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Radiant heat exchange mediated by gaseous atmosphere


As is well known, the heat exchange between bodies at different temperatures enclosured at vacuum without thermal contact can be described by the Stefan–Boltzmann law of radiation, where each body receives a fraction of radiant heat from the others depending on their distances and individual temperatures, geometrical shapes, emissivities, and absorptivities. However, when these bodies are surrounded by a gaseous atmosphere conductive and convective phenomena enter on the scenario, leading to a complex mechanism of heat exchange. Here, we study an experimental realization of such situation for two bodies employing a kind of vacuum gauge, on a range of surrounding air pressure between 26 and 1035 mbar, and analyze the heat exchange on the framework of Stefan–Boltzmann law. It is verified empirically that the ratio between the thermal power irradiated by the bodies is independent on their individual heat radiances, and depends only on the surrounding gas pressure.

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The author thanks to prof. A.T.F. Amado for incentive and license for use of laboratory.

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Correspondence to C. A. Duarte.

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Duarte, C.A. Radiant heat exchange mediated by gaseous atmosphere. J Therm Anal Calorim 107, 425–430 (2012).

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  • Stefan–Boltzmann law
  • Black body
  • Radiation
  • Convection
  • Vacuum