Posted: June 4th, 2022

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It just so happens that regardless of the material, when objects are heated up they will start to glow and change colors at near identical temperatures. The plot that you see is called a blackbody spectrum. This plot tells us the intensity or the “amount” of light that an object will emit at different wavelengths (or “colors”). The visible wavelengths are marked by their colors on the plot. To the right of the visible band is lower energy infrared light. To the left of this band is higher energy ultraviolet (UV) light.

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Click the + button that is to the left of the intensity scale (far left side of the screen) such that the top of the scale is at .001. (in the picture above the top of the scale says 100).

Now use the temperature slider to the right, and take the temperature all the way down to 300 Kelvin (80 Fahrenheit).  

Now slowly begin to raise the temperature. At approximately what temperature would a heated material (metal, wood, etc.) begin to give off visible light at a deep red color?

Note: This will be the temperature where your spectrum first begins to come off of the wavelength axis in the visible region, and so is giving off a small amount of red light.

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