[in-fruh-red] /ˌɪn frəˈrɛd/

the part of the invisible spectrum that is contiguous to the end of the visible spectrum and that comprises electromagnetic radiation of wavelengths from 800 nm to 1 mm.
noting or pertaining to the infrared or its component rays:
infrared radiation.
the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with a longer wavelength than light but a shorter wavelength than radio waves; radiation with wavelength between 0.8 micrometres and 1 millimetre
of, relating to, using, or consisting of radiation lying within the infrared: infrared radiation

also infrared, 1881 (noun and adjective), from infra- + red.

infrared in·fra·red (ĭn’frə-rěd’)

Infrared light or the infrared part of the spectrum.
Relating to the invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths longer than those of visible red light but shorter than those of microwaves. See more at electromagnetic spectrum.

Our Living Language : In 1800 the astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered infrared light while exploring the relationship between heat and light. Herschel used a prism to split a beam of sunlight into a spectrum and then placed a thermometer in each of the bands of light. When he placed the thermometer just outside the red band, where there was no visible color, the temperature rose, as if light were shining on the thermometer. Further experiment showed that this invisible radiation behaved like visible light in many ways; for example, it could be reflected by a mirror. Infrared radiation is simply electromagnetic radiation with a lower frequency than visible light, having longer wavelengths of 0.7 micrometer to 1 millimeter. Ultraviolet radiation, like infrared radiation, lies just outside the visible part of the spectrum, but with higher frequencies; some animals, such as bees, are capable of seeing such radiation. Both infrared and ultraviolet radiation are often referred to as forms of light, though they cannot be seen by human beings. Heat energy is often transferred in the form of infrared radiation, which is given off from an object as a result of molecular collisions within it. Molecules typically have a characteristic infrared absorption spectrum, and infrared spectroscopy is a common technique for identifying the molecular structure of substances. Astronomers similarly analyze the infrared radiation emitted by celestial bodies to determine their temperature and composition.


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  • Infrared data association

    standard, body (IrDA) A non-profit trade association providing standards to ensure the quality and interoperability of infrared (IR) hardware. The association currently has a membership of over 160 companies from around the world, representing computer and telecommunications hardware, software, components and adapters. IrDA typically uses direct infrared i.e. point-to-point, line-of-sight, one-to-one communications. The standards include: […]

  • Infrared-galaxy

    noun, Astronomy. 1. a galaxy that radiates strongly in the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.

  • Infrared microscope

    infrared microscope n. A microscope equipped with infrared transmitting optics and capable of measuring the infrared absorption of minute samples with the aid of photoelectric cells.

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