What are special properties of the visible light spectrum except of being visible by us?

164 viewsOtherPhysics

It seems like other electromagnetic waves have some special properties. Microwave can heat the water molecules, infrared is basically “heat waves”. UV have enough energy to damage DNA and harm a living things. X-rays and Gamma radiation can penetrate a lot of material and also damage DNA. But the visible part is just visible, or it have some other properties?

In: Physics

13 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

What you are describing is how different regions of the spectrum interact with matter. Microwaves photons excite movement in water molecules, causing them to absorb energy and become heated. Infrared photons absorbed by many materials, which are then heated. UV photons have enough energy to excite bound electrons in atoms and molecules. This can cause weak molecular bonds to break, like when DNA is damaged. X-rays and gamma rays can ionize atoms and molecules, breaking molecular bonds.

Visible light photons can excite electrons within atoms and molecules. This can lead to fluorescence or phosphorescence in the right materials. So, exposing glow in the dark objects to light causes them to glow for a while afterwards. Many lasers are also “pumped” by visible light photons, meaning that before the laser can emit light, a bright visible light shines into the lasing material to excite it. Visible light can also be used for heating in the same way that infrared light is. The only problem using a visible light as a heat source is that it will also be bright.

You are viewing 1 out of 13 answers, click here to view all answers.