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This free HTML5 simulation from PhET allows students to explore how the blackbody spectrum of an object is affected by its temperature. Users can click-and-drag to examine different values in the spectrum, ranging from the blackbody spectrum of Earth to that of a very bright star. Zoom on the axes to scale the graph and see how the color of the star changes with the temperature. Intensity values can be generated for the shaded area under the curve.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Fundamentals
= Spectra
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electromagnetic Radiation
= Electromagnetic Spectrum
Quantum Physics
- Quantization
= Blackbody Radiation
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Thermal Properties of Matter
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Free access and
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This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
University of Colorado
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created January 8, 2024 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 8, 2024 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
January 1, 2024
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
PhET, (2013), WWW Document, (https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/blackbody-spectrum/about).
PhET, PhET Simulations: Blackbody Spectrum (2013), <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/blackbody-spectrum/about>.
APA Format
PhET. (2024, January 1). PhET Simulations: Blackbody Spectrum. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/blackbody-spectrum/about
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulations: Blackbody Spectrum. January 1, 2024. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/blackbody-spectrum/about (accessed 1 March 2024).
MLA Format
PhET. PhET Simulations: Blackbody Spectrum. 2013. 1 Jan. 2024. 1 Mar. 2024 <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/blackbody-spectrum/about>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "PhET", Title = {PhET Simulations: Blackbody Spectrum}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {1 March 2024}, Month = {January 1, 2024}, Year = {2013} }
Refer Export Format

%Q PhET %T PhET Simulations: Blackbody Spectrum %D January 1, 2024 %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/blackbody-spectrum/about %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A PhET, %D January 1, 2024 %T PhET Simulations: Blackbody Spectrum %V 2024 %N 1 March 2024 %8 January 1, 2024 %9 text/html %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/blackbody-spectrum/about

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

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