Collisional Heating in the Atmosphere

Go-lab approved
Lab type: 
Virtual lab
Age range: 
12-14, 14-16, 16-18
Language: 
English
Level of difficulty: 
Easy
Level of interaction: 
Low
Booking required: 
No
 
Lab description and primary aims of the lab: 

This animation illustrates the absorption of infrared radiation by CO2 in the troposphere and the collisional loss of this absorbed energy to surrounding N2 and O2 molecules. In this animation the user can sweep through a region of the IR spectrum and excite some of the vibrational modes of CO2. A simple (purely qualitative) thermometer illustrates the rise in temperature of the gas as collisional de-excitation occurs. 

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