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Q & A: Does light energy produce heat?

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Most recent answer: 06/13/2015
Does the light energy from an incandescent light bulb produce heat.You often see quoted that 90% of the energy is given off as heat and 10% as light.Does that 10% also produce heat ?
- Steve Bates (age 50)
Dublin Ireland

Hello Steve,

It sure does.  Light has energy and will warm up any object that absorbs it.  Think of standing in the sunlight on a bright summer day.   You will probably get hot and want to move to a shadier spot.   If a surface is shiny the light may bounce off but eventually it will get absorbed by some other object and warm it up.

In  1905 Albert Einstein published a paper that explained experimental data from the photoelectric effect as being the result of light energy being carried in discrete quantized packets.   He won a Nobel Prize for this work.    You might want to check out this website for additional information.


(published on 06/13/2015)

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