We are doing the science fair at our school
I need to conduct an interview with a scientist
e-mail. The question of my project is:
Which color light transmits the most energy and
In the interview, I would like to ask
Information about you, like name, email,
What knowledge do you have on energy and the
What could I do to improve this project or expand
What are some similar things that you work with
that could help me better understand my project?
Any ideas that could help me will be great.
a. Andy, paleontology.
b. I took undergraduate college physics. I
know enough to tell you that your project is not
going to work, for the following reason: light
behaves like a wave, and the energy transmitted
by light is determined by two things: (1) the
frequency of the wave, that is how close
together the peaks of the wave are, and (2) the
amplitude of the wave, that is how high the
peaks of the wave are. Color is dependent on the
frequency of the wave, with blue having a higher
frequency than red, and with green and yellow in
the middle. However, color has nothing to do
with the amplitude, the height of the peaks of
the wave. You can have a blue light that is
brighter than a red light, dimmer than a red
light, or just the same.
c. I suggest that you change your project to
the following: take three thermometers and place
them in conditions with different light. Put one
out in the sun. Put one in sun light, but with a
pane of glass between it and the sun. Put the
third in the shade behind a sheet of cardboard.
Do all of these experiments outdoors and on the
same day so that the temperature of the air will
not change the values of your thermometers. I
predict that the one in the sun will be warmer
than the other two, and the one in the shade
will be cooler, with the one behind glass being
in-between. The reason is as follows: most of
the sun's light is in the visible part of the
spectrum, but a lot comes out in the infrared,
and some comes out in the ultraviolet. Glass is
transparent to visible light, but opaque to
infrared and ultraviolet. Therefore, the
thermometer in the sun will be exposed to the
full strength of the sun's rays, while the one
behind glass will be exposed only to the visible
part of the sun's energy.
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