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Need help understanding black body radiation

  1. Jan 28, 2005 #1
    New to this message board (and very happy to have found it).

    I am reading a book on cosmology by Steven Weinberg... I am having a terrible time understanding what exactly black body radiation is. Could someone please describe it in the most accesible terms? Also, if you would please explain the relevance of it to Big Bang cosmology...
    Thank you very much!!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2005 #2


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    You mean THE BOOK BY STEVEN WEINBERG.In simpl terms "black body radiation" is EQUILIBRIUM ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION at temperature T which is found in closed volume V (a box).

    This the oversimplified picture.

  4. Jan 28, 2005 #3


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    From an engineering standpoint, a black body is a body that perfectly radiates energy, i.e. heat. Real bodies do not radiate perfectly and are thus corrected by a term call emissivity.
  5. Jan 28, 2005 #4
    Let's see if I'm catching on.
    A piece of iron heated to a very high temperature so that it would start to glow (giving off whitish/blue'ish light) would be an example of a blackbody. It doesn't reflect light that would shine upon it, but it does emit the heat that it absorbs.
    If that piece of iron was a closed system that doesn't take in any more heat (from the outside of that closed system) and doesn't lose anymore heat (to the outside of that closed system) its temperature should remain constant.
    But if the volume of that piece of iron were to expand the temperature would drop.
  6. Jan 31, 2005 #5
    Don't mean to do this ^^^
    But is my previous post close to being correct?
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