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I Temperature range

  1. May 2, 2016 #1
    Is there a formula or equation to find out how heated a place x meters/kilometers from a heat source will be, if we have the size of the heat source, it's shape, it's surface temperature, it's inner temperature, everything? + the distance between source of heat and the specific location is vacuum, or simply low atmospheric contents.

    Wrong topic... if a mod can switch to general physics that would be good.
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2016 #2


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    There is no one simple formula covering all situations but certainly useful calculations relating to heat can be done using mathematical methods .

    Did you have a specific problem in mind ?
  4. May 2, 2016 #3
    I try to learn from these forums so I ask how it's done, instead of asking people to do them for me -- but since you're asking about my specific problem, I could reveal it. I believe that theoretical physics can be a good way to determine truth of an idea or hypothesis. So I browse the internet more than I should and come across strange places. I have been to the flat earth community but I dismantled their theory quite quickly by asking them how they can explain lunar eclipses, and they could not. Then I came across others which I also quickly proved wrong not using physics but logic and thinking. But the one I'm at right now is claiming that the sun is merely a thousand kilometers above the surface of the earth and is a small half sphere of electrical, sulphur lamp -- which I plan to prove wrong using physics and check that it can't work by calculations.

    Hence the reason I'm here asking this question, still in high school with lacking physics knowledge to figure it out myself.
  5. May 2, 2016 #4


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    A problem that you will quickly run into is that the radiated power from a surface scales inversely with the square of the distance to the surface and directly with the square of the size of the surface. That means that (for a particular fixed temperature), the heat received will depend only on the apparent size of the surface as seen by the target. Give a half-sphere one thousand miles away the same temperature as the surface of the sun and the same angular diameter as the sun and it will provide the same illumination and the same heat as the sun.

    This forum is not an appropriate place to debunk third party claims that go counter to established science. Let me leave it at that.
  6. May 2, 2016 #5
    Thank you for the explanation -- Regarding your last statement, I certainly feel your worry about people talking 'flat earth stuff' and other topics on a science forum, but I'm not an advocate of it, I'm simply asking how through science, one can refute such ideas.

    I certainly feel that loons should be locked out of scientific forums, and I certainly hope no flat earther starts a stirr here, but moving from my emotional opinion to the rational one, I don't see how asking physics questions on a science forum can be wrong in any way, because science is about inquiry and asking questions, to make this a taboo would be positively anti-scientific and stop our intellectual growth and advancement.
  7. May 3, 2016 #6


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    If the sun is a hemisphere that close to us it would appear spherical only at local noon at specific Latitudes. Every place else would see an edge of the hemisphere. Draw a sketch, to scale, to make it obvious.
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