You are here:

Physics/How UV radiation is formed


Hi! I was wondering how UV radiation in sun is formed? I know gamma radiation is made when a nucleus splits or fuses, and infrared is made when an object radiates heat but I haven't been able to find out the process that makes UV radiation. So could you tell me how UV radiation i ''born''?

The idea that infrared comes purely from heat is a misconception.  Similarly, the idea that gamma rays typically come from a reaction directly to a new location is also (typically) not correct.  There is a LOT of matter out there, especially near stars. The entire spectrum of light (ranging from ultrahigh energy gamma rays to very low energy radio waves) has a chance to interact with matter.  Every time it does there is a chance that some energy is lost to the matter and a lower energy photon is created from a higher energy one.  In effect, a bunch of the UV light that comes from the sun is coming from matter which was hit by high energy radiation, and then re-emitted lower energy radiation.  For very hot matter (like that of the sun) many elements have their own preferential emission energies when they have a lot of energy(Google spectral lines for Hydrogen, Helium or Argon for example... or any other element).

I hope this helps!


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. Jeffery Raymond


Materials chemistry. Materials science. Spectroscopy. Polymer science. Physical Chemistry. General Physics. Technical writing. General Applied Mathematics. Nanomaterials. Optoelectronic Behavior. Science Policy.


Teaching: General Inorganic Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Physical Chemistry I, Polymeric Materials, General Physics I, Calculus I & II
My prior experience includes the United States Army and three years as a development chemist in industry. Currently I am the Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Synthetic Biological Interactions. All told, 13 years of experience in research, development and science education.

Texas A&M University, American Chemical Society, POLY-ACS, SPIE

Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nanoletters, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Ultramicroscopy Proceedings of SPIE, Proceedings of MRS, Polymer News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nano Letters, Small,, Angewandte

PhD Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Photophysics/Nanomaterials Concentration), MS Materials Science, BS Chemistry and Physics, Graduate Certificate in Science Policy, AAS Chemical Technology, AAS Engineering Technology

©2016 All rights reserved.