Radiant Energy Definition for Kids


Energy is usually classified into two types: static and kinetic. Gravitational, chemical, nuclear and elastic energy are examples of static energy. Heat, sound and electricity are examples of kinetic energy. Another type of energy that gets classified as kinetic energy is radiant energy.

What is Radiant Energy?

Any type of energy that can be transmitted through electromagnetic radiation is radiant energy. The exact transmission could be purely electrical or purely magnetic. In case the energy gets transmitted in both forms, as electrical and magnetic radiation, then it is referred to as electromagnetic radiation or radiant energy.

Light is Radiant Energy

The most commonly cited example of radiant energy is light. That is partly because light is a visible energy. We can either see energy or feel it. In many cases, we don’t see or feel the energy but only get to measure it using special instruments. Light is also the most prevalent radiant energy because it is not just light but a sum of many forms of energy.

Examples of Radiant Energy

All electromagnetic radiations are radiant energy. That includes x-rays, microwaves, radio waves, ultraviolet waves and visible light. Radiant energy doesn’t require any medium and can be transmitted regardless of the medium. In other words, radiant energy can travel or be transmitted through space which is essentially vacuum, air or atmosphere, solid objects including humans and nonliving matter in the world as well as different atmospheric conditions as found around other planets.

Transmission of Radiant Energy

Radiant energy is transmitted in the form of waves. Light energy, different parts of the invisible spectrum of light including every wavelength and frequency from gamma ray to long wave, gravitational waves and even celestial heat are transmitted as radiant energy. The waves have specific frequencies and wavelengths depending on the energy of the photons or particles of the energy. The type of energy that has longer wavelengths would have less active particles and those that have shorter wavelengths will have hyperactive photos or particles.

Radiant energy is transmitted primarily because of the motion of these photons, also known as charges. Their disturbance or motion causes a wave in space or any medium where it is generated or exists. These waves then lead to the transmission of the radiant energy. Like any other form of energy, radiant energy can also be converted and utilized in myriad ways. Radio, television, solar cells and cell phones are some of the devices that use radiant energy.