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Assignment 2: Due March 24, 2016

1. If Planck said that E = h, but Einstein argued that for an object at rest that E = mc2 ?
Show that the effective mass of a photon at visible wavelengths of, say, 0.5 m (green) is
order 10 36 kg?
From the notes
E = me c2 = h
so
me = h/c2
But
= c/
So
me = h/ (c ) =
Not much!

6.6 10 34
3 108 0.5 10

= 4.4 10

36

kg

2. Based on the fact that the diameter of the suns disk is 0.5 , show that the solid angle subtended by the sun is 6 10 5 sr Hint: apply the small angle approximation sin when
calculating !
The trick here is to recognize that we are talking about small angles for the purpose of
calculating solid angles. Therefore, from the Taylor series expansion of sin , taken to first
order,
! = sindd ' dd
1
!'
2

where /2 is the angular radius, and


!=

!2

= 2. Therefore

2
(0.5 /360)2 = 6 10
2

sr

3. Show that for isotropic radiation (i.e., the intensity of radiation is constant in all directions)
that the hemispheric flux can be described by
F = I
This can be a useful identity to remember. (Hint: use the transformation = cos so that
R /2 R 2
F = 0
0 Id)
R /2

The trick here is to recognize that 0 I cos sin d is equivalent to 01 Id, where =
cos . Or you can just look up the integral in a book, but in radiative transfer, this is the way
things are usually done, by doing the transformation = cos .
F =

Z 2 Z 1
0

Idd = 2 1/22 |10 = I

4. The total solar radiation flux incident on a surface due to wavelengths between 0.3 m and
1.0 m is 200 W m 2
(a) what is the average spectral flux within this interval? Give your answer in units of W
m 2 m 1
(b) If the spectral flux is constant with wavelength, then what is the total flux contributed
by wavelengths just between 0.4 m and 0.5 m?
(c) What is the total flux (in W m 2 ) contributed by radiation of exactly 0.5 m wavelength?
Since the total flux is F = 200 W m 2 , then F = F/
= 200/0.7 = 285.7 W m 2
1
m . The fraction contained in 0.1 m of this is then 285.70.1 = 28.6 W m 2 . At exactly
0.5 m, there is no energy, because the wavelength window is infinitely narrow and
= 0:
2
285.70 m = 0 W m .
5. W&H 4.13. What you are doing here is calculating the Jacobian

6. Building on the question above, prove to yourself that the peak in the blackbody spectrum
for B is not the same as the peak for B . You do not need to calculate dB /d.
From the prior question
I =

B =

so
implying that
B (max ) 6= B (
2

max )

7. Taking the equation for the Planck function


B (T ) =

2h 3
c2 (eh/kT

1)

Prove to yourself that you obtain the classical Rayleigh-Jeans expression in the low frequency limit where h kT . You will want to make a Taylor series expansion of ex where
x = h/kT
To show this you need to invoke the Taylor series expansion of ex = 1+x +x2 /2! + x3 /3! +
... and truncate the expansion to the first order terms for which x is not negligibly small. x
here is h/kT .