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THE STEFAN-BOLTZMANN LAW

Objective

To study the relationship between the power related by a blackbody to its temperature
To determine the Stefan-Boltzmann constant

Theory
Resistivity
The resistance of wire is given by
R=L/A

(1)

Where L = length of wire


A = cross-sectional area
= resistivity (m)
The relative resistivity is defined as the ratio of its resistivity at temperature T to its resistivity at
300K. If 300 is its temperature at 300K and R300 is it resistance at 300K, the relative resistance
can be written as
= /300

(2)

Assuming that L and A does not change, the temperature T Kelvin of a tungsten wire can be
approximated as
T = a0 + a1 + a2

(3)

Where a0 = 103.898, a1 = 214.93 and a2 = 2.9944


The Stefan-Boltzmann Law
The power radiated from a blackbody is given by,
P = AT4

(4)

Where A = cross-sectional area


T = temperature in Kelvin
= Stefan-Boltzmann constant

In this, experiment, the filament of a light bulb is assumed to behave as a blackbody. Since the
area surrounding the tungsten filament is a vacuum, the electrical power to the filament is wholly
radiated as thermal radiation.
Apparatus

Light bulb (tungsten filament, 12V), power supply (0-12V), ammeter, voltmeter, rheostat and
wires.

Method
1. The apparatus was arranged as shown in diagram below:

0 12 VDC

Bulb, 12V

A
2. Power supply then has been

set to 10 volts and the rheostat was set to the high

resistance.
3. The I and V has been recorded when the switch is closed.
4. The resistance of the rheostat then decreased to obtain the different value of I and V
5. Step 4 then has been repeated for several times

Result
No.
1.
2.
3.
4.

V
8
7
6
5

I
1.95
1.80
1.65
1.50

P
15.60
12.60
9.90
7.50

Log P
1.19
1.10
1.00
0.88

R
4.10
3.89
3.64
3.33

0.052
0.049
0.046
0.042

T
115.23
114.58
113.92
113.05

Log T
2.062
2.059
2.056
2.053

5.
6.
7.
8.

4
3
2
1

1.35
1.15
0.95
0.70

5.40
3.45
1.90
0.70

0.73
0.54
0.28
-0.15

2.96
2.61
2.10
1.43

0.037
0.033
0.026
0.018

111.96
111.09
109.56
107.82

2.049
2.046
2.039
2.033

Calculations
P = VI
1. P = 8 x 1.95
P = 15.60
2. P = 7 x 1.80
P = 12.60
3. P = 6 x 1.65
P = 9.90
4. P = 5 x 1.50
P = 7.50
5. P = 4 x 1.35
P = 5.40
6. P = 3 x 1.15
P = 3.45
7. P = 2 x 0.95
P = 1.90
8. P = 1 x 0.70
P = 0.70

R = V/I

= R/R300 (R300 = 79.422)

1. R = (8)/(1.95)
R = 4.10
2. R = (7)/(1.80)
R = 3.89
3. R = (6)/(1.65)
R = 3.64
4. R = (5)/(1.50)
R = 3.33
5. R = (4)/(1.35)
R = 2.96
6. R = (3)/(1.15)
R = 2.61
7. R = (2)/(0.95)
R = 2.10
8. R = (1)/(0.70)
R = 1.43

T = a0 + a1 + a2
(Where a0 = 103.898, a1 = 214.93 and a2 = 2.9944)
1. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.052)] + [(2.9944)(0.052)]
T = 115.23
2. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.049)] + [(2.9944)(0.049)]
T = 114.58
3. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.046)] + [(2.9944)(0.046)]
T = 113.92
4. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.042)] + [(2.9944)(0.042)]
T = 113.05
5. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.037)] + [(2.9944)(0.037)]
T = 111.96
6. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.033)] + [(2.9944)(0.033)]
T = 111.09
7. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.026)] + [(2.9944)(0.026)]
T = 109.56
8. T = 103.898 + [(214.93)(0.018)] + [(2.9944)(0.018)]

1. = (4.10)/(79.422)
= 0.052
2. = (3.89)/(79.422)
= 0.049
3. = (3.64)/(79.422)
= 0.046
4. = (3.33)/(79.422)
= 0.042
5. = (2.96)/(79.422)
= 0.037
6. = (2.61)/(79.422)
= 0.033
7. = (2.10)/(79.422)
= 0.026
8. = (1.43)/(79.422)
= 0.018

T = 107.82

Analysis
3. Gradient graph log P versus Log T
y = 1.18 0.2
= 0.98
x = 2.0575 2.0394
= 0.0181
=

0.98
0.0181

= 54.14
4. Area of circle = r2
= (0.0002)2
= 1.257 x 10-7 m2
Area of filament = (1.257 x 10-7) x 0.03

= 3.77 x 10-9m2
5.

P = AT4
1.90 = (3.77 x 10-9)(109.56)
= 4.60 x 10-6 w/m2K4

Discussion
The relationship between power radiated by blackbody radiation to temperature was
clearly seen by conducting this experiment. This experiment has been conducting by using a
regular 12V light bulb with its filament as the radiating body. The temperature of the filament
can be varied from room temperature (when no current flows through it).The power radiating
from the filament (P) may be determined from the electrical power input to the lamp bulb, which
is simply the product of the current through it (I) and the voltage across it (V).
The result of the experiment can be seen by the graph plotted which Power, P versus
Temperature, T. From the graph it is clearly shown when temperature are increases the power
also increases. The shape of the graph is J-shape graph, which is exponential increases. From the
Log P versus Log T graph it is clearly seen the graph is in linear shape. The gradient of the graph
is 54.14 .

During this experiment, the precautions step that has been taken are to make sure all the
apparatus equipment such as connecting wire, power supply, bulb and rheostat are in good
conditions. We have try to avoid from choosing any broken or damage equipment that will effect

on our result to become not accurate. Others, when taking the voltmeter and ammeter reading
our eyes should be perpendicularly position to the reading the scale to avoid any parallax error
occurs. The ammeter and voltmeter also has been calibrated to the zero point of the instrument to
ensure there is no systematic errors.

Conclusion
In conclusion, the main objective which to study the relationship between the power radiated by
a blackbody to its temperature and to determine the Stefan Boltzmann constant are achieved. The
results of the experiment are accepted by comparing to the theory.