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I Question about thermal radiation

  1. Jul 30, 2018 #1
    Hello everybody,

    I have a question about thermal radiation:
    Imagine a body at a certain temperature T, in an environment with nothing around it. Theoretically, this body emits radiation according to its temperature (the maximum radiation is described by the Wien relation); If it emits, it must be losing energy in that process.
    1) Does this body actually lose energy through this emission?
    2) If so, to what extent does it lose energy? Will its temperature tend towards absolute zero?

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2018 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The answer to both questions is yes.

    Radiation is one of the three principal means of heat transfer.
  4. Jul 31, 2018 #3


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    Science Advisor

    But it will only reach absolute zero under the conditions you described: ”with nothing around it”. (At least , I think it would).

    In any real world conditions, it will only lose energy until it reaches equilibrium with its surroundings. And, since it cannot be in an environment where the ambiant temperature is absolute zero, it cannot reach that temperature.
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