If reflective surfaces deflect light, and metal is reflective, then why does it get so much hotter in the sun than an all black surface?

185 views

[ad_1]

If reflective surfaces deflect light, and metal is reflective, then why does it get so much hotter in the sun than an all black surface?

In: Physics
[ad_2]

White metall will be cooler than black metal. What all black surface are you comparing it with?

Try Googling “specific heat”. I vaguely remember something about heat transfer from thermodynamics.

Reflective metal will not be hotter than black metal. But metals in general will get hotter than say plastics because they are really good at conducting heat; metals have a bunch of electrons than hang around, they get easily excited (and heated up)and pass the energy on to other electrons and so on and get heated up all the way thru. Plastics are generally poor conductors of heat, so the top layer gets warmed, but it doesn’t warm up the ones below before it radiates the heat away.

when lights a solid many interactions can happen between them, reflection is just one of them. When we say something is reflective we mean that a large portion of the light which hits the solid is reflection, but this will never be 100% of the light. Some of the light will be absorbed or will pass through the solid (like with glass).

Metals tend to have low specific heat capacities, which means that you dont need a lot of energy to raise their temperature. So metals will absorb some of the light emitted by the sun and convert it to heat and because you not much energy is needed to heat up metals they will get hot quickly.

Because it doesn’t. You don’t feel heat or cold. What you feels is transfer of heat. Metal simply transfers heat very well.

The metal doesn’t actually *get* hotter in the sense of having a higher temperature… it’s just that it *feels* hotter because it sheds its heat into cooler things like our skin much faster than, say, black plastic or a black T-shirt would.