This resource, developed for middle school teachers, offers content support in heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory, and a straightforward explanation of thermal radiation. The historical perspectives provide a particularly interesting dimension.
This Chandra X-ray Observatory website gives a brief history on the discovery of X-rays and how they are produced. There is also information on other forms of light. This website includes illustrations and information on X- ray production, inverse Compton scattering, atomic emission, and synchrotron radiation. There are also links to learn more about the differences between x-ray astronomy and medical x-rays, and to a word search for x-rays and light.
This article provides an outline of the motion of charged particles in the Earth’s magnetic fields, and the Van Allen and outer radiation belts. It summarizes their discovery, their properties and their physics, as well as providing links to background materials and additional information. This is part of a large web site on the Exploration of the Earth’s Magnetosphere. A Spanish translation is available.
In this activity, students investigate how different surfaces absorb heat and apply their experience with the surfaces to interpret real-world situations. From this information, they come to understand that the physical characteristics of a surface have a powerful effect on the way that surface absorbs and releases heat from the sun and that radiation of heat occurs without the involvement of a physical object. The student guide provides an overall description of the activity, a list of materials, the procedure, and observations and questions.
This book offers a myriad of lessons, experiments, and demonstrations in all topics in the field of electricity and magnetism. From charge interactions to electromagnetic radiation and induction, it covers the material of a second semester calculus-based introductory physics course. This book is the second of two in the Matter & Interactions series.
This web site is a reference page on electromagnetic radiation. It discusses the spectrum of light and both the wave and quantum nature of radiation. Also included are descriptions of the physics and applications of the different frequency bands, from gamma rays through radio waves, plus links to interactive Java simulations on the topic. See Related Materials on this page for a simpler student tutorial by the same authors on the topic of electromagnetic radiation.
This website, from the University of Winnipeg, offers an explanation of blackbody radiation. The page also provides a brief history, describing its discovery and its implications in modern physics. Several graphs and images are included to aid in the explanation.
This experiment helps students understand that ultraviolet (UV) radiation is present in natural outdoor light and that the intensity of the light varies with season and time of day. After completing this activity, students will be able to demonstrate that UV radiation can be blocked or filtered by various substances.
This simple and engaging astronomy activity explains nuclear fusion and how radiation is generated by stars, using marshmallows as a model. Learners will explore what cosmic radiation is and where it comes from, and how the elements in the universe are generated. The PDF contains step-by-step instructions, photos, presentation tips, links to background information, and a printable Periodic Table of the Elements.
This activity has students use a model to investigate factors in greenhouse heating and cooling. The type of surface that sunlight first encounters is the most important factor. Forests, grasslands, ocean surfaces, ice caps, deserts, and cities all absorb, reflect, and radiate radiation differently. As a result of this activity students will be able to identify at least three factors affecting the heat-trapping ability of a greenhouse, explain the factors important in the atmosphere’s heat trapping ability, and understand the influence of albedo on earth’s temperature.