UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Why do the wavelengths of different colors absorb different amounts of heat?
Question Date: 2007-01-18
Answer 1:

Different wavelengths carry different amounts of energy per light particle ("photon"), with blue being more energetic and red less. However, the total power output of a beam of light is equal to the amount of energy per photon *times* the *number* of photons, so it is quite possible for a red laser to be more powerful than a blue one, for example.

Different substances also reflect or absorb different wavelengths. This is due to the spacing and energies that bind the atoms together; wavelengths at critical energies that excite atoms in the substances will be absorbed, and different substances are, well, different.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use