Activity 3: Making thermal radiation visible

Dr. Cecilia Scorza and Moritz Strähle
Status: Mar 2023

All bodies emit heat radiation (or thermal radiation) - however, this is only visible to the human eye at higher temperatures. The thermal radiation of the human body, like the thermal radiation of the earth, is invisible to us - it lies in the infrared range and can only be made visible with a thermal imaging camera.

In its properties, thermal radiation also differs from visible light: while thermal radiation is intercepted by glass and greenhouse gases, for example, visible light passes through these materials unhindered.

  1. Part: Can we make thermal radiation visible?
  2. Part: Which materials are transparent for visible light, which for infrared radiation?



More materials like h5p-study units, videos and animations with Module - The Greenhouse effect and the radiative Equilibrium.

Ausgearbeitete Lerneinheiten:


Hier finden Sie die gleiche Aktivität nur mit Wellenlängen anstatt Photonen:


Video: Making thermal radiation visible

Technical questions and didactic comments