Infrared energy is part of the electromagnetic spectrum & behaves similarly to visible light. It travels through space at the speed of light and can be reflected, refracted, absorbed and emitted. The wave length of IR energy is about an order of magnitude longer than visible light, between 0.7 and 1000 µm (millionths of a meter). Other forms of electromagnetic radiation include radio, ultraviolet, and x-ray.
All objects emit infrared radiation as a function of their temperature. This means all objects emit
infrared radiation. Infrared energy is generated by the vibration and rotation of atoms and molecules. The higher the temperature of an object, the more the motion and hence the more infrared energy is
emitted. This is the energy detected by infrared cameras. The cameras do not see temperatures, they detect thermal radiation.
Infrared Thermography is the technique for producing images by using the total infrared energy being emitted by objects due to their thermal condition. Very sophisticated cameras display temperatures of objects, or surfaces, and produce false color images to make interpretation of thermal patterns easier. The image produced by an infrared camera is called a thermogram, or sometimes a thermograph.
Visit our Infrared Image Gallery to see the wide range of images.
Is the cup of coffee Hot or Cold?
The Thermogram shows it as Hot.