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Name: Andy
Status: other
Grade: N/A
Location: N/A 
Country: N/A
Date: 8/28/2005


Question:
Can anyone tell me if there is a list of colours that are better for absorbing heat than others? I know that black is best and white is bad, but where is blue in this scenario?


Replies:
There is not one category that represents color properties.

The hue of a color establishes its wave length in the visible spectrum. The saturation its vividness. The hue with saturation being a modifier. This needs checking, but I thought the shorter wave lengths were darker, hence capable of absorbing, more dense. The more I think of the color wheel, there is another scale, lightness which I think measures the degree of white. Blue can be any shade from Navy blue to powder blue. Saturation measuring the black, Light the white. Naturally, everything needs to be reduced to numbers, for consistency and reproduction, hence the scales. The three categories identifying the specifics.

Nate Unterman


Radiant heat is radiation having a wavelength greater than about 700 nanometers (infrared radiation). It is ultimately the absorption of infrared radiation that determines how effective a surface absorbs "heat". The process is a bit more complicated because some surfaces will absorb visible light or even ultraviolet light and through a series of steps convert that radiation into infrared i.e. heat. In general, all the visible colors are about equally effective in this conversion (if other factors are equal). However, there are even some other factors that come into play in certain circumstances. Some metals will absorb infrared radiation very efficiently and reflect very little of it, and so become much hotter when exposed to sunlight. This is the reason for the title of the play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".

Vince Calder



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