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Experiment No.

2
Inverse Square Law for Heat and Stefan-Boltzmann Law
I.

Objectives
1. To show that the intensity of radiation on the surface is inversely proportional to the
square of the distance of the surface from the radiation source.
2. To show that the intensity of radiation varies as the fourth power of the source
temperature.

II.

Materials/Equipments Needed
1. Thermal Radiation Unit

III.

Equipment Set Up

IV.

Theory
Inverse Square Law for Heat
The total energy dQ from an element dA can be imagined to flow through a
hemisphere of radius r. a surface element on this hemisphere dA 1 lies on a line
making an angle with the normal and the solid angle subtended by dA 1 at dA is d1 =
dA1/r2. (Note: Solid angle which is by definition the intercepted area on a sphere
divided by r2).

If the rate of flow through dA1 is dQ1 then dQ1 = i1 dA where iis the intensity of
radiation in the direction i.e., dQ1 1/ r2.
Stefan-Boltzmann Law
The Stefan-Boltzmann law states that:
q b= ( T 4ST 4A )
Where:
qb = energy emitted by unit area of a black body surface (Wm-2)
= Stefan-Boltzmann constants (5.67 x 10-8 W m-2K4)
Ts = Source temperature (K)
TA = Temperature of radiometer and surroundings (K)

Incident Radiation and Emitted Radiation


The digital meter indicates the intensity of the radiation received by the radiometer
(in W/m2) and not the radiation emitted by the heated surface at which it is pointed.
Though beyond the scope of this manual it can be shown that the relationship
between radiation received by the sensor and radiation emitted by the heated source is
as follows:

Hence as the sensor is removed from the heated surface and L increased the angle 9
decreases.

The model is exact for a black circular emitter and receiver. As it is not possible to
utilize circular places due to the shape of the heater available an approximation is
made to the effective diameter of a circular plate that would be equivalent to the
rectangular plates supplied. This diameter is 126mm and hence r = 63mm.

v2
v 2 + L2

For the diagram

sin 2 =

Hence

qincident =qemitted

v2
2
2
v +L

0.063
0.0632 + L2

qincident =qemitted

)
2

Or
Radiometer Reading

W
0.0632
=q

emitted
m2
0.063 2+ L2

W
0.063 2+ L2

m2
0.0632

( )

Or
q emitted =Radiometer Reading

( )(

Note that the sensor surface is 65mm from the centre line of the radiometer mounting
rod. Hence for the position of the radiometer sensor 65mm must be subtracted from
the marked centre of the detector stand.
V.

Procedure
A. Inverse Square Law for Heat
1. Set power control to wide position and follow approximately 15 minutes for
the heater to reach a stable temperature before beginning the experiment.
2. Record the radiometer reading (R) and the distance from the heat source (X)
for a number of positions of the radiometer along horizontal track. It will take

approximately 2 minutes for the radiometer to stabilize after being moved to


each new position.

Initial Values of Variables to be Used


Distance from the heat source (X) = 800 mm. note that radiometer sensor surface
is 65mm from the center line of detector carriage and therefore center line
position will be 865 mm.
B. Stefan-Boltzmann Law
1. Set power control to maximum on the instrument console.
2. Record the radiometer reading (R) and the temperature (T) at ambient
conditions then for selected increments of increasing temperature up to
maximum within a practical range. Both readings should be noted
simultaneously at any given point. It is recommended that while waiting for
the black plate temperature to stabilize between each increase of the heater
power control the reflective disc is placed in the radiometer aperture to
prevent heating effects and zero drifts.

Initial Values of Variables to be Used


Distance from radiometer to black plate (X)
Distance from black plate to heat source (Y) = 50 mm

200

mm

VI.

Results and Discussion

A. Inverse Square Law of Heat

B. Stefan-Boltzmann Law

Readings

Calculations

Temp
Reading
(T)

Radiometer
Reading
(R)

Ts

TA

Qb = 11.07*R

Qb = (Ts4 - TA4)

W/m2

W/m2

W/m2

56

20

329.15

300.15

221.4

205.34

58

21

331.15

300.15

232.47

221.67

68

27

341.15

300.15

298.89

307.84

84

41

357.15

300.15

453.87

462.38

89

46

362.15

300.15

509.22

515.14

103

57

376.15

300.15

630.99

674.94

133

90

406.15

300.15

996.3

1082.76

VII.

Conclusion
The inverse square law is important as it gives a measure of how the intensity of
radiation falls off with distance from a source. This has implications for the storage
and use of radioactive sources. A point source of gamma rays emits in all directions
about the source. It follows that the intensity of the gamma rays decreases with
distance from the source because the rays are spread over greater areas as the distance
increases.
Any object at elevated temperature gives off light known as thermal radiation. The
hotter an object gets the more light it emits. As the temperature of the object increase,
it emits most of its light at higher and higher energies. As one moves further from the
source, the emitted particles are dispersed and are therefore less likely to strike the
radiation measurement device. Since the area over which the emissions are dispersed
is that of an expanding sphere about the source, the radiation intensity follows the
inverse square law as one move away from the source

VIII.

References

http://www.s-cool.co.uk/a-level/physics/radioactive-decay-equations/revise-it/inverse-squarelaw-and-radiation

Appendices
Appendix A: Experimental Data
A. Inverse Square Law of Heat
Distance, X (mm)

100

Radiometer Reading, R (W/m2)

B. Stefan-Boltzmann Law

Temperature Reading (C)


Radiometer Reading, R (W/m2)
TA (K)

Appendix B: Sample Computation


A. Inverse Square Law for Heat
-

Log-Log Plot

Log (Distance, X (mm))


Log (Radiometer Reading, R (W/m2))
B. Stefan-Boltzmann Law
Appendix C: Attendance Sheet