Earth and Space Science
posted by Missthang .
Hi everyone! I am having the darndest time figuring out the answer to a test question and am wondering if anyone can shed some light and help me out. Here is the question:
The temperature (the average kinetic energy of the molecules) of a star is evidenced by its color (its stage of life). For example, red giants are cooler than yellow stars, which are, in turn, cooler than bluishwhite stars. Reconcile this fact with what you already know about the ordering of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum (ROYGBIV). Based on this result, propose a very simple mathematical equation describing the relation between the energy and frequency of electromagnetic radiation.
Thanks everyone for any help!
The average amount of radiation emitted by a star or a blackbody per unit area is given by the Wien displacement law:
(wavelength)*(temperature) = [c/(frequency)]*(temperature) = constant
Therefore
frequency = constant' * temperature
or
frequency = constant'' * (average energy of stellar surface molecules)
(The values f the three constants are different)
Note that this is similar to the Planck relation
E = h*f
(Photon energy) = (constant)*(frequency)
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