AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Physics and Society Poster Session
  Paper Type: Poster
  Title: Can Small Boxes Model the Atmospheric Greenhouse?
  Meeting: 2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Location: N/A
  Time: 5:00PM
  Author: Thomas C. Gibbons, Retired
563 243 5267, tomgib@mchsi.com
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Atmospheric trapping of infrared leads to a warmer surface, but there has been questioning about whether solar collectors and greenhouses also act in this way. These systems also control convection, which might be responsible for the warmer temperatures. Schools need models of the atmospheric greenhouse but should not use models that actually demonstrate something else. I have used small boxes resembling solar collectors with a black absorbing interior but covered by materials of differing infrared transmission properties. After determining relative infrared transmission ability using two methods, I measured their interior temperatures with varying degrees of insolation and ambient temperature. Whenever infrared transmission differences were clear, the greater transmission (smaller trapping) corresponded to a lower internal temperature. This leads to greater confidence that infrared trapping in these devices does affect their temperatures, thus crudely modeling atmospheric effects, regardless of any convection effects present.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: Gibbons-AAPT 2014 Small Greenhouse Boxes.pdf

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