What will light energy converted to if wasted?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

If light energy is not converted into Chemical energy by photosynthesis or not converted into electrical enerdy by solar cells, what does the light energy converted to?

"Energy is nor created or destroyed." It must be converted to something? Right??
For example :"Like when you switch on your lights waste it, what will the light energy converted to??"
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
19,248
5,247
Heat.
 
  • #3
In the process of conversation of electrical energy to light energy, how heat energy is converted?
What I thought was heat energy is converted as energy loss?
 
  • #4
647
3
Basically every interaction produces some amount of heat as "waste energy." In this case, I think the wires with nonzero resistance release a little and light bulbs produce electromagnetic radiation along with heat, and the radiation gets "lost" on surfaces which aren't perfectly white, heating them up slightly.
 
  • #5
sophiecentaur
Science Advisor
Gold Member
24,005
4,161
In the process of conversation of electrical energy to light energy, how heat energy is converted?
What I thought was heat energy is converted as energy loss?
"energy loss" is not the best expressions for it. The energy carried by the light is conserved but gets 'dissipated' as random motions of particles and lower frequency EM waves. It becomes a 'lower grade' of energy that cannot easily be channeled into 'useful work'.
 

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