- When the light is absorbed, its energy is transferred to electrons which re-emit the energy as heat.
- Absorption of a particular wavelength of light into a material takes place when the frequency of the wave matches the frequency of electrons orbiting atomic nuclei.
- As electrons orbiting atomic nuclei absorb energy, they heat up and vibrate more vigorously causing atoms to collide with one another.
- Electrons selectively absorb photons with matching frequencies.
- If light is reflected it bounces off at the same wavelength.
- Of the light that reaches Earth’s surface from the Sun:
- 54% is already heat (infrared wavelengths of light).
- 45% is visible light.
- 1% is shorter wavelengths (ultraviolet).