How to Calculate the Average Energy of a Photon

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How to Calculate the Average Energy of a Photon
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A photon is a particle which forms the basic unit of all electromagnetic radiation. Photons exhibit wave and particle properties. Photons have the same energy associated with them. But when photons are emitted due to transition of states -- from higher energy level to lower energy level -- photons will have different energy associated to each of them. To find the energy of the photon, you will have to calculate the average energy of the photon.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Blackbody Radiation

  1. 1

    Determine the number of photons in a particular frequency range. This information is normally given as a number or a function.

  2. 2

    Determine the energy of one photon using the formula: Energy = Planck's constant * frequency. Planck's constant has the value 6.626068 --- 10^(-34) (mm kg )/ s

  3. 3

    Calculate the average energy of a photon within that frequency range by multiplying the two values you calculated above.

    Stefan-Boltzmann Law of Radiation

  1. 1

    Calculate the temperature of the radiation. Convert the temperature to Kelvin unit. Temperature in Celsius scale can be converted to Kelvins scale by adding 273.15 to the temperature. To convert Fahrenheit scale to Kelvin use the formula -- (T - 273.15) * 9/5 + 32 where T is the temperature given in Fahrenheit.

  2. 2

    Determine the value of Boltzmann constant. This value is given by 1.3806503 --- 10^(-23) (mm kg)/ (ss K)

  3. 3

    Calculate the average energy of the photon by using this formula: 2.7 * Boltzmann constant * Temperature

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