Incandescence

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Vitrification.jpg
Molten glassy material glows orange with incandescence in a vitrification experiment.

Incandescence is the release of electromagnetic radiation from a hot body due to its high temperature. The release of radiation is usually in the infrared (heat) region, known as thermal radiation, and the visible light region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Incandescence occurs in light bulbs, because the filament resists electron flow. This excites electrons in the filament material to jump to a higher atomic orbital and thus subsequently release a photon when they fall back to their original orbits. Depending of the energy difference between the two orbits, the emitted photon is of a different wavelength. The same process occurs when something is on fire or during an explosive or a combustion reaction.

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