Thermal Radiation

9 Nov

I woke up this morning expecting it to be cool and breezy (it is November, after all)…but I was in for a shock when I headed out for a run. It was only 9:00 am, but the sun was already beating down, and I felt like I was running though an oven. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great run  – 6 miles around campus – but between the dirty streets of LA and the oppressive heat, it definitely got me thinking about the state of our world.

It just so happened that my physics lab this morning was on thermal radiation, which seemed quite fitting for a day like today. We used a Leslie’s cube to measure the heat and thermal emitted from different substances, and we then determined which substances and colors were the best insulators. We also measured the radiation emitted from the cube from 5 cm away and then placed a piece of glass in front before taking the measurement again. At first I thought I had done something wrong because the reading instantly dropped to zero, but then I realized that the glass had completely insulated the cube. This is apparently the same concept as the greenhouse effect, in which thermal radiation gets trapped by atmospheric greenhouse gases and cannot leave earth’s surface. Ultimately, this process leads to air pollution and global warming…hence this blazing hot November morning. Obviously this issue requires way more than a simple solution, but I’m adding it to my list of things to ponder for the future.

Other noteworthy news – we got new Club Manager at 24 Hour Fitness, and she is fantastic. The two of us spent some time on a “team clean” this afternoon, re-racking weights and checking equipment, and it was a great chance to talk to members and see where the club needs improvements. Best of all, she put in apple cinnamon air fresheners, so the whole club smells like the holidays and freshly baked apple pie 🙂

Off to finish physics, but I will be dreaming of pie-making.

Goodnight everyone! (and stay cool! – at least until someone gets this global warming thing figured out)

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