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More than 99% of what we know about the universe comes from observing electromagnetic waves Other sources The Earth, meteorites Samples returned from solar wind, Moon, etc. Close up observations of nearby planets Neutrinos

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Wave Equations summarized: Waves look like: Related by: Two independent solutions to these equations: E0E0 B0B0 E0E0 B0B0 Note that E, B, and direction of travel are all mutually perpendicular The two solutions are called polarizations We describe polariza- tion by telling which way E-field points This page stolen from PHY 114

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Wavelength and wave number The quantity k is called the wave number The wave repeats in time It also repeats in space EM waves most commonly described in terms of frequency or wavelength

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This page stolen from PHY 114 The Electromagnetic Spectrum Different types of waves are classified by their frequency (or wavelength) Radio Waves Microwaves Infrared Visible Ultraviolet X-rays Gamma Rays Increasing f Increasing Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Vermillion Saffron Chartreuse Turquoise Indigo Know these, in order These tooNot these Boundaries are arbitrary and overlap Visible is 380-740 nm

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Dealing with Waves Before we tackle electromagnetic waves in 3D, let’s think about some sort of ordinary waves in 1D Like, waves on a string Fixed boundary conditions: (0) =0, (L)=0 We want to work in infinite length limit, and find the contribution from all waves One way to do this is to make the string finite, then take L later on Though this can be done, it is a bit frustrating because of the boundary conditions You only get standing waves Can’t really talk about direction of the wave To get around this problem, a common trick is to use periodic boundary conditions We demand that: the two ends match: (0) = (L), and their derivatives match: ’(0) = ’(L), This allows waves with a direction to them: L

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Breaking up complicated waves Typical wave equation: We need periodic boundary conditions: This places a restriction on k Cosine and sine have period of 2 kL must be a multiple of 2 L Any solution of wave equation can be written as sum of waves of this type Each component of the wave has an energy E(k) The total energy is the sum of the contributions The energy per unit length is then just:

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Taking the Infinite Length Limit: We want the energy per unit length for an infinite string: In the limit, this is an integral: k E(k)E(k) We now want to go to 3D: Steps are similar L L L

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Statistical Mechanics The application of statistics to the properties of systems containing a large number of objects The techniques of statistical mechanics: When there are many possibilities, energy will be distributed among all of them The probability of a single “item” being in a given “state” depends on temperature and energy gravity Gas molecules in a tall box: This page stolen from PHY 215

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Statistical Mechanics: One Mode of EM Field We need E(k) for each value of k Quantum Mechanics: Electromagnetic waves have energy: The probability of each of these possibilities is: The probabilities must sum to one: The average amount of energy in the mode k is then given by: These sums can be done:* I don’t care about these details

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How to do these sums: Recall: geometric series: Take derivative of this expression: Multiply by y Let: Then:

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Black Body Radiation Now put it all together: Energy density for a thermal distribution of EM fields: Wait: There are two polarizations for every wave number k: Two modes, each with the same energy For light, recall: Let Units: J/m 3

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Black Body Radiation: Spectrum This is the correct expression for the total energy density Sometimes, we will only measure the density over a fixed range of k We want energy density per unit wave number: Experimentalists rarely do it this way More common ways of measuring it would be energy per unit frequency or energy per unit wavelength Let’s work it out per unit wavelength to see how this works: Fudging the minus sign

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Wien’s Law: The spectrum depends on the temperature: We can find the peak wavelength: Color gives you a good idea of the temperature Colors go from dull red (cool) to electric blue (hot) 2900 K 4500 K 10,000 K 20,000 K 5500 K

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Sample Problem: The graph at the right shows the light received from five stars (a)Which star is the hottest? (b)Which two stars have the same surface temperature (c)What is the temperature of the green star? The overall size of the curve depends on the size and distance of the star The peak/color of the star depends on the temperature Red star peaks at smallest wavelength / highest temperature Blue and black peak at the same wavelength Green curve peak is around 705 nm

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Stefan-Boltzman Law We have formulas for the energy density For stars, we want to know rate at which energy escapes Watts per square meter How much power comes out of a hole of area A in a black body at temperature T? Energy density is u It is light – moving at velocity c Half of it is moving the wrong way ( ½) The half that is moving the right way is only moving partly in the right direction ( ½) The resulting total power per unit area (flux): is called the Stefan-Boltzmann constant We can similarly find the flux per unit wavelength: Units: W/m 2

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Total Luminosity A star can be treated very crudely as a sphere with surface temperature T and radius R The total power (called luminosity) coming from a star is: Relative luminosity of two stars: Real stars don’t follow Planck’s Law exactly Nonetheless, we can solve luminosity equation for T, called the effective temperature

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