Radiation Infrared

INFRARED RADIATIon is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum popularly (but not entirely accurately) conceptualized as heat. The IR region covers wavelengths that span nearly three orders of magnitude; it is conventional therefore to break this down into further subgroups (Table 1).

Table 1: Conventional breakdown of IR radiation




Near-infrared (NIR)

0.75 - 1.4 |m

Absorbed by water and commonly used in fiber-optic technology.


Wavelength Infrared (SWIR)

1.4 - 3 |m

Strongly absorbed by water and used in long-range telecommunications.

Mid wavelength



3-8 |m

Used in heat-seeking missile technology.

Long Wave Infrared / Far IR (LWIR)

8-1000 |m

Not absorbed by water, therefore used for thermal-image sensors.

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