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Homework Help: Relationship of temperature and radius.

  1. Jan 24, 2006 #1
    Here's the question,

    Initially, a main sequence star has a surface temperature of 25000 K and a radius 10 times that of the sun. Its temperature drop to 5000 K as it becomes a supergiant. What is its radius in term of solar radii?
    a) 25
    b) 50
    c) 100
    d) 250
    e) 500

    Well, I tried to do it using luminosity , L=4πR²σT⁴. Since the luminosity is not given, i use the Morgan-Keenan spectral classification to get the luminosity of the star at each phase, thats is at temperature of 25000 K has luminosity of 20,000 and for 5000 K has luminosity of 0.4. I got my final answer as 1.18 solar radius, which mean my answer is wrong. How should i approach the problem? and is that the spectral classification is only for main star sequence? and my friend use the relationship of temperature^4 is inversely proportional to 1/(radius)^2 and he got the answer for 250. BUt doesnt that mean that the luminosity is the same, is this true?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    If the total energy output is considered the same, then one can establish an equivalence, much like your friend did.

    r12*T14 = r22*T24

    or r1*T12 = r2*T22

    or r2 = r1*(T1/T2)2

    So what does this say about the luminosities?
  4. Jan 25, 2006 #3
    I see.... so the luminosities in that two phases are the same.

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