Learning Objectives for Weeks 3-4 1. Understand what photons are with respect to the forces of nature. 2. Understand the nature of the speed of light. The speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant: It has the same value everywhere in the cosmos. 3. Light is electromagnetic radiation and is characterized by its wavelength. Visible light, radio waves, and X rays are all the same type of wave: They differ only in their wavelength. 4. Understand the basics of Blackbody Radiation. The Stefan-Boltzmann law is used to compute the surface temperature for the Sun and other stars from luminosity and size measurements. 5. Light has properties of both waves and particles. The revolutionary photon concept is necessary to explain blackbody radiation and the photoelectric effect. Elementary particles of matter also display wavelike behavior. 6. Each chemical element produces its own unique set of spectral lines. Spectroscopy is the key to determining the chemical composition of planets and stars. 7. Explain why the sky is blue and sunsets are red.
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