# 9/19/ Basic Properties of Light and Matter. Chapter 5: Light: The Cosmic Messenger. What is light? Lecture Outline

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1 Lecture Outline 5.1 Basic Properties of Light and Matter Chapter 5: Light: The Cosmic Messenger Our goals for learning: What is light? What is matter? How do light and matter interact? What is light? Light is an electromagnetic wave. Anatomy of a Wave 1

2 Wavelength and Frequency The Electromagnetic Spectrum wavelength x frequency = speed of light = constant Electromagnetic Spectrum Particles of Light Wavelength, Frequency, and Energy Particles of light are called photons. Each photon has a wavelength and a frequency. The energy of a photon depends on its frequency. λ f = c λ = wavelength, f = frequency c = m/s = speed of light E = h f = photon energy h = joule s The higher the photon energy, A. the longer its wavelength. B. the shorter its wavelength. C. Energy is independent of wavelength. The higher the photon energy, A. the longer its wavelength. B. the shorter its wavelength. C. Energy is independent of wavelength. 2

3 What is matter? Atomic Terminology Atomic Number = # of protons in nucleus Atomic Mass Number = # of protons + # of neutrons Atomic Terminology How do light and matter interact? Isotope: same # of protons but different # of neutrons ( 4 He, 3 He) Molecules: consist of two or more atoms (H 2 O, CO 2 ) Emission Absorption Transmission Transparent objects transmit light. Opaque objects block (absorb) light. Reflection or scattering Reflection and Scattering Interactions of Light with Matter Mirror reflects light in a particular direction. Movie screen scatters light in all directions. Interactions between light and matter determine the appearance of everything around us. 3

4 Why is a rose red? A. The rose absorbs red light. B. The rose transmits red light. C. The rose emits red light. D. The rose reflects red light. Why is a rose red? A. The rose absorbs red light. B. The rose transmits red light. C. The rose emits red light. D. The rose reflects red light. 5.2 Learning from Light What are the three basic types of spectra? Our goals for learning: What are the three basic types of spectra? How does light tell us what things are made of? How does light tell us the temperatures of planets and stars? How does light tell us the speed of a distant object? Emission Line Spectrum Continuous Spectrum Absorption Line Spectrum Spectra of astrophysical objects are usually combinations of these three basic types. Three Types of Spectra Introduction to Spectroscopy Illustrating Kirchhoff's Laws 4

5 9/19/16 Continuous Spectrum Emission Line Spectrum The spectrum of a common (incandescent) light bulb spans all visible wavelengths, without interruption. A thin or low-density cloud of gas emits light only at specific wavelengths that depend on its composition and temperature, producing a spectrum with bright emission lines. Absorption Line Spectrum How does light tell us what things are made of? A cloud of gas between us and a light bulb can absorb light of specific wavelengths, leaving dark absorption lines in the spectrum. Spectrum of the Sun Chemical Fingerprints Chemical Fingerprints Each type of atom has a unique set of energy levels. Downward transitions produce a unique pattern of emission lines. Each transition corresponds to a unique photon energy, frequency, and wavelength. Energy levels of hydrogen 5

6 Chemical Fingerprints Because those atoms can absorb photons with those same energies, upward transitions produce a pattern of absorption lines at the same wavelengths. Production of Emission Lines Chemical Fingerprints Each type of atom has a unique spectral fingerprint. Production of Absorption Lines Chemical Fingerprints Observing the fingerprints in a spectrum tells us which kinds of atoms are present. Composition of a Mystery Gas 6

7 Example: Solar Spectrum Which letter(s) label(s) absorption lines? A B C D E Which letter(s) label(s) absorption lines? Which letter(s) label(s) the peak (greatest intensity) of infrared light? A B C D E A B C D E Which letter(s) label(s) the peak (greatest intensity) of infrared light? Which letter(s) label(s) emission lines? A B C D E A B C D E 7

8 How does light tell us the temperatures of planets and stars? Which letter(s) label(s) emission lines? A B C D E Thermal Radiation Nearly all large or dense objects emit thermal radiation, including stars, planets, and you. Properties of Thermal Radiation 1. Hotter objects emit more light at all frequencies per unit area. 2. Hotter objects emit photons with a higher average energy. An object's thermal radiation spectrum depends on only one property: its temperature. Wien's Law Which is hottest? A. A blue star B. A red star C. A planet that emits only infrared light Wien's Law 8

