1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Skin temperature increase due to radiation absorption

  1. Feb 9, 2017 #1

    I am trying to figure out how much the human skin temperature would increase when the skin is illuminated by radiation of a certain intensity (W/m^2). We can assume that the skin has an emissivity and absorptivity both equal to 1. For instance, imagine the skin illuminated by the sun (I= 1000W/m^2) or by another radiation source..
    We know the initial temperature of the skin and the intensity of the incident radiation.

    What equation would I use?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2017 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You have poked on the Intermediate Level.
    Are you familiar with the Stefan-Boltzmann law?
    Prad = σ T4
  4. Feb 9, 2017 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Interesting question.
    I worked out a similar problem for a black rock about 6 months ago. Unfortunately, I can't remember how I did it, nor do I know whether or not my answer was correct.

    I would recommend looking at the wiki entry on "Black-body radiation", subsection "Human body emission".
    It may not give you the answer, but it has a couple of equations that will get you started:
    Pnet = Pemit - Pabsorb
    Pnet = Aσε(T4 - T04)

    A is body surface area
    T is body surface temperature
    ε is body emissivity
    T0 is the ambient temperature
    σ is the Stefan–Boltzmann constant​

    Of course, your problem is a bit more complicated, as rocks don't sweat.
  5. Feb 13, 2017 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The heat that the skin absorbs is continuously being transferred away with the blood flow through the capillary veins in the skin, so this can't be calculated as a simple radiative transfer problem.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted