How does light create heat?

How does light create heat?

Actually, some light is heat. Heat is the energy that flows from one object to another because of a difference in their temperatures. The sun is hotter than you are so that it sends heat toward you. Sunlight is heat; it is the sun’s heat being sent toward you as electromagnetic radiation. When it strikes the surface of your skin, this radiation is absorbed and becomes the more familiar form of heat: kinetic and potential energy in the atoms and molecules. From the surface of your skin, this heat flows inward to warm the rest of your body. Any material that absorbs light usually converts it to heat. The charged particles in that material move under the influence of the light’s electric field and these moving charged particles transfer their energy here and there as heat.

Why are tanning beds not good for you; also there are some new ones recently tha…

Why are tanning beds not good for you; also there are some new ones recently that claim that they are safer than others (have no B rays)? Are they about the same as the sun itself or how much worse for you?

Tanning beds emit ultraviolet light in order to trigger your skin’s tanning response. This ultraviolet light can and does cause chemical damage to your skin. Like all light, ultraviolet light is absorbed and emitted as particles. The energy in each light particle depends on its wavelength and, since ultraviolet light has short wavelengths, ultraviolet light particles carry lots of energy. They carry enough energy to rearrange the molecules that absorb them. If those molecules are part of the genetic information of a cell, the cell may die or, worse yet, may become cancerous. The shorter the wavelength of the ultraviolet light, the more energetic its particles and the more damage it can do. Tanning beds walk a narrow line between inducing tanning and causing significant damage. Leather skin is one end result of too much chemical damage. Tanning beds that emit relatively long wavelength ultraviolet are probably less harmful than those that emit shorter wavelength ultraviolet (these wavelength ranges are sometimes designated by letters A, B, and C…I think that A is the longest wavelength and least harmful). Still, you skin’s tanning response is a defense against chemical damage and is probably not worth trying to trigger with light. Recent research seems to have found chemicals that trigger tanning. These chemicals mimic light-damaged molecules in your skin. Your skin senses these molecules and responds by tanning. If these chemicals work, you’ll soon be able to develop a true tan without exposure to light.

Does a mirage operate under the same principle as the puddles on a road?

Does a mirage operate under the same principle as the puddles on a road?

Not exactly. A puddle contains water, which reflects light directly. Light from the blue sky travels toward the puddle and illuminates it. As the light enters the water, with its higher refractive index, part of the light reflects. You see this light when you look at the surface of a puddle. But a mirage involves refraction (bending) of light. As light from the blue sky enters a regions of hot air near the surface, that light bends upward. You again see light from the sky, but bent upward by the air rather than being reflected upward by a surface of water. Since the two appear similar, you interpret the shimmering blue light of a mirage as coming from a pool of water. But it is just hot air.

How does suntan lotion work to prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging your skin?

How does suntan lotion work to prevent ultraviolet rays from damaging your skin?

Suntan lotion (or rather sunscreen) is a chemical whose molecules absorb ultraviolet light and turn its energy into heat. Like fluorescent compounds, these molecules absorb ultraviolet light strongly. But unlike fluorescent compounds, the sunscreen molecules do not reemit any light. They convert all of the ultraviolet light energy into heat, which does no damage to your skin.