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Emissivity in the Infrared

What is Emissivity

All objects and materials do not radiate infrared energy equally. Emissivity is a term describing the efficiency with which a material radiates infrared energy. A blackbody has an emissivity of 1.00 and no other material can radiate more thermal energy at a given temperature. An object with an emissivity of 0 emits no infrared energy. Real-world objects have emissivity values between 0 and 1.00. The lower emissivity of most real-world materials reduces the intensity of radiation from the theoretical predictions of Planck’s Law.

The temperature of an object and its emissivity define how much infrared energy an object will emit. The figure below shows that quartz emits less energy than a blackbody at the same temperature and therefore has an emissivity below 1.00.

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