As a high school or undergraduate Physics teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching Planck’s Law, the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, and Blackbody Radiation.
This lesson plan allows students to visualize the emission spectra associated with particular temperatures, to understand how Planck’s Law can be used to plot blackbody curves of objects with different temperatures, and to learn the relationship between temperature and peak wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. The activity also introduces the topic of planetary temperatures of objects in the solar system and shows the greenhouse effect of Earth’s atmosphere.
Thus, the use of this toolkit allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Physics.
Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- 1. How can Planck’s Law be used to plot blackbody curves of objects at different temperatures?
- 2. How can the Stefan-Boltzmann Law be used to calculate the surface temperature of blackbodies?
- 3. Why does the surface temperature of Earth increase due to the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere?
About Lesson Plan
|Grade Level||High School, Undergraduate|
|Topic(s) in Discipline||• Planck’s Law, Wien’s Law
• Blackbody Radiation, Stefan-Boltzmann Law
• Relationship between Temperature and Peak Wavelength of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
• Planetary Temperatures as a function of solar energy received
• Greenhouse Effect of Earth’s Atmosphere
|Climate Topic||• Planetary Climates, Planetary Energy Balance
• The Greenhouse Effect
|Approximate Time Required||120-150 min|
|Visualization and associated activity
(~ 45 min)
|A visualization and associated activity to explain
how Planck’s Law can be used to plot blackbody curves of objects with different temperatures,
the relationship between temperature and peak wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum,
the greenhouse effect of Earth’s atmosphere.
|Classroom/ Laboratory activity
(60 – 90 min)
|A classroom/laboratory activity to understand
the energy balance of planet earth, the Stefan-Boltzmann Law,
and the solar energy flux received by planet Earth to calculate its surface temperature. This resource can be used to demonstrate the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere.
|1.Introduce the topic||
|2. Conduct an activity using an interactive visualization tool||
|3. Conduct a classroom/laboratory activity||
Use the tools and the concepts learned so far to discuss and determine answers to the following questions:
- • How can Planck’s Law be used to plot blackbody curves of objects at different temperatures?
- • How can the Stefan-Boltzmann Law be used to calculate the surface temperature of blackbodies?
- • Why does the surface temperature of Earth increase due to the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere?
The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:
- • apply Planck’s Law to plot the blackbody curve of an object at a specific temperature
- • apply the Stefan-Boltzmann Law to determine the surface temperature of a blackbody
- • calculate the surface temperature of the Earth based on the solar energy flux
- • explain the effect of the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere on the surface temperature of the Earth
|Micro-lecture (video)||A micro-lecture (video), “Our First Climate Model Naked Planet”, from David Archer, the University of Chicago: http://www.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/1090132/uiconf_id/20652192/entry_id/1_9fnkm5sc/embed/auto?|
|Micro-lecture (video)||A micro-lecture (video), “Energy Balance with a Greenhouse Atmosphere”, from David Archer, the University of Chicago: http://www.kaltura.com/index.php/extwidget/preview/partner_id/1090132/uiconf_id/20652192/entry_id/1_znqmr7tt/embed/auto?|
|Visualization||A visualization tool, “Planetary Energy Balance”, from UCAR Center for Science Education: https://scied.ucar.edu/planetary-energy-balance|
|1||Visualization, “Blackbody Spectrum”ANDAssociated Activity, “Exploring Planck’s Law”||PhET Interactive Simulations, the University of Colorado Boulder|
|2||Classroom/Laboratory Activity, “The Layer Model Approximation to the Greenhouse Effect”||David Archer, the University of Chicago|
|3||Additional Resources||American Chemical Society; David Archer, the University of Chicago; UCAR Center for Science Education|