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Chapter 18 Questions - Sara Newell ESC1000 December 2 2009...

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Sara Newell ESC1000 December 2, 2009 Chapter 18 Questions 2) Particles of light are called photons. Each photon is a tiny packet of concentrated energy. The energy of a single photon is related only to the frequency of the light, and not to the temperature. During absorption of radiation, the energy of the photon may initiate chemical and physical reactions in the molecules of your skin and eyes. These reactions can cause sunburn or tan, and eye damage or blindness, respectively. Some absorbed photons do not cause chemical reactions; instead they cause molecules to vibrate or rotate more rapidly. This rapid motion makes your skin feel warm. Alternatively, the energy of a photon may be transferred to an electron in a molecule. In this case, the electron jumps to what scientists call an excited state. But electrons do not remain in their excited states forever. Frequently, they fall back to a lower energy state, initiating emission of radiation in the process. All objects emit radiant energy at some wavelength.
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