The light in my oven

  • Thread starter amt
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amt

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So, I was baking this Indian delicacy I got at the local Indian grocery store commonly known as 'samosas'. I switched the light inside the oven to observe the progress and then suddenly this thought occured to me. What happens to light when it gets heated up?

What does photons do under extremem heat?
What happens to the photons when they leave the Sun and travel further and further away?

As for the samosas they came out great! :tongue:
 

Pengwuino

Gold Member
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Unless im mistaken, photons dont really "heat up". Only atoms have temperatures so you cant heat up photons.
 

russ_watters

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Photons are heat(edit: I may get hit for being too simplistic there...), so the question is redundant. Anyway, the photons from the light in the oven are much, much hotter (higher energy) than the temperature of the oven itself.
 
Last edited:

Pengwuino

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Guess im mistaken!
 

Mk

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Thermal energy (heat) is kinetic energy from disorderly motions and vibrations of little particles. It has to be mass that is doing the shaking. Photons, the light particles, have no mass, so we can't call them hot or not.
 

amt

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How about Planks constant and black body radiation? Don't they mean heat from light that is proportional to the frequency?


This light thing looks stranger and stranger the more and more I learn about it. I was thinking about the ramifications of photons being effected by heat if that was true. Life would not be possible in that case. Seems like it was deliberately designed for us...strange..... :uhh:
 

brewnog

Science Advisor
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Ant, do you realise that photons (of a certain frequency) ARE a form of heat? I'm not certain whether you'd picked that up from russ's post.
 

Gokul43201

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Photons are basically packets of energy. The energy is of course, proportional to the frequency of the photon. Heat is a form of energy. Heat energy that is radiated - either from the sun, or some other ideal black-body, or even a non-ideal radiator like the one in your oven - is carried by photons (of all frequencies - some frequencies more than others). So, it is meaningless to talk of photons getting heated up. That's like asking if electrons can get charged by static. (electrons carry charge; photons carry heat).

'Light' is just a specific name assigned to photons of a particular frequency/wavelength range - the range that is "visible" to the human eye.
 

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