiation

I'm working on vacuum technology for a scientific project and one of the challenges is to optimize the cooling of 2500°C metals in vacuum. I'm wondering if it would be useful to design a grating on ...
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Do green stars exists?

I asked a university lecturer why we don't observe green stars, and he said the blackbody curve averages at that frequency such that the cones in our eyes don't recognise it. I have a hunch that ...
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2answers
236 views

Average surface temperature of Earth [duplicate]

I had a question in my school exam. Will the average surface temperature of the Earth be lower or higher, if there was no atmosphere? Now, the answer expected is "The avg temp will be lower, because ...
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794 views

How is a blackbody spectrum formed in the Sun?

Sunlight can be treated as BB radiation. Why is it a continuous spectrum while the sun contains only a few elements and the radiation from the jumps between atomic levels are discrete? How does the ...
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How does the concept of a “black body” make any sense?

In my introductory chemistry class, we are learning about the basics of quantum mechanics. We were introduced to the concept of emission and absorption spectra. Our textbook describes how electrons ...
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If a black body is a perfect absorber, why does it emit anything?

I'm trying to start understanding quantum mechanics, and the first thing I've come across that needs to be understood are black bodies. But I've hit a roadblock at the very first paragraphs. :( ...
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1answer
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Prove Blackbody spectrum is independent of its composition [closed]

I got this question from a Text Book, I am not sure if StackExchange is the right place for debating answers, because I already have an answer but I am not sure about it: Consider two cavities of ...
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What kind of thing did Lummer and Wien use as a 'black body'?

When I was reading about the experiments on the black body, I was wondering what such a black body would look like. When I google for the black body used during these experiments by Wien and Lummer, I ...
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What does a hot, optically thin gas *look* like?

In another question I tried to answer what a sample of the Sun's photosphere or core would look like, if it could be brought into the lab. Here is a broader question - if I have a small inert ...
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Is frequency quantized in the black body spectrum?

I'm aware that there're some questions posted here with respect to this subject on this site, but I still want to make sure, is frequency quantized? Do very fine discontinuities exist in a continuous ...
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The strange thing about the maximum in Planck's law

I read that it makes a difference whether you calculate $\frac{dE(\lambda) }{d \lambda}=0$ or $\frac{dE(\omega)}{d \omega}=0$ in the sense that the maximum energy density with respect to the ...
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How do you estimate colour temperature based on the position of the sun in the sky?

I'd like to estimate the colour-temperature of sunlight (as applied in photography) based on the position of the sun in the sky for a mobile phone app I'm working on (app link from a more appropriate ...
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1answer
66k views

Why does NASA use gold foil on equipment and gold-coated visors?

I've read several websites about equipment covered with gold foil and astronaut helmet visors are coated with gold. However, their explanations are devoid of almost all physics content. Can someone ...
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1answer
250 views

What is thermal radiation? How does it move through space?

Assume that by some mysterious(at the lack of a better word) way I was able to make a bonfire on the moon and was able to sit next to it without a space suit. I will not be able to feel the heat form ...
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How does gas pressure increase the lifespan of Halogen tungsten lamps in the Halogen Cycle?

I am curious about this passage "Since quartz is very strong, the gas pressure can be higher,[5] which reduces the rate of evaporation of the filament, permitting it to run a higher temperature (and ...
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1answer
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When I'm in a warm room how much of the warmth I feel is due to radiation from surfaces?

Say I'm in a room heated to 23C, once the temperature is in balance all the objects will also be 23C and radiating heat towards me. How much of the warmth I feel is due to this radiation, and how much ...
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1answer
141 views

Blackbody radiation in thermally inhomogeneous environment

The power radiated by the backbody is according to Stefan-Boltzmann law $$ P = \sigma \varepsilon A (T^4-T_{env}^{4} ).$$ Is the parameter $T_{env}$ supposed to be only the temperature in the near ...
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152 views

Does the color of clothes (especially underwar) define their perceived “warmth”?

Does white underwear keep you warm more or less than similar pieces of black color? IMHO, white color would more "reflect" back the existing temperature of the human body. However, black would "...
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How does temperature in a solid sphere change with time when moving through a gas?

I'm interested in the following problem: There is a solid sphere with radius $r$ and mass $m$ at temperature $T_{s0}$. It is moving at velocity $v_s$ through a gas of temperature $T_g$. How does the ...
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Chemical Potential and Blackbody Radiation

What is the physical significance of the fact that the chemical potential of the photons in a box of volume V is zero ?
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Is a suit that hides a soldier's heat signature fundamentally possible?

I recently played "Crysis", a game where the protagonist wears a suit that allows the player to hide both himself and his heat signature. Then I watched Iron Man 3, where a kid suggests that Tony ...
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black body simulation

black body radiation is typically understood from Planck's argument of light resonance in a box, from which the density of states is computed. Now, suppose I want to simulate a black body ...