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Coloured Clothes

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Albert Terry
708460.  Wed May 12, 2010 5:41 am Reply with quote

I saw the repeat of this episode on Dave last night and spotted what I had previously missed. Stephen actually said:

They do wear black. Some people put forward the argument that black might be best, because it's hottest around the bottom, and convection would cause cool air to rise, but no one has really demonstrated that. The fact is, it doesn't really matter what colour you wear, as long as you look cool.

I may have missed something but I was taught that in convection, it is the hot air that rises because it is less dense than cold air. Then again maybe it doesn't - which is perhaps why the weather is always so topsy turvy.

816586.  Mon May 16, 2011 4:18 am Reply with quote

I just got around to watching this episode and was surprised to see the claim that this is a false myth.

From California state University at Stanislaus:

If you are in the sun and wear black clothing, your clothing will absorb the light (and its energy) and warm up. If you wear white clothing, it will reflect the light rather than absorb it. It will not warm up as fast. White snow reflects most of the light and as a result it warms up more slowly on a sunny day than snow that has dirt or other debris on it that makes its surface darker..

P.S. I hope you don't mind the thread necro. It seemed to have gone unsolved so hopefully this post is welcome.

816690.  Mon May 16, 2011 12:47 pm Reply with quote

One thing that is almost never mentioned in this discussion is that only one side is facing the heat source and black can be a better radiator than white. So what black looses (gains) by adsorbing more heat it gains (looses) by radiating it better.
Best possible solution is light colour facing the heat source, dark colour everywhere else.
Better still reflective foil
Better still, the wall of a pub.

hassan el kebir
816712.  Mon May 16, 2011 2:01 pm Reply with quote

When I went out this morning I was wearing a rather fetching brown gallabaya* and I sweated buckets.

When I went out mid-afternoon, by which time it was several blast furnaces worth hotter, I wore a lovely, virginal, white gallabaya* and sweated far fewer buckets.

So, in my experience, white is coolest.....................though, when wearing white, for the sake of modesty, you do need to remember to put a pair of bloomers on before leaving the house.

*in this experiment both gallabayas were pure cotton, no nasty man-made fibres added.

1017293.  Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:00 am Reply with quote

The truth is a little simpler.

Bedouin wear black because it is very chilly at night in the desert - around 25 degrees colder than the midday sun.

1017295.  Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:02 am Reply with quote

Good point 48k - welcome to the forum :-)

1017298.  Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:10 am Reply with quote

Thanks :) Just wanted to post that one thing, but maybe I'll get sucked in ... !

1177595.  Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:25 am Reply with quote

Walk through? He must have been walking in circles for 40 years.

1177600.  Wed Feb 17, 2016 9:50 am Reply with quote

Survival in cold deserts too - a problem Santa had to overcome when leading the elves* to their promised workshop.

* I think cousins(?) of our own.


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