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Concept: Thermal radiation


Although studies have provided estimates of premature deaths attributable to either heat or cold in selected countries, none has so far offered a systematic assessment across the whole temperature range in populations exposed to different climates. We aimed to quantify the total mortality burden attributable to non-optimum ambient temperature, and the relative contributions from heat and cold and from moderate and extreme temperatures.

Concepts: Demography, Climate, Temperature, Thermodynamics, Heat, Entropy, Cold, Thermal radiation


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a multifactorial, three-dimensional deformity of the spine and trunk. School scoliosis screening (SSS) is recommended by researchers as a means of early detection of AIS to prevent its progression in school-aged children. The traditional screening technique for AIS is the forward bending test because it is simple, non-invasive and inexpensive. Other tests, such as the use of Moiré topography, have reduced the high false referral rates. The use of infrared (IR) thermography for screening purposes based on the findings of previous studies on the asymmetrical paraspinal muscle activity of scoliotic patients compared with non-scoliotic subjects was explored in this study. IR thermography is performed with an IR camera to determine the temperature differences in paraspinal muscle activity. A statistical analysis showed that scoliotic subjects demonstrate a statistically significant difference between the left and right sides of the regions of interest. This difference could be due to the higher IR emission of the convex side of the observed area, thereby creating a higher temperature distribution. The findings of this study suggest the feasibility of incorporating IR thermography as part of SSS. However, future studies could also consider a larger sample of both non-scoliotic and scoliotic subjects to further validate the findings.

Concepts: Statistics, Statistical significance, Vertebral column, Temperature, Black body, Infrared, Thermography, Thermal radiation


Control of the thermal emission spectra of emitters will result in improved energy utilization efficiency in a broad range of fields, including lighting, energy harvesting, and sensing. In particular, it is challenging to realize a highly selective thermal emitter in the near-infrared-to-visible range, in which unwanted thermal emission spectral components at longer wavelengths are significantly suppressed, whereas strong emission in the near-infrared-to-visible range is retained. To achieve this, we propose an emitter based on interband transitions in a nanostructured intrinsic semiconductor. The electron thermal fluctuations are first limited to the higher-frequency side of the spectrum, above the semiconductor bandgap, and are then enhanced by the photonic resonance of the structure. Theoretical calculations indicate that optimized intrinsic Si rod-array emitters with a rod radius of 105 nm can convert 59% of the input power into emission of wavelengths shorter than 1100 nm at 1400 K. It is also theoretically indicated that emitters with a rod radius of 190 nm can convert 84% of the input power into emission of <1800-nm wavelength at 1400 K. Experimentally, we fabricated a Si rod-array emitter that exhibited a high peak emissivity of 0.77 at a wavelength of 790 nm and a very low background emissivity of <0.02 to 0.05 at 1100 to 7000 nm, under operation at 1273 K. Use of a nanostructured intrinsic semiconductor that can withstand high temperatures is promising for the development of highly efficient thermal emitters operating in the near-infrared-to-visible range.

Concepts: Photon, Fundamental physics concepts, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Temperature, Semiconductor, Black body, Thermal radiation


Beaks are increasingly recognised as important contributors to avian thermoregulation. Several studies supporting Allen’s rule demonstrate how beak size is under strong selection related to latitude and/or air temperature (Ta). Moreover, active regulation of heat transfer from the beak has recently been demonstrated in a toucan (Ramphastos toco, Ramphastidae), with the large beak acting as an important contributor to heat dissipation. We hypothesised that hornbills (Bucerotidae) likewise use their large beaks for non-evaporative heat dissipation, and used thermal imaging to quantify heat exchange over a range of air temperatures in eighteen desert-living Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills (Tockus leucomelas). We found that hornbills dissipate heat via the beak at air temperatures between 30.7°C and 41.4°C. The difference between beak surface and environmental temperatures abruptly increased when air temperature was within ~10°C below body temperature, indicating active regulation of heat loss. Maximum observed heat loss via the beak was 19.9% of total non-evaporative heat loss across the body surface. Heat loss per unit surface area via the beak more than doubled at Ta > 30.7°C compared to Ta < 30.7°C and at its peak dissipated 25.1 W m-2. Maximum heat flux rate across the beak of toucans under comparable convective conditions was calculated to be as high as 61.4 W m-2. The threshold air temperature at which toucans vasodilated their beak was lower than that of the hornbills, and thus had a larger potential for heat loss at lower air temperatures. Respiratory cooling (panting) thresholds were also lower in toucans compared to hornbills. Both beak vasodilation and panting threshold temperatures are potentially explained by differences in acclimation to environmental conditions and in the efficiency of evaporative cooling under differing environmental conditions. We speculate that non-evaporative heat dissipation may be a particularly important mechanism for animals inhabiting humid regions, such as toucans, and less critical for animals residing in more arid conditions, such as Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills. Alternatively, differences in beak morphology and hardness enforced by different diets may affect the capacity of birds to use the beak for non-evaporative heat loss.

Concepts: Temperature, Thermodynamics, Heat, Heat transfer, Thermal radiation, Toucan, Hornbill, Tockus


To map skin temperature kinetics, and by extension skin blood flow throughout normal or abnormal repair of full-thickness cutaneous wounds created on the horse body and limb, using infrared thermography.

