How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 368

Why, if white doesn't absorb heat, do I get very hot when I wear a white shirt?
A white shirt doesn't absorb visible light (or at least very much visible light), but it may absorb lots of infrared light. Since much of the sun's light and heat are in the form of invisible infrared light, that infrared absorption can be very important. There are many materials that appear white to your eye that do absorb strongly in the infrared and thus get very hot in sunlight.

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