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Working with thermal images

Student Directions

Your instructor will give you specific instruction for each of the steps below, including where do locate the images. 1. Engage: Firefighters use thermal imagers to locate people in burning buildings. Thermal imagers cannot see through solid objects, but they can detect heat that was transferred to a surface. Some thermal imagers can detect a difference of 0.05 o C, which is a very small amount. Using such equipment, firefighters can detect footprints or handprints, and so track where people might have gone to try to escape a fire. One study showed that, without the thermal imager, victims were located less than 40% of the time, but with the imager, detected 99% of the time. Footprints and handprints are not living! Where does the heat of the footprints and handprints come from? How/why is heat transferred? What happens to it after transfer to an object? Observe a thermal image handprint. What patterns do you see? How do you explain the patterns? Pair with a neighbor in class (or outside class) and discuss your answers.  

2. Explore: Observe thermal images of a variety of animals. What patterns do you see? How do you explain those patterns? Do "cold-blooded" animals exhibit temperature warmer than ambient? Explain. Develop hypotheses that you can test by further examination of thermal images and simple observations that you can conducted right now. What are your conclusions? Where do these animals get the heat that is detected in the thermal images? Trace this form of energy back to the original source of energy. How/why is the heat transferred? To what is it transferred? What happens to it after transfer to an object? What is the role of cellular respiration?

3. Explain: Examine the balanced equation for cellular respiration (oxidation? of glucose):

 

C6H12O6 + 6 H2O + 6 O2 ---> energy + 6 CO2 + 12 H2O

Identify each item in the equation and where it comes from. Exactly where does the released energy come from? What happens to the released energy? Create a concept map or flow chart. Work backwards to show the origin of energy (e.g., where does it come from). Work forwards to show where energy ends up (e.g., where does it go). In ecology/biology, what does the term "energy transfer" mean? What does "energy transformation?" mean? What does the term "conservation of energy?" mean?

4. Elaborate Observe thermal images of plants (e.g., skunk cabbage). What patterns do you see? How do you explain those patterns? Do plant cells exhibit temperature warmer than ambient? Explain. Develop hypotheses that you can test by further examination of thermal images or by germinating some large seeds, such as lima beans. What are your conclusions? Where do plants get the heat that is detected in the thermal images? How/why is the heat transferred? To what is it transferred? What happens to it after transfer to an object? Review your concept map/flow chart. Given what you have learned, refine it (e.g., make corrections, expand it). What questions do you have now? Can heat energy from cellular respiration be recovered? Can it be transformed to another type of energy? Can energy be used up? Explain your answers.

5. Evaluate: Examine an illustration of a food web in a textbook and identify where energy transformation occurs, where cellular respiration occurs, and where heat energy is lost from organisms into the environment. Useful images and their sources (web sites):

 

Illustration of energy entering biosphere (yellow = sunlight) and energy (blue = heat) dissipating from biosphere.

www.chemistryland.com/.../GlobalWarming.html

 

NASA thermal image of Earth.

visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=45

 

 

Place your hand on this black plastic square and create a beautiful thermal hand print. Each color represents a different temperature. Can be used over and over again.

http://www.teachersource.com/Energy/Thermodynamics/TouchandSeeSquare.aspx

 

Comparison of thermal images of live person and his handprint, with Fahrenheit scale.

www.ir55.com/sc1000_sc2000_sc3000_thermacam.htm

 

 

 

Thermal images of tarantula.Photo credits: Thermal camera's unique view of London Zoo By Roger Highfield, Science Editor, Telegraph, UK www.telegraph.co.uk/.../2008/02/05/scizoo105.xml

 

 

Temperature Regulation by Thermogenic Flowers.

 

Roger S. Seymour, Environmental Biology, University of Adelaide, Australia; Kikukatsu Ito, Cryobiosystem Research Centre, Iwata University, Moroika, Japan www.plantphys.net/article.php?ch=e&id=126

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4.EF_Thermal_images_7-8-08.doc1.39 MB