We are developing a unique approach that uses affordable IR cameras (e.g., the $249 FLIR ONE) to visualize invisible energy flows and transformations in easy-to-do science experiments. Using this "desktop remote sensing" approach, thermal energy can be readily "seen." Other types of energy that convert into thermal energy can be inferred from thermal signals. Hence, many invisible physical, chemical, and biological processes that absorb or release heat can be visualized, discovered, and investigated.
Candle in the Wind
This video shows that the smoke above a candle, which is invisible to the naked eye, can be clearly seen in an IR camera, as the tiny particles in smoke emit IR light.
Once the candle goes out, the IR trace of the smoke vanishes, indicating the column we see is caused by the smoke instead of the rising heat.
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