Why Do Darker Colors Absorb More Heat Than Lighter Colors?

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Why do darker colors absorb more heat than lighter Colors?

Have you ever wondered why on a hot summer day you would be wearing a black or dark blue t-shirt and in like 5 min you’ll already be sweating and it would be really hot while your friends that are wearing white or yellow t-shirts are all ok and don't seem affected by the heat. Have you ever thought what might cause this to happen?     Well the color of our clothes is determined by a chemical dye that is added to the cloth at the factory when it’s being made. Now the energy of sunlight affects the atoms of the dye in 2 different ways.

Now we know how electrons react when light is shining on the atoms. These electrons absorb a specific frequency of light and become “excited”, and emit a specific frequency of light, which we see as a color. And this frequency is directly related to the color in the clothes.

When you look perfectly at white clothes, all the colors are being absorbed by the electron in the atoms of the elements in the dye, causing the electrons to become “excited”, and emit all frequencies of light back to your eyes. All the energy of the photons red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet light is sent right back to the air around the white shirt. So none of the energy is absorbed by atoms and converted into kinetic energy of atoms. Temperature measures the kinetic energy of the atoms. So if there is no increase of kinetic energy this means that there will be no increase of temperature in the lighter colored clothes.

Now when you look at black clothes, none of the colors are being absorbed by the electron in the atoms of the elements in the dye, so ALL of the energy of the photons of red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet light is absorbed by the atoms of the elements of which the shirt is composed. So all of the energy is converted into kinetic energy of atoms. Temperature measures the kinetic energy of the atoms. High increase in kinetic energy means high increase of...
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