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Island 3 Energy Efficiency Level 1 Infrared Cameras


POP students will learn that objects radiate infrared waves when they're hot. Infrared waves are outside of our visible light spectrum, but an infrared camera can help us see what is invisible to our naked eye. Use this information to help you learn about friction, conductivity, and insulators


Island 3 Energy Efficiency Level 1 Infrared Cameras


Infrared Light:

Light comes to Earth in waves. Some waves are long and low frequency, some waves are short and high frequency. We can see some of the waves in the form of color, but other waves we cannot see with our eyes and we have to use special tools to see them. The light we can see with our eyes- violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red has wavelengths between 390 and 700 nanometers (in that order). Infrared light is one of the types of light waves that we can only see with a special camera because the wavelength is too long for our eyes to detect. IR light has wavelengths between 700 nanometers and 1 millimeter. 

How Can You See Light?

Heat is the primary source of infrared radiation (thermal radiation). Any object that has a temperature above absolute zero (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit) radiates infrared light waves. Things that do not give off visible light can radiate a lot of infrared waves.

Charcoal inside of an old train is not bright to our eyes, but you can feel the heat if you are standing nearby the train. With an infrared camera, you can see the infrared waves the train is releasing.

How Are Infrared Waves Used?

We use infrared waves in many applications today. Doctors use infrared as a medical tool to detect tumors and monitor blood flow. Firefighters and rescue workers use infrared to help find people trapped in smoke-filled buildings and in the ocean or wilderness at night. Police officers use infrared to track and capture suspects. Astronomers use infrared to help them locate and study celestial bodies far off in space. Meteorologists use infrared to help them predict and track weather events.

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