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# Infrared Radiation: Heat Transferred through Space (page 2)

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Author: Janice VanCleave

### Try New Approaches

1. How does the surface area of a material affect the amount of radiation that it absorbs? Repeat the investigation, turning the paper packets so that their narrow edges are facing the Sun.
2. Does the color of the systems affect the rate at which they emit radiation? Design a way to cool the systems. One way would be to place each system in a plastic, resealable bag and lay the bags in an ice chest.

### Design Your Own Experiment

1.
2. Calculate a space-to-Earth radiation ratio using this equation:
ΔTsTE
3. Is the space/Earth radiation ratio the same at night? Repeat the previous investigation at night.

4. What effect, if any, do barriers such as trees have on radiation from space? Is there more radiation coming from one direction of the sky than from another? Do different surfaces on Earth affect how much radiation comes from Earth? Design ways to answer these questions using the heat telescope.

### Get the Facts

1. An object's ability to absorb and emit radiation is called its emissivity. A perfect blackbody or, simply, a blackbody has an emissivity of 1. What is a blackbody, and how does its emissivity compare to that of other objects? For information, see Louis A Bloomfield, How Things Work: The Physics of Everyday Life (New York: Wiley, 1997), p. 268.
2. Solar radiation consists mainly of visible light, ultraviolet radiation, and infrared radiation. How do these forms of radiation differ? For information, see Mary and Geoff Jones, Physics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp.116-117.
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