What is emissivity?-FAQ-ircon.com
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What is emissivity?

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All infrared thermometers are calibrated on a blackbody.  A blackbody is a perfect emitter, meaning that it has an emissivity of 1.0.  Everything else emits less than perfectly, so we say it has an emissivity factor.  For example, if the emissivity is 0.8, then it is emitting only 80% compared to a blackbody.  The instrument will indicate too low of a temperature until the emissivity value is put into the indicator.  Setting the value at 0.8 is technically adding a 20% gain to the signal to make the instrument indicate the right temperature.
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