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When an object absorbs visible light (such as from the sun) it gains a certain amount of energy. Most objects then emit back IR radiation (without emitting back any visible light) which has a lower frequency and therefore less energy than visible light.

So how has energy been conserved here? Does the object maybe emit more total photons of IR radiation than it absorbed photons of visible light, since each photon of IR radiation carries less joules of energy? Or, if not, does the object actually gain in internal energy through this process?

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IR has less energy per photon than visible light. Energy is conserved in a steady state scenario by emitting more IR photons than the visible photons that were absorbed.

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