Reference Terms
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Radiant energy

Radiant energy is the energy of electromagnetic waves.

The term is most commonly used in the fields of radiometry, solar energy, heating and lighting, but is also used less frequently in other fields (such as telecommunications).

The quantity of radiant energy may be calculated by integrating radiant flux (or power) with respect to time and, like all forms of energy, its SI unit is the joule.

In applications involving transmission of power from one location to another, "radiant energy" is sometimes used to refer to the electromagnetic waves themselves, rather than their energy (a property of the waves).

Because electromagnetic (EM) radiation can be considered to be a stream of photons, radiant energy can be viewed as the energy carried by these photons.

Alternatively, EM radiation can be viewed as an electromagnetic wave, which carries energy in its oscillating electric and magnetic fields.

These two views are completely equivalent, and are reconciled to one another in quantum field theory.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Radiant energy", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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July 4, 2015

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