Astrophysics (Index)About

black body

(BB, blackbody)
(idealized object that reflects no light)

The term black body (or blackbody or BB) is used in physics to mean an ideal object that reflects absolutely no light (or any electromagnetic radiation), absorbing it all, i.e., is perfectly black, the only radiation from it is what it emits due to its temperature. Internally, it is virtually at thermodynamic equilibrium if it has any significant lifetime as an EMR source, and to remain that way, the amount of incoming radiation must match the radiation it emits. The concept is useful as a first approximation of objects that are similar in that they emit significant radiation due to their temperature. The spectrum of the radiation of a black body (black-body radiation) is characteristic, known as a black-body spectrum, and is an approximation of the spectra of stars, the Sun, planets, etc. Of interest is matching a body's spectrum with the black body temperature that would produce a close-to-matching spectrum, which helps determine the temperature of the body: this is a means of detecting the body's temperature with a spectrograph.

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Referenced by pages:
absorption line
black-body radiation
brightness temperature (TB)
cosmic microwave background (CMB)
CMB polarization
cold spot
color temperature (TC)
Compton scattering
continuum emission
curvature radiation
effective temperature (Teff)
equilibrium temperature (Teq)
gray body
Kirchhoff's law of thermal radiation
luminous infrared galaxy (LIRG)
power law
radial velocity method
Schuster-Schwarzschild model
star formation (SF)
Stefan-Boltzmann constant (σ)
stellar temperature determination
surface temperature
synchrotron radiation
Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZ effect)
thermodynamic equilibrium (TE)
Wien's displacement law