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published by the WGBH Educational Foundation
This set of images and video produced with infrared photography lets students "see" heat radiation.  Infrared is emitted by anything with a temperature -- even cold objects. The photographic technique is a way to visualize the transfer of energy from hotter to colder regions and build accurate concepts about radiant energy. Images depict a variety of objects: hot coffee, Old Faithful geyser, ice cubes, cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals, and hot springs.  

This resource is part of PBS Learning Media, a collection of thousands of classroom-ready, free digital resources compiled by researchers and experienced teachers to promote the use of digital learning.

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Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
Electricity & Magnetism
- Electromagnetic Radiation
= Electromagnetic Spectrum
- General
Thermo & Stat Mech
- First Law
= Heat Transfer
- Kinetic and Diffusive Processes
= Thermal Conductivity
- Thermal Properties of Matter
= Temperature
- High School
- Middle School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
- Audio/Visual
= Image/Image Set
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Parent/Guardians
- Educators
- General Publics
- application/flash
- text/html
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2002 WGBH Educational Foundation,
electromagnetic radiation, electromagnetic spectrum, heat conduction, heat transfer, image set, infrared, infrared light, infrared photography, infrared photos, optics
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created June 12, 2009 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 27, 2014 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 28, 2009
Other Collections:

Next Generation Science Standards

Energy (4-PS3)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (4)
  • Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. (4-PS3-2)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Definitions of Energy (PS3.A)
  • Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects or through sound, light, or electric currents. (4)
  • The term "heat" as used in everyday language refers both to thermal energy (the motion of atoms or molecules within a substance) and the transfer of that thermal energy from one object to another. In science, heat is used only for this second meaning; it refers to the energy transferred due to the temperature difference between two objects. (6-8)
Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer (PS3.B)
  • The amount of energy transfer needed to change the temperature of a matter sample by a given amount depends on the nature of the matter, the size of the sample, and the environment. (6-8)
  • Energy is spontaneously transferred out of hotter regions or objects and into colder ones. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Energy and Matter (2-12)
  • Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects. (4-5)
  • Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion). (6-8)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information (K-12)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to evaluating the merit and accuracy of ideas and methods. (3-5)
    • Obtain and combine information from books and other reliable media to explain phenomena. (3-4)

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4E. Energy Transformations
  • 3-5: 4E/E2b. When warmer things are put with cooler ones, heat is transferred from the warmer ones to the cooler ones.
  • 6-8: 4E/M2. Energy can be transferred from one system to another (or from a system to its environment) in different ways: 1) thermally, when a warmer object is in contact with a cooler one; 2) mechanically, when two objects push or pull on each other over a distance; 3) electrically, when an electrical source such as a battery or generator is connected in a complete circuit to an electrical device; or 4) by electromagnetic waves.
  • 6-8: 4E/M4. Energy appears in different forms and can be transformed within a system. Motion energy is associated with the speed of an object. Thermal energy is associated with the temperature of an object. Gravitational energy is associated with the height of an object above a reference point. Elastic energy is associated with the stretching or compressing of an elastic object. Chemical energy is associated with the composition of a substance. Electrical energy is associated with an electric current in a circuit. Light energy is associated with the frequency of electromagnetic waves.
  • 6-8: 4E/M6. Light and other electromagnetic waves can warm objects. How much an object's temperature increases depends on how intense the light striking its surface is, how long the light shines on the object, and how much of the light is absorbed.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2002), WWW Document, (
PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery, (WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2002), <>.
APA Format
PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery. (2009, March 28). Retrieved October 23, 2018, from WGBH Educational Foundation:
Chicago Format
WGBH Educational Foundation. PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, March 28, 2009. (accessed 23 October 2018).
MLA Format
PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, 2002. 28 Mar. 2009. 23 Oct. 2018 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery}, Publisher = {WGBH Educational Foundation}, Volume = {2018}, Number = {23 October 2018}, Month = {March 28, 2009}, Year = {2002} }
Refer Export Format

%T PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery
%D March 28, 2009
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%C Boston
%O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D March 28, 2009
%T PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%V 2018
%N 23 October 2018
%8 March 28, 2009
%9 application/flash

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PBS Learning Media: Infrared Gallery:

Covers the Same Topic As Science NetLinks: Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment

This is an inquiry-based lab for grades 6-9:  students replicate the historic 1800 experiment in which William Herschel "accidentally" discovered infrared light.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is By The Same Author and Covers a Similar Topic As PBS Learning Media: Astronomical Images in Different Wavelengths

A related set of images of celestial objects, taken with four different types of telescopes: radio, x-ray, infrared, and visible-light.

relation by Caroline Hall

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