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Which color does absorb most heat in color pans?
Question Date: 2013-01-10
Answer 1:

When we see the color of an object, what we are really seeing is the light that has reflected off of the objects surface. What happens is this: white light (the normal ambient light which is a mixture of several different wavelengths of light included visible light which we see as color) shines on a surface. The surface will then absorb some of the wavelengths of light and reflect the rest. The light that is reflected reaches our eyes and this signal gets processed by our brain as some color. The light that is absorbed, however, gets converted to internal energy in the object (heat energy). So, if you want the object to absorb as much heat as possible, then you want the object to absorb as much of the light as possible. This in turn means that it should reflect as little light as possible. From this it makes sense that an object which is black appears this way because it has absorbed all of the visible light out of the incident white light, and has therefore converted the most incident light energy to internal energy (heat). In other words, when incident white light shines on an object and all of the visible light is absorbed and converted to heat energy, no visible light is reflected off for you to see and so the object appears black. This means that a black object absorbs the most visible light and converts this light energy to heat.

Answer 2:

Black pans will absorb the most heat energy since they reflect the least light (i.e. they absorb the most light). The more light an object absorbs, the more it can be heated. You can easily see this effect on a summer day: wearing a white T-shirt will make you feel less hot than a black T-shirt!

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