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Teaching Planck’s Law and Blackbody Radiation through Climate-related Examples


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 StefanBoltzmann 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.

Learning Outcome

The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:

  1. Apply Planck’s Law to plot the blackbody curve of an object at a specific temperature
  2. Apply the Stefan-Boltzmann Law to determine the surface temperature of a blackbody
  3. Calculate the surface temperature of the Earth based on the solar energy flux
  4. Explain the effect of the greenhouse effect of the Earth’s atmosphere on the surface temperature of the Earth


Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s),apart from 4 and 13


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