Infrared Theory – Electromagnetic Spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum encompasses all of the radiation wavelengths between the shortest waves of gamma radiation at around 10-14 buy cialis online m to the longest radio waves at around 107 m with the infrared sector or the spectrum roughly in the centre and will be explained in more detail later.

Figure 4 – Electromagnetic Spectrum (Ibarra-Castanedo, 2007)

Thermal radiation does

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not just occur in the infrared but across

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the spectrum. This radiation transfers heat by emission ms board of pharmacy and absorption. The intensity is the important element so that in our surrounding temperatures, the most intense radiation is in the infrared range and the hotter it gets, the intensity moves to shorter wavelengths. An example of this is glowing hot metal has the greatest radiation in the shorter wavelength that become visible. Cooler objects have

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the radiation intensity further into the long wavelengths. The intensity of the radiation of different wavelengths has differing effects on us, for example we feel the heat from microwaves (in this case it is the energy exciting water molecules that create the heat) or X rays that we cannot feel initially but will cause illness over time.

Thermal infrared radiation wavelengths are longer than that of visible light viagra origin in the electromagnetic spectrum. Visible light is considered to be between 0.4 and 0.7µm length and at this point it needs to be noted that the wavelength bands are not sharply defined. Thermal infrared wavelengths lie between 1-14µm. This part of the spectrum can be further broken up into near, mid and far infrared.

Within the infrared spectrum that the thermal camera covered there is a “blind spot” due to the effect of the atmosphere. The atmosphere attenuates the radiation between about 5 and 8 µm. Therefore there is no radiation to pick up. Graph 1 shows the actual attenuation of radiation at 1km in the infrared band. This occurs between the mid wave infrared (MWIR) and the long wave infrared (LWIR) wavelengths. The result is that this attenuated area cannot be used in infrared imaging technology.

Graph 1 – Transmission through air of the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum (Univeristy of Virginia, 2011)


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