Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Radiation, Short Wave
Petra A. Zimmermann
RADIATION TRAVELING IN waves shorter than one micrometer (μm) is characterized as short wave, and includes gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet light, and visible light. Climatologically, short wave radiation commonly refers to the incoming radiation from the sun. There is an inverse relationship between the temperature of an object and the wavelengths at which it primarily emits. Because the sun is a hot object (approximately 5800 K), it emits radiation at short wavelengths. Since shorter wavelengths carry more energy than longer ones, they are more intense. Most of the short wave emitted by the sun is in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, which spans from 0.4 μm (violet) to 0.7 μm (red). The sun's wavelength of maximum emission is found at 0.5 μm. The amount of emitted solar radiation that ...