Infrared light antenna powers molecular motor

Light-controlled molecular motors can be used to create functional materials to provide autonomous motion, or in systems that can respond on command. For biological applications, this requires the motors to be driven by low-energy, ...

Algae-inspired polymers light the way for enhanced night vision

In a study recently published in ACS Applied Polymer Materials, researchers from the University of Tsukuba synthesized an infrared-transmitting polymer—based on low-cost, widely available materials—that retains its shape ...

Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) exhibit extreme pulses

Extreme events occur in many observable contexts. Nature is a prolific source: rogue water waves surging high above the swell, monsoon rains, wildfire, etc. From climate science to optics, physicists have classified the characteristics ...

New microchip devices produce a wide range of laser hues

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland have developed a microchip technology that can convert invisible near-infrared laser light into any one of a panoply ...

A hydrogel that could help repair damaged nerves

Injuries to peripheral nerves—tissues that transmit bioelectrical signals from the brain to the rest of the body—often result in chronic pain, neurologic disorders, paralysis or disability. Now, researchers have developed ...

Gemini South's high-def version of 'A Star is Born'

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope is still more than a year from launching, but the Gemini South telescope in Chile has provided astronomers a glimpse of what the orbiting observatory should deliver.

NASA's infrared view of typhoon Kujira

NASA's Terra satellite used infrared light to identify strongest storms and coldest cloud top temperatures in Typhoon Kujira as it tracked through the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

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Infrared

Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength is longer than that of visible light (400-700 nm), but shorter than that of terahertz radiation (100 µm - 1 mm) and microwaves (~30,000 µm). Infrared radiation spans roughly three orders of magnitude (750 nm and 100 µm).

Direct sunlight has a luminous efficacy of about 93 lumens per watt of radiant flux, which includes infrared (47% share of the spectrum), visible (46%), and ultra-violet (only 6%) light. Bright sunlight provides luminance of approximately 100,000 candela per square meter at the Earth's surface.

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