What is Radiant Energy?

Image Credit: 
Main Image: 


Radiant energy is synonymous with electromagnetic radiation. Essentially this term is used to refer to the energy of Electromagnetic waves. The constant nuclear fusion processes occurring in the Sun make it the main source of radiant energy. The term Radiant energy is used in various references like in solar energy, heating, lighting and occasionally in telecommunication too. Radiant energy refers to the heat that is dissipated from a source to the environment. The environment here could refer to a solar heat absorber or the atmosphere or a greenhouse or a closed room. Like all energy forms, Radiant energy is also measured in Joules (J).


Where do we get Radiant Energy from?

Radiant energy exists in a wide range of wavelengths and hence can sometimes be visible to the human eye if it comes under the visible spectrum. Radiant energy is used indirectly in our day to day life in many ways. The radiant energy from Sun is used to heat a solar panel which in turn either cooks food or heats water and is also used to warm a greenhouse and trap the energy within to enrich the plants inside. Radiant energy from a source like infrared lamps or heater is used to act as central heating for rooms in cold temperatures, to dry clothes faster than usual, for disinfecting homes, beds and lastly in the diagnosis of diseases.


What are the applications of Radiant Energy?

The branch of medical science that deals with diagnosis and treatment of diseases with the help of different types of radiant energy is known as Radiology. Since Radiant energy refers to the energy of any form of electromagnetic waves like X-rays, Gamma rays, Infrared rays etc., Radiology also initially used X-rays as a means to diagnose diseases. Later with the advent of various imaging techniques, today one can find Ultrasound, MRI and computer technology being widely prescribed by doctors and accepted by the common man. The most common medical surgery today known as the angiography also deals with injecting a radiopaque substance into the blood stream and then conducting an X-ray on the person to see the blocked arteries and damaged walls in the heart. Other applications of radiant energy are in common pathology scans and tests like the PET scan, the MRI, Ultrasound scan and the X-ray.


External References