Herschel is perhaps most famous for his discovery of the planet Uranus in 1781, but he also discovered the existence of infrared radiation.
In this lesson, students re-create Herschel’s experiment to demonstrate infrared radiation (detailed teachers notes are provided).
You could use the film clip listed below to lead into the PowerPoint presentation which describes the use of IR in space exploration.
The electromagnetic statement cards make a great plenary. Working in pairs the students match the keywords with the correct statement. When the cards are turned over they reveal images of animals in visible light and infrared light.
As an extension, students can investigate the use of IR to measure sea temperature, and how sea temperature affects phytoplankton growth. This links well with climate change.