Electromagnetism

Infrared Radiation

Infrared radiation is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Moreover, the spectrum includes other radiations from radio waves to X-rays. The radiation is characterized by wavelength. Thus, the x-rays, gamma, and ultraviolet are of short wavelength with high energy and quite dangerous. The infrared, radio waves and microwave are of longer wavelength and less harmful. Therefore, in this article, we are going to be discussing in detail this radiation in detail.

infrared radiation

Introduction to Infrared Radiation

Infrared radiations are also known as thermal or heat waves. The range of wavelength is between 710 mm to 1 mm. The rays also characterize as near and far-infrared rays. The near-infrared rays have use in photography and TV remote sensor.

Far infrared rays are thermal. The human body also generates heat or infrared radiation of approximately 800 nm wavelength.

British Astronomer, William Herschel first introduced this term to the board of Scientist in 1800 using a simple experiment with thermometer. As the thermometer was placed in the path of light, the colors of the spectrum showed temperature change.

However there was a marked change that went beyond the final color red on the visible spectrum. Moreover, this change denotes as Infrared as it occurs at a frequency between visible red light and invisible microwave.

infrared radiation

Furthermore the wavelength of Infrared radiation categorizes under 3 specific spectral range. They are:

  1. 1µm to 3µm – known as Short Wave Infrared radiation
  2. 3µm to 5µm – Known as Middle Wave Infrared Radiation
  3. 8µm to 14µm – Known as Long Wave Infrared Radiation

Characteristics of Infrared Radiation

  • Infrared radiation consists of heat-inducing property. These rays have applications in the area of heat production. We can use it for therapeutic purposes in physical therapy.
  • The origin is from an alteration in electron movement.
  • Wavelength range from 710 nm to 1 mm.
  • Frequency range from 430 THz to 300 GHz.
  • Infrared radiation is a Transverse wave.
  • Speed is 3X 108 m/s.
  • It shows the property of refraction.
  • Thermal properties: Exhibiting heat-inducing property.

Applications of Infrared Radiation

  • Heat source- Medical sector and manufacturing industries use this radiation as a heat source. The infrared saunas can treat rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and other chronic health problems. It is also a safe method for physical therapy. The manufacturing unit uses infrared heaters in curing of coating, the formation of plastics, and plastic welding.
  • Cosmetology- We use this radiation for treating dandruff, skin injuries, blackhead, and smoothing wrinkles. They also improve oxygen supply, blood circulation, and the supply of nutrients to the skin.
  • Astronomy- Astronomers use optical devices like digital detectors, mirrors, and lenses to analyze space objects via infrared waves. We can obtain the images of these devices from the infrared telescope.
  • Massage therapy- This radiations warm the skin and help to relax the muscles. We use them because of the penetration attribute.
  • Infrared photography- The infrared filters can capture pictures. The imaging is performed for objects in the near-infrared spectrum.

Infrared communication

The transmission of data through infrared rays is quite common in the communication of the short-range. We utilize the light-emitting diodes for emitting this radiation. Further, the focus is done on a narrow beam with the support of a plastic lens. At the end of the receiver, the photo-diode converts radiations into electric current.

FAQ on Infrared Radiation

Question 1: Is Infrared radiation Carcinogenic?

Answer 1: Radiation is generally famous for causing cellular damage. However, Infrared radiation is not potent enough to cause the development of malignancy. But, studies show that this radiation can reduce the efficiency of DNA  repair as a result of increased skin temperature. In some rare cases, there have been signs of discrepancy in the skin thickness which happens due to Infrared radiation exposure.

Question 2: Is Red light therapy and Infrared same?

Answer 2: No, both of them are entirely different. While red light is visible to naked eyes, Infrared light is not. We cannot feel the red light on the skin. However, since Infrared light generates heat, there will be a sensation of temperature rise on the skin when we expose it to Infrared.

Question 3: What are some common examples of Infrared Radiation?

Answer 3: One of the most common examples of Infrared is the heat of the Sunlight. Interestingly even the heat produced from radiators, fireplace etc are also Infrared radiation. The most common aspect of Infrared radiation is that it raises the surface temperature of the body.

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