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How do different colors absorb and re-emit radiant energy?

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When it is summertime and I go on a run, my parents say, “Make sure you wear a light shirt!” Once, I asked why, and they said it was because the light colors don’t absorb as much heat, so I wouldn’t be as hot. The opposite was for cold weather. When I had to go outside for a while in the cold, I made sure to wear a black or dark top, because then it would absorb more heat and keep me warmer. I have always been curious about how this works, and if it works, for that matter (Parents can be wrong, you know). Also, the concept of energy simply intrigues me. This is why I decided to find out more about how colors on a shirt, or anywhere else, can affect temperature. When I started my research, the literature (or scientists) explained that a color will, in fact, affect the temperature of that object. This temperature is measured by using an infrared thermometer and a couple of large math equations. With this information, one can then calculate the rate of energy absorption of each color.

For this discussion, I am referring to thermal energy, also referred to as heat. Heat is actually light, but it is a light that is invisible to us, or not in the visible portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. Infrared light is the heat that we refer to normally and is located just below the color red in the Electromagnetic Spectrum. Its name is literally its definition. “Infra,” which means “below,” then “red.” So, infrared, or “below red,” is below red on the Electromagnetic Spectrum. We can see things that do not give off their own light because of reflection. When a color reflects light, the light reaches our eyes and allows us to see the color. This means that if we turn the light off in the room, we cannot see the colors because they do not give...

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