NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1197879
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Dec
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Color of the Sun -- Perception and Spectral Density
Suits, B. H.
Physics Teacher, v56 n9 p600-602 Dec 2018
The peak position of the spectral density for blackbody radiation is given by the Wien displacement law. Within introductory physics materials it is often stated, or implied through example, that the color of the light emitted from a blackbody, such as the Sun, can be ascertained from knowledge of the position of that peak in the spectral density. Such a conclusion is at best incomplete, may be misleading, and in many ways can be considered to be wrong. Here these claims are addressed and a method for introducing and better understanding spectral density is presented. For concreteness, the discussion centers around the solar spectrum, which is often used as an example in physics and astronomy classes.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A