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Re: [Phys-L] solar constant

On 05/21/2014 07:12 AM, Uri Ganiel wrote:
“Solar Energy- How much do we receive?”
U.Ganiel and O. Kedem
The Physics Teacher- vol. 21, p. 573, 1983.

Here's a link:

From there you can download the PDF, but you need a subscription
or you need to pay money. Your local college library is likely
to have a subscription.

The article does not have an abstract. Here's my attempt to
-- two identical aluminum blocks, blackened with soot
-- each has a thermometer and an electrical heater
-- one in direct sunlight, one in shade
-- use the heater to keep both blocks at the same temperature
-- conclude that heater power must equal solar power.

It's hard for me to imagine anything much better, at the
high-school level. Even if you are not particularly interested
in solar power, I recommend taking a look at this experiment.
There is a lesson here in what physics is, and how physics is
done. I'm talking about using symmetry in particular and
cleverness in general to make the experiment easy to carry
out and easy to interpret. This is what makes physics powerful
... and also what makes it elegant.