Who invented infrared technology?

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Last Updated on 3 years by Francis

Who invented infrared technology?

infrared technology in military

The infrared technology has been subjected to a large number of transformations throughout the past century. As a result, you would also be interested in getting to know about the roots of this technology as well.

The infrared technology came into this world during the 19th Century and 20th Century. In fact, it was born as a result of some collaborative experiments conducted by different entities. These experiments were related to radiometry, colorimetry, and photometry. It was developed entirely for military purposes so that the troops can be provided with a better vision at the nighttime. Back in the day, infrared technology played a major role in the defense capabilities of the United States. Even in today?s world, the US Military Forces heavily rely on IR technology.

Who invented the infrared technology?

Now let?s focus on the most important section of the article, as we discuss who invented the infrared technology. The name infrared is coming from a Latin word, named Infra.

This word gives out the meaning ?Below?. This is where your knowledge about electromagnetic waves become useful. Red color can be considered as the color in visible light, which has the longest wavelength. The longer wavelength refers that the frequency of red color is low.

Back in 1781, Sir William Herschel was able to discover the planet Uranus. He was an amateur astronomer at that time. With this discovery, he was motivated to come up with many other findings. That?s where he went ahead and discovered the infrared rays during the beginning of 19th

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Sir William Herschel had a clear understanding about the discoveries that were made by Newton. As a result, he knew that it is possible for the sunlight to be divided into chromatic components, by refracting them through a prism.

That?s where Hershel assumed that these colors are associated with their own energy levels, which is related to heat. He wanted to prove this hypothesis and decided to carry out an experiment for it.

During the experiment, Herschel passed sunlight via a prism made out of glass.


He was able to create a spectrum as a result of it. In here, he was able to create the rainbow colors, which are divided into their own components.

That?s where he decided to go ahead and measure the temperature related to each and every color. To measure the temperatures, he decided to use three thermometers. These thermometers had backed bulbs. The bulbs were placed in each color, whereas the other two thermometers were placed outside the spectrum.

The readings that Sir William Herschel could come up with after this experiment was quite shocking to him as well. As the first thing, he noticed that the temperatures associated with all the colors were higher when compared to the outside temperature. On the other hand, he noticed how the temperature is increasing, as he goes from the violet to the red colored portion of the spectrum. That?s where he deduced that the color with the highest temperature contains most of the energy.

In this experiment, Herschel was able to discover a unique form of light, which is quite beyond the traditional red light. That?s where he was able to take his experiment to the next level and discover infrared.

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Infrared can be considered as a band or a section of the invisible light, which you can see in the electromagnetic spectrum. It can be considered as a unique form of radiant heat. This is also being called as infrared energy. More than 80% of the rays that are coming from the sun would fall into this invisible range of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The electromagnetic spectrum is made out of a complete range of radiant energies. They are measured as frequencies or waves. You can also see them divided into three different segments, according to the wavelength. The measurement of wavelength is done in microns.

If the wavelength is in between 0.076 and 1.5 microns, it is called as near infrared.

If the wavelength is between 1.5 to 5.6 microns, it is called as middle infrared.

If the wavelength is between 5.6 to 1000 microns, it is called as far infrared.

This invisible light band is made out of warm objects, which is responsible for providing warmth to the surrounding air. Sun can be considered as a perfect example to prove the above-mentioned fact. Imagine what would happen when you are standing outside under the sun on a cold day. You will notice the warmth that is coming from the sun, even if the surrounding temperature is cold. That?s because of the infrared rays that penetrate into your body. They have the ability to travel in between 1.5 to 3.5 inches in your body.

Due to this reason, it is also possible to say that infrared heat is a safe source of energy, which can be used to raise your body temperature. On the other hand, it can also be used as an effective method to raise the temperature of an object, without heating up the surrounding air. This gave life to many applications of infrared technology. Infrared saunas can be considered as a perfect example to prove the above-mentioned fact.

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The benefits that infrared technology can deliver to the human beings are well documented. It is one of the key technologies that people in today?s world tend to use in order to ensure their overall well being as well. Therefore, you don?t need to worry about anything, when you are planning to get the most out of infrared technology and the benefits that come along with it. The unique characteristics of infrared technology can provide a large number of benefits to you in the long run.

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