Infrared Waves

By: Lauren, Erin, Maddie, Oscar, Lyndsey

What are they?

  • They're not hot enough to transmit visible light.
  • The warmer the object, the more infrared waves that are transmitted.
  • Between 7 nanometers and 1 mm
  • Called thermography, used in in military and industrial settings.

Infrared Waves R Cool

Remote controls for your TV uses infrared light waves to control your TV. These waves go beyond the typical spectrum of light. the region of spectrum goes between near-, mid, and far-infrared. The region from 8 to 15 microns is referred to as thermal infrared. In 1800 William Herschel conducted an experiment that measures the difference in temperature between the colors in the visible spectrum. It resulted in an increase in temperature from blue to red. As Herschel noticed an increase in temperature just past the red on the visible spectrum he had discovered infrared light. Some infrared light can be sensed as heat. Instruments such as night goggles or infrared cameras allow us to "see" the infrared waves from heat. Scientists are beginning to see colder objects such as planets, colder stars, nebulae, and many others by studying the infrared waves they emit. Infrared waves have longer wavelengths than visible light. Therefore, infrared energy can reveal objects that visible light cannot using optical telescopes. As solar radiation hits Earth and heats it, the heat is emitted in a form of infrared radiation. Infrared has changed science and how scientists can't view the universe. It has allowed for so much more exploration and discovery.
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Health Impacts


  • Dangerous to susceptible skin such as skin and eyes.
  • The Green house effect, causes increased temperatures and changes in weather patterns that could be harmful to people and animals


  • Infrared technology is employed in various devices, including night vision goggles, lasers, thermographic cameras, communications devices and weather satellites.
  • Infrared rays help with the immune system by fighting viruses and bacteria
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Everyday Applications

Night vision goggles - our skin and other objects with heat give off infrared light

Tv remote - uses infrared energy to send signals from the remote to the tv that cannot be seen by the naked eye

Heating lamps - Special lamps that produce thermal infrared waves in fast food restaurants to keep food hot

About This Video

The electromagnetic spectrum contains many different types of waves, one of which is infrared waves. Other electromagnetic waves include gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet, visible light, microwaves, and radio. Infrared waves are electromagnetic radiation of a particular wavelength or color that we have named 'infrared.' They are between 700 nm and 1 mm. Infrared lights were discover by William Herschel around 1800. Infrared waves are used in many of our electronics such as TVs, blue ray players and commuters. Infrared waves can be used as night vision they are also used to study animals.

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