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Q & A: light and dark

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Seeing how light is the release of energy from electrons then darkness would be the opposite right? What happens to atoms in complete darkness? And is there complete black/darkness? I know they become more stable. Does blackness take away energy?
- charlie
kalkaska
A:
Light can come from electrons, but that's not the only source.
In complete darkness, any atom which has more energy than its minimum ('ground state') amount will ultimately emit that energy as light, so that the darkness won't be quite complete anymore. So yes, the darkness 'takes away energy'. In real life, even things that seem very dark (like the inside of an opaque box floating in distant space) would have a little bit of very low-frequency (microwave) electromagnetic energy in them, part of the energy still sloshing through the universe left over from the Big Bang.

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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