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Term: Infrared (radiation)

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Term: Infrared (radiation)


Infrared radiation encompasses the portion of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum with wavelengths longer than those within the visible spectrum. Infrared radiation is commonly subdivided into "near" and "far," with these descriptors referring to the relative distance or proximity to the visible spectrum.

The wavelengths comprising near infrared radiation fall in a range closer to those of the visible spectrum than radiation described as far infrared radiation. Extending beyond far infrared radiation is the range of EM spectrum categorized as microwave radiation.

Digital imagery of cultural heritage materials may include the use of infrared images in the near infrared region to display characteristics of an artifact not apparent when viewed in the visible spectrum.  There are several schemes to break down the divisions of the regions of infrared radiation.  For the purposes of this site, near infrared encompasses radiation ranging from 700 nm to 1000 nm.

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