Black Body Radiation - Heat Transfer

A body that emits the maximum amount of heat for its absolute temperature is called a black body. Radiant heat transfer rate from a black body to its surroundings can be expressed by the following equation.

Radiant heat transfer rate

Stefan-Boltzman Constant = 5.67 x 10-8 Watts-m-2-K-4
                                          = 0.174 x 10-8 BTU/Hr-ft2-R4


Two black bodies that radiate toward each other have a net heat flux between them. The net flow rate of heat between them is given by an adaptation of Equation 2-12.

net flow rate of heat

All bodies above absolute zero temperature radiate some heat. The sun and earth both radiate heat toward each other. This seems to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that heat cannot flow from a cold body to a hot body. The paradox is resolved by the fact that each body must be in direct line of sight of the other to receive radiation from it. Therefore, whenever the cool body is radiating heat to the hot body, the hot body must also be radiating heat to the cool body. Since the hot body radiates more heat (due to its higher temperature) than the cold body, the net flow of heat is from hot to cold, and the second law is still satisfied.

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