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What are infrared waves used for?

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Quick Answer

Infrared waves are used to connect remote controls to TVs, to keep food heated and for heat treatment therapy. Infrared technology can also be used for thermal imaging and to see images from space. In addition, some lasers, such as those that read CDs, use infrared radiation.

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Full Answer

The two most common uses for infrared waves are heating items and to connect electronic devices with their controllers. Infrared lamps are used in the cooking industry to keep cooked food hot enough and to provide heat for animals or humans during cold weather or in cool locations. Electronics with wireless controls typically use infrared to transmit the data between the transmitter and receiver so that the user can remotely control the device.

Infrared is also used to dry things, such as paint or wallpaper, more quickly so that the job can move forward. This is an effective way of speeding up the drying process cheaply and efficiently. Similarly, infrared is sometimes used on printed ink to help it dry and adhere properly.

Infrared light waves are essential for taking images of extraterrestrial bodies, such as other galaxies or suns, since much of the light produced by these items is out of the visible range. Using infrared gives astronomers a more accurate view of the bodies.

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