What is radiant energy? Is radiant energy potential or kinetic?

Radiant energy is the energy possessed by electromagnetic waves such as visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR), etc. The main characteristic of this energy is that it propagates in a vacuum without the need for any material support. It is transmitted by units called photons. Light (a form of radiant energy).

We know that energy is the ability to produce work, and to cause chemical and physical changes through which energy can manifest itself in different ways. One of these forms is radiant energy, also known as electromagnetic radiation, the energy transmitted without the movement of the mass. In practical terms, this is the energy found in electromagnetic waves, also known as light. Light is made up of individual particles called photons, each of which carries a small “beam” of energy.

Radiant energy characteristics

The main characteristics of radiant energy are as follows:

  • Also known as electromagnetic energy.
  • It is transmitted by means of elementary particles known as photons.
  • It produces an interaction with matter to transfer a fixed amount of energy.
  • It is a particle that is present in electromagnetic waves, gamma rays, ultraviolet rays (UV), infrared rays (IR), radio waves, visible light (electromagnetic spectrum), and even in light and heat from the sun
  • It is always on the move and travels at a speed of 300 thousand kilometers per second in space.
  • It forms a large number of waves of different lengths and frequencies
  • It is a type of reflected energy because it cannot penetrate matter, but rather jump.
  • It can be transmitted because you can travel through it.
  • It is a type of energy that can be absorbed.

Types of radiant energy

The best-known types of radiant energy are ultraviolet rays or X-rays. Since energy can be transformed into another type of energy, there are different forms of radiant energy related to nature. They are all undulatory movements consisting of electric and magnetic fields.

Where does radiant energy come from?

Radiant energy can be acquired from different types of natural sources, among which we can mention the sun and the stars. It can also be obtained from radio waves, ultraviolet rays, and infrared radiation that corresponds to the thermal energy released by the bodies. It can also be obtained from gamma rays and X-rays.
Radiant energy is generated or obtained from electromagnetic waves, such as visible light, radio waves, and lightning. It is a type of energy that can be obtained without the need for support material. It is also obtained by means of solar electromagnetic pulses.

How does radiant energy work?

Radiant energy has the ability to move in a vacuum without occupying any kind of material, which is characteristic of electromagnetic waves. Radiant energy transmission units are photons that behave similarly to particles. Intensity is related to the number of photons that remain on a surface, while color is linked to the frequency and wavelength of the incident light.

Advantages of radiant energy

Among the main advantages of radiant energy that we can mention, we have:

  1. It is a type of non-polluting energy and perhaps one of its main advantages and characteristics.
  2. It is considered an inexhaustible source of energy because it is a type of energy that has no end.
  3. It is an energy use system considered ideal for all areas where the power line cannot reach or its transfer is very expensive and difficult.
  4. The solar radiation or capture systems it uses are easy to maintain, a circumstance that makes the choice easier.
  5. As technology advances day by day, the cost of radiant energy is reduced considerably, thus helping to maintain a proper economy.


Among its main disadvantages, we can mention the following:

  • The level of radiation that this type of energy fluctuates from one area to another and from one station to another.
  • When it becomes the type of energy chosen by the population, it needs large tracts of land, which makes it difficult to choose.
  • You need a strong economic investment and not all consumers are financially prepared for this expense.
  • The places where the most radiation is found are deserts in nature and far from people, so this energy cannot be used for agricultural or industrial development.

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