Hull, McAllister H., Jr. Formerly, Department of Physics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Furter, William F. Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario.
Last reviewed:September 2018
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Either the taking up of energy from radiation by the medium through which radiation is passing, or the taking up of matter in bulk by other matter. A simple example of the absorption of energy is how sunlight warms a tree's leaves (Fig. 1). Wavelengths of green light are reflected by molecules in the leaves, making them appear green, while other wavelengths of light are absorbed for use in photosynthesis, with some energy being converted into heat. A simple example of absorption by matter of other matter is the dissolving of carbon dioxide gas into water to create soda water. See also: Carbon dioxide; Chemistry; Energy; Photosynthesis; Physics; Tree; Water
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