# Does the EM wave or photon in Infra Red radiation contain energy?

All objects at a temperature above absolute zero emit IR radiation which is electromagnetic radiation. This can be considered either as a wave or as photons to assist our understanding of the processes involved. The intensity of the radiative flux can be calculated using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and it is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature of the radiating object. When radiation leaves an object, like the Sun for example, it can result in something else getting hotter, like our Earth but does the heat energy actually reside within the EM wave/photons? If it does not how does the heat leave the Sun and enter the Earth?

• Is there anything that makes you think it doesn't? – JMac May 2 '17 at 18:43
• What do you mean by "Heat energy"? Looking at the other answer I realized you used that term; I'm not sure about the intent of the question. – JMac May 2 '17 at 18:49
• @JMac. If the sun radiates towards the earth and the earth heats up in the daytime then it looks like heat energy is passing from the very hot sun to the somewhat cooler earth via the process of radiative heat transfer. Energy is being lost by the sun (it cools a tiny tiny bit) and energy is being gained by the earth (it warms up somewhat).Energy must be conserved so the amount lost by the sun (the fraction relating to the angular area "seen" by the earth compared to total sun output) must equal that gained by the earth. Does the energy pass along the IR beam? Is the energy within the beam? – BetterBuildings May 2 '17 at 19:06
• Perhaps one thing this is getting in your way is that physics doesn't use the term "heat energy". You seem to be using the term to first describe what we call "thermal energy" and then later the same term to describe "radiant energy". – garyp May 2 '17 at 19:21