Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 30 - Think and Discuss: 83


Yes, unless it vaporizes first.

Work Step by Step

Objects at any temperature greater than absolute zero will emit radiation. The peak frequency of this radiation is proportional to the object's absolute temperature - the hotter the object, the higher the frequency of the peak radiation. Hotter metal objects emit more radiation at all frequencies, and the frequency peak of that radiation moves upward. See Figure 30.7. Red is the color with the lowest frequency (and the longest wavelength), so a red peak frequency corresponds to the coolest piece of metal. As the metal is heated further, the peak moves through the middle of the visible spectrum, and the metal appears white - a roughly equal amount of light is emerging at each visible frequency. If the metal is heated still further, and doesn't vaporize, the peak frequency moves to the ultraviolet range, with significant radiation emerging at the high-frequency end of the visible spectrum, which is blue-violet.
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