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When you go outside on a sunny day, you can feel the heat from the sun
on your skin. The heat that you feel has traveled 150 million
kilometers from the sun through space by infrared radiation. Radiation
with frequencies below the red end of the spectrum is infrared.
Infrared is different to convection and conduction because it does not
require particles to transfer heat. There are no particles in between
the space between earth and the sun, but still the infrared radiation
can travel through it.
Every object on earth gives of infrared radiation, even cold objects.
Infrared cameras can be used to detect this. One of the amazing uses
of infrared detectors is tracking rockets. The camera would be linked
to an infrared detector, this can not only tell the direction from
which the radiation comes from, but also how the direction changes.
This information is then given to a computer which then processes it
and hence gives a production controlling the camera and the detector
so the rockets course is followed.
There are many types of detectors, one of them being the tracking
rocket detector, but there is also a detector which has military
applications. Living organisms and engines are at temperatures above
their surroundings, and they emit more infrared. Appropriate detectors
are able to uncover the presence of people or engines, even if they
are totally camouflaged, because of the infrared radiation, hence the
whereabouts of an enemy may be discovered.
A detector that is quite similar may also be used together with an
infrared source to enable one to see in the dark. The infrared
radiation gets reflected from different objects just like light, but
not in the same amount. Hence a device that can receive this radiation
and use it to produce a similar picture with light makes the scene
visible. This detector, has obvious uses, military wise, but can also
be used to observe animals at night, without causing a disturbance. An
example of using infrared for good is in the 1972 Olympic Games.
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waves were to measure the distances of javelin and shot-put, much
quicker and easier than counting by measure tape. A reflector is
placed at the point of impact and then infrared pulses from a
transmitter, at a convenient point are reflected back to a detector
opposite it. The time for the pulses to travel to the reflector and
back is measured. The result will be showed within seconds.
Infrared can also be used to solve the problems with the authenticity
Latest infrared - EuropeAbove: A latest infrared satellite image of
Images like this come from geostationary satellites all the time. This
infrared image shows the same image we see but with a part of the
spectrum that our eyes do not detect. The infrared pictures allow
weather men to measure the temperature of the cloud tops, which can be
used to determine their height. The whiter clouds are colder than the
greyer clouds in this image. Infrared images can be recorded 24 hours
a day. Visible pictures can only be made during daylight hours.
Coast-lines and lines of latitude and longitude have been added to the
images and they have been altered to northern polar stereographic