incandescent light bulb

Incandescent light bulb.

Incandescence is the emission of light or other forms of electromagnetic radiation by a substance or object because of its high temperature. It usually refers to the radiation of visible light or infrared. An incandescent light bulb, for example, shines because the filament resists the flow of electrons through it and becomes hot. The rise in temperature excites electrons in the tungsten atoms of the wire to higher energy states. Visible and infrared radiation is given off as the electrons return to their original, lower energy states. Compare with luminescence.