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  Much of the light you see comes from atoms and


Much of the light you see comes from atoms and molecules which are so hot they vibrate and collide with high energy motion. Every time an atom changes the direction it is moving, the acceleration of electrons at the exterior of the atom causes light to be emitted. Objects, at temperatures like the surface of the sun, emit a great deal of light in the visible part of the spectrum.

Blackbody Image.png

The image above displays the Blackbody radiation curves for several objects at different temperatures from 7000K to 3000K.  The peak of each curve represents the most common wavelength of light emitted by the object (i.e. peak wavelength).  Wein’s Law provides us with a formula for finding this peak wavelength when we know the temperature of the object.


In this case study, you are going to use the simulator at the link below to examine the blackbody curve of several objects.  You will determine the peak wavelength of each object, then calculate the frequency of this radiation using the speed of light formula:


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