We are kind of like light bulbs

Humans emit radiation that is only visible in the infrared spectrum of light. This can be called thermal radiation and our bodies emit it because of our relative temperature. Warmer objects emit more thermal radiation than cooler objects. For example, our sun, the biggest source of thermal radiation in our solar system has a much higher temperature than the human body. This is why we emit a lower radiation and therefore a light only visible in the infrared spectrum. Unfortunately we can’t see it in our day to day lives, unless you have infrared goggles.

There are many applications of infrared technology as well. For example, the United States army uses the technology for night vision goggles. These goggles help solders see enemies’ heat signatures in the night if they’re hidden. It’s also used in remote controls and other wireless devices. ┬áIn popular movies like The Predator, the antagonist of the movie can only see objects in infrared vision. When facing off against Arnold Schwarzenegger in the pivotal ending scene, Arnold attempts to hide his heat signature from the predator’s infrared vision by applying cold mud on his entire body and thus appearing invisible to the infrared vision. Humans like us can only see in the full color spectrum.




3 thoughts on “We are kind of like light bulbs

  1. Max Cohen

    I never thought about this but i guess in the way that we power emit heat we are sort of like light bulbs. We just have different ways of emitting that heat.

  2. Hyunwoo Kim

    I have a doubt that it is possible to detect heat through clothes or suits too. If it does not catch heat from an object covered in mud or something, then it causes rather serious problem

  3. Leona Kogan

    I am confused as to whether we emit light or heat. I know that our bodies emit heat and that is why infrared lighting works but when you said the bit about the sun emitting energy we can see I just got confused.

Leave a Reply