Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Its well known that the Sun's spectrum is not continuous, and that there are dark bands within the suns spectrum. Is it possible to produce a color of paint that is bright in, say, indoor lighting and dark in the sunlight?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

In theory, perhaps. It is possible, using multilayer dielectric coatings, to produce a surface which is reflective in very narrow bands (in this case, the Sun's dark lines)and transmissive (or absorptive) elsewhere. In practice, the spectral "blurring" caused by atmospheric transmission/absorption/re-emission effects would make this effect pretty much impossible to achieve.

But with "paint," no.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.