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Author Topic: Why are black surfaces better at absorbing light?  (Read 4848 times)

Sarah Williams

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Sarah Williams  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello,

Just to say that your show is brilliant, I listen to it every week, and the podcasts are great for long journeys for example when I'm going to school.

I know that black dull surfaces are better absorbers and emitters of thermal energy by radiation than shiny, light coloured surfaces, but I was wondering why this was. At school we were taught this fact, but never given an explanation for it.

Thanks for such a great show, and I also love the kitchen science!

Sarah

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/02/2010 05:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline Raghavendra

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Why are black surfaces better at absorbing light?
« Reply #1 on: 26/02/2010 08:21:44 »
Because it absorbs all types of radiation! of different wavelength.
 

Offline Spannerman

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Why are black surfaces better at absorbing light?
« Reply #2 on: 26/02/2010 18:26:12 »
Light coloured objects have a tendency to reflect light due to their colour, while darker objects have a lesser reflective ability therefore they absorb the heat. It's like soil dark coloured soil absorbs while the lighter reflects.
 

Offline syhprum

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Why are black surfaces better at absorbing light?
« Reply #3 on: 26/02/2010 22:45:11 »
The question is phrased the wrong way about, surfaces that absorb most of the radiation falling upon them appear dark because little of the radiation is reflected.
 

Offline Ron Hughes

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Why are black surfaces better at absorbing light?
« Reply #4 on: 27/02/2010 00:33:32 »
The question was. Why do some molecules absorb all visible light? I would say that the electrons of that molecule are in exactly the right energy levels to absorb all frequencies of visible light.
 

Offline yor_on

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Why are black surfaces better at absorbing light?
« Reply #5 on: 03/03/2010 11:56:49 »
I would recommend you to read Hazel Rossoti's book 'color'. It's one of the coolest best written books I've read on that subject, even now when it's somewhat older it keeps its intensity, and she covers a lot of things in it. The book is brilliant and will keep you happy for a long time.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Why are black surfaces better at absorbing light?
« Reply #5 on: 03/03/2010 11:56:49 »

 

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