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PhET simulation Blackbody Spectrum Purpose To understand the Blackbody radiation graph Materials A computer with access to the internet a calculator and a physics text Background Everything emits Electromagnetic EM radiation The sun does operating incandescent lights do We do Stand near an athlete who has been working out for an hour You can feel the EM radiation heat being given off by the athlete Buildings do Stand near a brick building s west wall just after sunset You can feel the EM radiation being given off Anything at a higher temperature than its surroundings gives off EM radiation The amount of power liberated in the form of EM radiation depends on the object s temperature in Kelvin and its size in m2 As you will find out the wavelength of the EM radiation is related to temperature It has been found that the total power of the EM radiation being emitted by an object is proportional to T4 the fourth power of the object s temperature in Kelvin This EM heat radiation under investigation in this simulation should not be confused with an object s color due to reflection An apple at room temperature appears red because it absorbs all the spectral colors of the white light illuminating it except for red The heating coils in an operating toaster are red because they are at a high temperature At room temperature they are grey A blackbody when illuminated by white light absorbs all the ROYGBIV spectral colors The same black body illuminated by an infrared source may not absorb all infrared wavelengths The electromagnetic energy absorbed by a blackbody is radiated back out at different wavelengths Procedure questions 1 2 3 4 5 Access the PhET web site Click on Simulations From the left hand menu pick Light and Radiation Choose Blackbody Spectrum from the choices to the right Investigate the things that can be changed What physics did you confirm or learn from your investigation 6 Go back to the Light and Radiation screen Choose Blackbody Spectrum again This should

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