Concepts: Scar, Wound healing, Healing, Temperature, Horse, Black body, Thermography, Thermal radiation


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Infrared thermography (IRT) is a useful tool for assessing skin temperature abnormalities in patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Although determining regions of interest (ROIs) is an essential process for interpreting thermographic images, there are no validated and standardized guidelines to determine ROIs. Therefore, ROIs may be determined differently by each observer even for the same IRT images, which can result in an important issue for IRT reliability. The purpose of this study was to investigate the interexaminer reliability of IRT in patients with CRPS. METHODS: Infrared thermographic images of 28 patients diagnosed with CRPS were reviewed by three independent examiners. The shapes, sizes, and the detailed locations of the ROIs were determined by the investigator’s own opinion based on patient history and symptoms. After maximal skin temperature of the ROI was obtained for each patient, the degree of agreement among the three examiners limbs was assessed. RESULTS: The intraclass correlation coefficient among the three independent raters was 0.865 (95% confidence interval, 0.748-0.933), indicating a high degree of reliability (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The reliability of IRT for assessing skin temperature abnormalities in CRPS was high when the ROIs were determined based on patient history and symptoms.

Concepts: Temperature, Covariance and correlation, Black body, Infrared, Thermography, Thermal radiation, Infrared thermometer, Thermographic camera


To evaluate the surface temperature rise using an infrared thermal imaging camera on roots with and without simulated internal resorption cavities; during canal filling with injectable (Obtura II), carrier-based (Soft-Core) gutta-percha and continuous wave of condensation (System B) techniques.

Concepts: Temperature, Heat transfer, Black body, Infrared, Thermography, Thermal radiation, Infrared thermometer, Thermographic camera


A conveyor-belt dryer was developed using a combined infrared and hot air heating system that can be used in the drying of fruits and vegetables. The drying system having two chambers was fitted with infrared radiation heaters and through-flow hot air was provided from a convective heating system. The system was designed to operate under either infrared radiation and cold air (IR-CA) settings of 2000 W/m(2) with forced ambient air at 30 °C and air flow of 0.6 m/s or combined infrared and hot air convection (IR-HA) dryer setting with infrared intensity set at 2000 W/m(2) and hot at 60 °C being blown through the dryer at a velocity of 0.6 m/s or hot air convection (HA) at an air temperature of 60 °C and air flow velocity 0.6 m/s but without infrared heating. Apple slices dried under the different dryer settings were evaluated for quality and energy requirements. It was found that drying of apple (Golden Delicious) slices took place in the falling rate drying period and no constant rate period of drying was observed under any of the test conditions. The IR-HA setting was 57.5 and 39.1 % faster than IR-CA and HA setting, respectively. Specific energy consumption was lower and thermal efficiency was higher for the IR-HA setting when compared to both IR-CA and HA settings. The rehydration ratio, shrinkage and colour properties of apples dried under IR-HA conditions were better than for either IR-CA or HA.

Concepts: Energy, Fundamental physics concepts, Thermodynamics, Heat, Black body, Infrared, Apple, Thermal radiation


This study aimed to search for relations between body fat percentage and skin temperature and to describe possible effects on skin temperature as a result of fat percentage in each anatomical site. Women (26.11±4.41 years old) (n =123) were tested for: body circumferences; skin temperatures (thermal camera); fat percentage and lean mass from trunk, upper and lower limbs; and body fat percentage (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry). Values of minimum (TMi), maximum (TMa), and mean temperatures (TMe) were acquired in 30 regions of interest. Pearson’s correlation was estimated for body circumferences and skin temperature variables with body fat percentage. Participants were divided into groups of high and low fat percentage of each body segment, of which TMe values were compared with Student’s t-test. Linear regression models for predicting body fat percentage were tested. Body fat percentage was positively correlated with body circumferences and palm temperatures, while it was negatively correlated with most temperatures, such as TMa and TMe of posterior thighs (r =-0.495 and -0.432), TMe of posterior lower limbs (r =-0.488), TMa of anterior thighs (r =-0.406) and TMi and TMe of posterior arms (r =-0.447 and -0.430). Higher fat percentages in the specific anatomical sites tended to decrease TMe, especially in posterior thighs, shanks and arms. Skin temperatures and body circumferences predicted body fat percentage with 58.3% accuracy (R =0.764 and R(2) =0.583). This study clarifies that skin temperature distribution is influenced by the fat percentage of each body segment.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Statistics, Adipose tissue, Temperature, Body fat percentage, Black body, Thermography, Thermal radiation


Understanding nanoscale thermal transport is of substantial importance for designing contemporary semiconductor technologies. Heat removal from small sources is well established to be severely impeded compared to diffusive predictions due to the ballistic nature of the dominant heat carriers. Experimental observations are commonly interpreted through a reduction of effective thermal conductivity, even though most measurements only probe a single aggregate thermal metric. Here, we employ thermoreflectance thermal imaging to directly visualise the 2D temperature field produced by localised heat sources on InGaAs with characteristic widths down to 100 nm. Besides displaying effective thermal performance reductions up to 50% at the active junctions in agreement with prior studies, our steady-state thermal images reveal that, remarkably, 1-3 μm adjacent to submicron devices the crosstalk is actually reduced by up to fourfold. Submicrosecond transient imaging additionally shows responses to be faster than conventionally predicted. A possible explanation based on hydrodynamic heat transport, and some open questions, are discussed.

Concepts: Temperature, Thermodynamics, Heat, Convection, Electrical conductivity, Heat transfer, Thermography, Thermal radiation