Surface temperature of the Earth

  • Temperature Radiation
    • group Grey space capsule

      group Small Group Activity

      30 min.

      Grey space capsule
      Contemporary Challenges 2022 (4 years)

      blackbody Stefan-Boltzmann Law

      In this small group activity, students work out the steady state temperature of an object absorbing and emitting blackbody radiation.
    • group Gravitational Potential Energy

      group Small Group Activity

      60 min.

      Gravitational Potential Energy

      Mechanics Gravitational Potential Energy Zero of Potential Introductory Physics

      Students examine a plastic “surface” graph of the gravitational potential energy of an Earth-satellite system to explore the properties of gravitational potential energy for a spherically symmetric system.
    • group Gravitational Force

      group Small Group Activity

      30 min.

      Gravitational Force

      Mechanics Gravitational Force Gravitational Potential Energy Derivatives Introductory Physics

      Students examine a plastic "surface" graph of the gravitational potential energy of a Earth-satellite system to make connections between gravitational force and gravitational potential energy.
    • group Earthquake waves

      group Small Group Activity

      30 min.

      Earthquake waves
      Contemporary Challenges 2022 (4 years)

      wave equation speed of sound

      In this activity students use the known speed of earthquake waves to estimate the Young's modulus of the Earth's crust.
    • assignment Scattering

      assignment Homework

      Scattering
      Central Forces 2023 (3 years)

      Consider a very light particle of mass \(\mu\) scattering from a very heavy, stationary particle of mass \(M\). The force between the two particles is a repulsive Coulomb force \(\frac{k}{r^2}\). The impact parameter \(b\) in a scattering problem is defined to be the distance which would be the closest approach if there were no interaction (See Figure). The initial velocity (far from the scattering event) of the mass \(\mu\) is \(\vec v_0\). Answer the following questions about this situation in terms of \(k\), \(M\), \(\mu\), \(\vec v_0\), and \(b\). ()It is not necessarily wise to answer these questions in order.)

      1. What is the initial angular momentum of the system?
      2. What is the initial total energy of the system?
      3. What is the distance of closest approach \(r_{\rm{min}}\) with the interaction?
      4. Sketch the effective potential.
      5. What is the angular momentum at \(r_{\rm{min}}\)?
      6. What is the total energy of the system at \(r_{\rm{min}}\)?
      7. What is the radial component of the velocity at \(r_{\rm{min}}\)?
      8. What is the tangential component of the velocity at \(r_{\rm{min}}\)?
      9. What is the value of the effective potential at \(r_{\rm{min}}\)?
      10. For what values of the initial total energy are there bound orbits?
      11. Using your results above, write a short essay describing this type of scattering problem, at a level appropriate to share with another Paradigm student.

    • assignment Circle Vector, Version 2

      assignment Homework

      Circle Vector, Version 2
      Static Fields 2022 (5 years)

      Learn more about the geometry of \(\vert \vec{r}-\vec{r'}\vert\) in two dimensions.

      1. Make sketches of the following functions, by hand, on the same axes: \begin{align} y &= \sin x\\ y &= \sin(2+x) \end{align} Briefly describe the role that the number 2 plays in the shape of the second graph
      2. Make a sketch of the graph \begin{equation} \vert \vec{r} - \vec{a} \vert = 2 \end{equation}

        for each of the following values of \(\vec a\): \begin{align} \vec a &= \vec 0\\ \vec a &= 2 \hat x- 3 \hat y\\ \vec a &= \text{points due east and is 2 units long} \end{align}

      3. Derive a more familiar equation equivalent to \begin{equation} \vert \vec r - \vec a \vert = 2 \end{equation} for arbitrary \(\vec a\), by expanding \(\vec r\) and \(\vec a\) in rectangular coordinates. Simplify as much as possible. (Ok, ok, I know this is a terribly worded question. What do I mean by “more familiar"? What do I mean by “simplify as much as possible"? Why am I making you read my mind? Try it anyway. Real life is not full of carefully worded problems. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out a better way of wording the question that doesn't give the point away.)
      4. Write a brief description of the geometric meaning of the equation \begin{equation} \vert \vec r - \vec a \vert = 2 \end{equation}

    • computer Blackbody PhET

      computer Computer Simulation

      30 min.

      Blackbody PhET
      Contemporary Challenges 2022 (4 years)

      blackbody

      Students use a PhET to explore properties of the Planck distribution.
    • assignment Potential vs. Potential Energy

      assignment Homework

      Potential vs. Potential Energy
      Static Fields 2022 (5 years)

      In this course, two of the primary examples we will be using are the potential due to gravity and the potential due to an electric charge. Both of these forces vary like \(\frac{1}{r}\), so they will have many, many similarities. Most of the calculations we do for the one case will be true for the other. But there are some extremely important differences:

      1. Find the value of the electrostatic potential energy of a system consisting of a hydrogen nucleus and an electron separated by the Bohr radius. Find the value of the gravitational potential energy of the same two particles at the same radius. Use the same system of units in both cases. Compare and the contrast the two answers.
      2. Find the value of the electrostatic potential due to the nucleus of a hydrogen atom at the Bohr radius. Find the gravitational potential due to the nucleus at the same radius. Use the same system of units in both cases. Compare and contrast the two answers.
      3. Briefly discuss at least one other fundamental difference between electromagnetic and gravitational systems. Hint: Why are we bound to the earth gravitationally, but not electromagnetically?

    • group Black space capsule

      group Small Group Activity

      30 min.

      Black space capsule
      Contemporary Challenges 2022 (3 years)

      stefan-boltzmann blackbody radiation

      In this activity, students apply the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and the principle of energy balance in steady state to find the steady state temperature of a black object in near-Earth orbit.
    • assignment Directional Derivative

      assignment Homework

      Directional Derivative

      Gradient Sequence

      Static Fields 2022 (5 years)

      You are on a hike. The altitude nearby is described by the function \(f(x, y)= k x^{2}y\), where \(k=20 \mathrm{\frac{m}{km^3}}\) is a constant, \(x\) and \(y\) are east and north coordinates, respectively, with units of kilometers. You're standing at the spot \((3~\mathrm{km},2~\mathrm{km})\) and there is a cottage located at \((1~\mathrm{km}, 2~\mathrm{km})\). You drop your water bottle and the water spills out.

      1. Plot the function \(f(x, y)\) and also its level curves in your favorite plotting software. Include images of these graphs. Special note: If you use a computer program written by someone else, you must reference that appropriately.
      2. In which direction in space does the water flow?
      3. At the spot you're standing, what is the slope of the ground in the direction of the cottage?
      4. Does your result to part (c) make sense from the graph?

  • Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020 Calculate the temperature of the surface of the Earth on the assumption that as a black body in thermal equilibrium it reradiates as much thermal radiation as it receives from the Sun. Assume also that the surface of the Earth is a constant temperature over the day-night cycle. Use the sun's surface temperature \(T_{\odot}=5800\text{K}\); and the sun's radius \(R_{\odot}=7\times 10^{10}\text{cm}\); and the Earth-Sun distance of \(1.5\times 10^{13}\text{cm}\).