For the effect of radiant energy on cloths of different colour, why exactly do the different colours have different temperatures?

There were three readings:

Results- Red- 0.5cm, 3cm, 6cm

Green-0.3cm, 2cm, 4cm

White-0cm, 0cm, 1cm

Black-1cm, 3cm, 8cm

Expert Answers

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Radiant energy has a wavelength of more than 700 namometers and is also called infrared radiation. It is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Absorption of this by a surface is what we commonly call heat. All visible colors can convert radiation to heat, however, different materials differ in the ability to do this. Metals absorb it efficiently and reflect very little of it. That is why a metal object in the sun becomes very hot. A mirror, on the other hand reflects most of the light shined on it and absorbs very little radiant energy. In terms of color, dark colors will heat up more than light colors. Black heats up the most and white, the least. Lighter colors have a greater albedo and reflect more than dark. Therefore, in the polar regions, due to all the ice, sunlight is reflected back more due to greater albedo. This is one of the reasons that the temperature is colder there. Therefore, your experimental data should show that darker colors absorb more radiant energy and light ones reflect more.

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