Can a Material Absorb Infrared Light and Emit Visible Light?
Yes, a material can absorb infrared light and emit visible light. This is called the ” Stefan-Boltzmann law ,” and it holds true for all materials including water. Infrared radiation is energetic but short-wavelength (longer than what humans see), while visible light is long-wavelength (shorter than what humans see). When an object absorbs infrared radiation, some of that energy will be converted to heat.
In particular, materials that are able to absorb infrared light can then transform it into longer-wavelength visible light. This process is known as luminescence, and the resulting color depends on the wavelength of the emitted radiation.
Soil has a great ability to emit infrared radiation due to its high water content and organic matter content. When exposed to sunlight or other forms of electromagnetic radiation (like LEDs), soil will start absorbing these wavelengths and convert them into visible colors such as blue, violet, or yellow.