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BLACK BODY RADIATION:

Definition:A black body is an ideal system which can absorb and


emit all type of radiations.
Explanation:Black body absorbs all the radiations falling on it and
at

suitable

temperature

this

body

reemits

these

radiations.
Radiation emitted by a hot body due to its temperature is
called thermal radiation. Examples are hot bodies such as sun,
incandescent electric bulbs, and charcoal fire etc. all these are
emitting radiation but they are not black bodies.
An ideal black body does not exist but a good
approximation to a black body is a heat resisting material
containing a cavity with a small hole called cavity radiator.
Cavity Radiator:It consists of a hollow cavity having small opening at
one end. Its inner walls are made rough and coated with lamp
black or some good absorber.
The inner surface is made rough to avoid the regular reflection of
light. The radiations are allowed to enter cavity through small
opening.

These

radiations

undergo

completely absorbed inside the cavity.

irregular

reflection

and

This body tries to bring itself in thermal equilibrium


with surrounding by emitting these radiations. These radiates are
called black body radiations and such body is called black body.
The intensity of the emitted energy for each wavelength radiated
by a hot body at different temperatures is measured by the
apparatus shown in the figure.
The spectral distribution for non black heated solids is very
similar to that of a black body.
The difference between the normal hot body and
perfect black body is that energy emitted by the former depends
on the temperature as well as nature of the body, where as the
radiation emitted by the later depends only on the absolute
temperature T. More over the radiation emission and absorption
properties of a material which is not black can be deduced from
that of a black body.
The spectrum of thermal radiation obtained from a
black body at various temperatures is shown in the fig.

The following results are obtained from this spectrum:

The radiation from the cavity interior is

always more intense than the radiation from the outside wall.
This means that the radiations are mainly present in the interior

and therefore the black body cavity is the best absorber and also
the best radiator.

The radiations are distributed in a wide

range in a continuous manner. This distribution changes with


temperature. Only a small fraction of the emitted radiation has
a wavelength in the visible range. Most is the infrared range.

At each temperature T, the energy radiated

is maximum for a certain wavelength

max

. As the temperature

rises, this radiation maximum shifts towards shorter wavelength.


The shift obeys Wiens displacement law i.e.

max

x T = Constant

( = 2.90 x 10-3 mK.)

The amount of energy of all wavelengths

radiated per unit area is proportional to the forth power of the


absolute temperature of the black body. i.e. E =
= 5.67 x 10-8 watt/ m2 K4.

T4. Where