This simulation shows the spectrum of light emitted by a blackbody as a function of wavelength. Adjust the temperature to see how changing the temperature changes the amount of light emitted by the blackbody, as well as the peak wavelength of the light. The wavelength is measured in micrometers, and the intensity is given in arbitrary units.

To the right of the graph, in the middle of the black region, is a circle showing the approximate color of a blackbody at that temperature. Such a blackbody could be an object here on Earth that is so hot it is glowing, or even a star in the sky. You can tell what the surface temperature of a star is just by looking at its color.

Simulation written by Andrew Duffy, and first posted on 3-8-2018.

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/classroom.html.

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