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Terahertz radiation converted into heat

  1. Jan 20, 2009 #1
    Hello all.

    Does anyone know what percentage of THz radiation is converted into heat energy? I'm thinking of the simple case where a beam of Thz radiation is incident upon some sort of detector element. The THz radiation can either be converted into kinetic energy (vibration of the molecules/atoms) or heat energy (there is not sufficient energy for inter atomic transitions etc.)

    Has anyone tried to simulate such a situation?

    Many thanks,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2009 #2


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    It depends on the surface. Like any other form of light the amount converted into heat is just 1-reflectivity. For these wavelengths there are lots of water bands so you would also have to be careful about any moisture on the surface.
  4. Jan 20, 2009 #3
    Of course ii depends on the amount of light reflected.

    However not all of the absorbed radiation will be converted into heat. It is this % of absorbed energy converted into heat I am after.
  5. Jan 20, 2009 #4


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    All the absorbed energy is converted into heat (where else could it go?)
    Some of it will be re-radiated, assuming that the object behaves like a black body you can calculate what temperature it will heat up to and how much power will be re-radiated.

    -In the short term some energy could be used to change the chemical nature of the surface (eg in cooking) but then anything else will just be heat.
  6. May 23, 2010 #5
    It depends on the absorption efficiency of the dielectric medium.
    I am a postgraduate majored in Terahertz. So if you have some difficult questions, you could talk with me about it! I will be glad to talk with you about my major.
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