All GRE Subject Test: Physics Resources
Example Question #1 : Astrophysics
If the temperature of a blackbody doubles, what occurs to the wavelength of maximum emission?
It is quartered.
It is halved.
It is halved.
This is an application of Wein's Law that states the following:
, where is the wavelength of maximum emission of the object (measured in ), and is the temperature in . Since the wavelength and the temperature are inversely proportional, if we double the temperature, we must cut the wavelength by the same proportion. Therefore, the temperature must be halved.
Example Question #2 : Astrophysics
By what factor will the energy emitted each second off the surface of a blackbody change if the the temperature of the object is tripled?
Stefan-Boltzmann's equation for a blackbody states:
, where is the energy emitted each second, is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant, and is the temperature of the blackbody. Therefore, if we triple the temperature, the energy will increase by a factor of
Example Question #3 : Astrophysics
Using the kinetic theory of gas, what is the fundamental property of a planet that dictates if it is able to retain an atmosphere?
Number of moons
Magnetic field strength
The kinetic theory of gas states:
. Whenever the velocity of the individual gas particles is larger than the escape speed of the planet,
, the gas particles will leak into space and deplete the atmosphere. The physical property that determines this is the mass of the planet.