9 Which is hottest? A. A blue star B. A red star C. A planet that emits only infrared light Why don't we glow in the dark? A. People do not emit any kind of light. B. People only emit light that is invisible to our eyes. C. People are too small to emit enough light for us to see. D. People do not contain enough radioactive material. Interpreting an Actual Spectrum Why don't we glow in the dark? A. People do not emit any kind of light. B. People only emit light that is invisible to our eyes. C. People are too small to emit enough light for us to see. D. People do not contain enough radioactive material. By carefully studying the features in a spectrum, we can learn a great deal about the object that created it. What is this object? What is this object? Reflected sunlight: Continuous spectrum of visible light is like the Sun's except that some of the blue light has been absorbed the object must look red. Thermal radiation: Infrared spectrum peaks at a wavelength corresponding to a temperature of 225 K. 9

10 What is this object? What is this object? Carbon dioxide: Absorption lines are the fingerprint of CO 2 in the atmosphere. Ultraviolet emission lines: Indicate a hot upper atmosphere What is this object? How does light tell us the speed of a distant object? Mars! The Doppler Effect The Doppler Effect Explaining the Doppler Effect Hearing the Doppler Effect as a Car Passes Understanding the Cause of the Doppler Effect 10

11 9/19/16 Same for light Measuring the Shift Stationary Moving Away Away Faster Moving Toward Toward Faster The Doppler Effect for Visible Light The amount of blue or red shift tells us an object's speed toward or away from us. We generally measure the Doppler effect from shifts in the wavelengths of spectral lines. Doppler shift tells us ONLY about the part of an object's motion toward or away from us. The Doppler Shift of an Emission Line Spectrum I measure a line in the lab at nm. The same line in a star has wavelength nm. What can I say about this star? I measure a line in the lab at nm. The same line in a star has wavelength nm. What can I say about this star? A. It is moving away from me. B. It is moving toward me. C. It has unusually long spectral lines. A. It is moving away from me. B. It is moving toward me. C. It has unusually long spectral lines. 11

12 Measuring Redshift Measuring Redshift The Doppler Shift of an Emission Line Spectrum Doppler Shift of Absorption Lines Measuring Velocity Measuring Velocity Determining the Velocity of a Gas Cloud Determining the Velocity of a Cold Cloud of Hydrogen Gas 5.3 Collecting Light with Telescopes Our goals for learning: How do telescopes help us learn about the universe? Why do we put telescopes into space? How do telescopes help us learn about the universe? Telescopes collect more light than our eyes light-collecting area Telescopes can see more detail than our eyes angular resolution Telescopes/instruments can detect light that is invisible to our eyes (e.g., infrared, ultraviolet) 12

13 Bigger is better Bigger is better 1. Larger light-collecting area 2. Better angular resolution Light Collecting Area of a Reflector Angular Resolution Angular Resolution: Smaller Is Better The minimum angular separation that the telescope can distinguish Angular Resolution Explained Using Approaching Car Lights Effect of Mirror Size on Angular Resolution Basic Telescope Design Refracting: lenses Yerkes 1-m refractor Basic Telescope Design Reflecting: mirrors Most research telescopes today are reflecting Gemini North 8-m Refracting telescope Reflecting telescope 13

14 9/19/16 Keck I and Keck II Mauna Kea, Hawaii Different designs for different wavelengths of light Mauna Kea, Hawaii Radio telescope (Arecibo, Puerto Rico) Interferometry This technique allows two or more small telescopes to work together to obtain the angular resolution of a larger telescope. Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA), New Mexico The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile 14

15 X-ray Telescope: "grazing incidence" optics Want to buy your own telescope? Buy binoculars first (e.g., 7 x 35) you get much more for the same amount of money. Ignore magnification (sales pitch!). Notice: aperture size, optical quality, portability. Consumer research: Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Mercury magazines; astronomy clubs. Why do we put telescopes into space? It is NOT because they are closer to the stars! Observing problems due to Earth's atmosphere 1. Light pollution Recall our 1-to-10 billion scale: Sun size of grapefruit Earth size of a tip of a ballpoint pen, 15 m from Sun Nearest stars 4000 km away Hubble orbit microscopically above tip of a ballpoint pen-size Earth 2. Turbulence causes twinkling blurs images 3. Atmosphere absorbs most of EM spectrum, including all UV and X ray and most infrared. Star viewed with ground-based telescope View from Hubble Space Telescope 15

16 Telescopes in space solve all three problems. Location/technology can help overcome light pollution and turbulence. Nothing short of going to space can solve the problem of atmospheric absorption of light. Improvements for ground-based telescopes Adaptive optics Rapid changes in mirror shape compensate for atmospheric turbulence. Chandra X-Ray Observatory Without adaptive optics With adaptive optics Adaptive Optics Jupiter's moon Io observed with the Keck telescope without adaptive optics with adaptive optics 16

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