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Origin of IR radiation in living things ?

  1. Nov 28, 2012 #1

    I've been reading that in a relatively normal environment about 1/2 of human heat loss is due to radiation. Most of this seems to have a wavelength of 10-12 μm.

    Could someone here speak to the molecular origin of this? I'm guessing it is mostly from water molecules going from a higher to lower energy state, but can't find any information on the specifics.

    thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Some transitions in molecules are involved, but don't forget blackbody radiation - the emitted photons have an energy which corresponds to typical kinetic energies of the moving molecules.
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