Planck Radiation Laws: Excel; Mac or PC
This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
- Planck Radiation Law
- Wien's Law
- Stefan-Boltzman Law
- Blackbody Spectrum
- Observed solar vs. spectral irradiance from Planck Radiation Law
- Estimate solar temperature
Context for Use
The Excel Workbook XLPlanck (Excel 622kB Apr3 04) contains 6 sheets:
- A suggested student activity/questions sheet
- Two independent sets of solar spectral irradiance data
- Planck Radiation Law with scale for clear graphs of T=100K to 1000K
- Planck Radiation Law with scale for clear graphs of T=1000K to 10000K
- Students can use the above two sheets to see how spectral irradiance depends on temperature, and to clearly see the connection between Planck's Radiation law, and the Stefan-Boltzman and Wein Radiation laws.
- Graphs of Planck Model and top of atmosphere spectral irradiance (old). Students can change the solar temperature to get the best fit of model to observations.
- Graphs of Planck Model and top of atmosphere spectral irradiance (new) (more info) . Students can change the solar temperature to get the best fit of model to observations.
Teaching Notes and Tips
- Student interactive activity for lab or homework
- Introducing concepts and ideas in an interactive lecture
- Making transparencies or power point slides
- Checking student results
The Excel activity take about 2 hrs to work through. Students more familiar with Excel can do it more quickly. It is assumed that students have some previous experience with the Excel environment.
Using the JAVA applets in the resources section below in either an interactive lecture or interactive student-centered learning experience may prove useful.
Completion of the activity is one measure of student success.
The figure is from the sunII sheet of the XLPlanck workbook after the Planck model temperature has been adjusted to fit the observed spectral irradiance values. (click image to enlarge)
References and Resources
The Planck Radiation Law (more info) site introduces Planck's model equation for the spectral irradiance of a black-body radiator and the connection between the Planck Radiation Law, and the Stefan-Boltzman and Wein radiation laws. This site has connections to three on-line interactive JAVA Applets:
- Planck Radiation Law;
- Wien's Law, Stefan-Boltzmann Law, and Color Indices;
- BlackBody: The Game!;
The JAVA Applet BlackBody is great for interactive lectures or student use as it surperimposes the visible spectrum on the Planck radiation curve. Care must be taken when using JAVA Applets in that they may not work on all browsers.
Resources on getting started with Excel are available HERE.