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Thermal radiation

Electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of particles / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of particles in matter. Thermal radiation is generated when heat from the movement of charges in the material (electrons and protons in common forms of matter) is converted to electromagnetic radiation. All matter with a temperature greater than absolute zero emits thermal radiation. At room temperature, most of the emission is in the infrared (IR) spectrum.[1]:73–86 Particle motion results in charge-acceleration or dipole oscillation which produces electromagnetic radiation.

The peak wavelength and total-s radiated amount vary with temperature according to Wien's displacement law. Although this shows relatively high temperatures, the same relationships hold true for any temperature down to absolute zero.
Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Its emission in the infrared is invisible to the human eye. Infrared cameras are capable of capturing this infrared emission (see Thermography).

Infrared radiation emitted by animals (detectable with an infrared camera) and cosmic microwave background radiation are examples of thermal radiation.

If a radiation object meets the physical characteristics of a black body in thermodynamic equilibrium, the radiation is called blackbody radiation.[2] Planck's law describes the spectrum of blackbody radiation, which depends solely on the object's temperature. Wien's displacement law determines the most likely frequency of the emitted radiation, and the Stefan–Boltzmann law gives the radiant intensity.[3]

Thermal radiation is also one of the fundamental mechanisms of heat transfer.