from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A theoretically perfect absorber of all incident radiation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a theoretical body, approximated by a hole in a hollow black sphere, that absorbs all incident electromagnetic radiation and reflects none; it has a characteristic emission spectrum

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a hypothetical object capable of absorbing all the electromagnetic radiation falling on it


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This is opposed to a blackbody in the sense that the atmosphere might not be perfectly opaque, but the emitted radiation would still be called blackbody radiation and it would obey the rules of blackbody radiation.


  • Patrick 027 (210), a thought that might shed some light (and which has been debated in RC with vigorous opposition I should admit) is that the IR emitted radiation from the vibration energy of CO2 molecules is not the same mechanism that generates the so-called blackbody


  • Within minutes of starting its recordings, it confirmed that this diffuse radiation displayed precisely the expected frequency – wavelength relationships – the perfect 'blackbody' spectrum predicted to result from first light in the universe.

    The Nobel Prize in Physics 2006 - Speed Read

  • * A study in the journal Nano Letters shows that the well-known rules of heat transfer from a nonflective object, called Planck's blackbody radiation law, break down if the object can be brought close enough to another object while still not touching it.

    Thor's Day

  • The 210 K blackbody curve is not included because Eli is a lazy bunny he's told us as much, and he just copied and pasted the figure from another source.

    Another Try

  • Just add a hyperlink below the figure from the Modtran diagram, for those wanting to know where the blackbody curves came from.

    Another Try

  • I can get a pure blackbody curve at zero altitude, but I lose it as I move further up, no matter what I do.

    Another Try

  • Has increased specialization in academic education reduced general understanding of fundamental physics so much that no one else can see the nonsense in the "220 K blackbody radiation from the upper troposphere", supposedly the "explanation" for the greenhouse effect?

    Eli can retire Part VIII - The EPA reads Rabett Run

  • When I was doing work on infrared detecting CCD imagers, I had a blackbody source set up about 2 meters from my infrared spectrometer; in other words, the path through the atmosphere, through the spectrometer and to a liquid nitrogen cooled CCD imager being characterized was about 2 meters.

    It's more than genes, it's networks and systems - The Panda's Thumb

  • It does indeed have three major absorption peaks that fall within the blackbody emittance spectrum of the Earth.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...


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