Questions related to the perception and measurement of light (primarily in the visible range), its mathematical description, the reproduction of colors by different means, color combinations, etc. Please use the tag [electromagnetic-radiation] if you want to refer to the general form of light.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

0
votes
0answers
39 views

How can I mathematically proof an incoherent superposition of waves? [on hold]

Let $\psi = A(t)\cos(\theta_1(t))$ and $\phi = B(t)\cos(\theta_2(t))$ two independent waves which phases and amplitudes depend on the time. Then it follows that the intensity of the superposition of ...
1
vote
2answers
33 views

Penny dropped in the water: What would you see if transmitted light is parallel to the incident surface

I'm working on a problem which asks what is the greatest diameter of a paper you can use to totally shield a penny dropped in the water from view. The question claims that if the transmitted ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Why are Rainbows always seen Horizontally or from Sideways? [duplicate]

We see Rainbows many times, but we always see them Horizontally or from Sideways. Why can't we see it from under it?/From the point where it starts or ends(end points)?
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Can unpolarized light be created from polarized light?

I have a question regarding this topic. According Stokes Parameters theory, unpolarized light could be described as a superposition of two independent beams of equal intensity and orthogonal ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Does dispersion take place in our eyes? [duplicate]

What do we see if a single ray of white light falls in to our eyes ? Doesn't it undergo dispersion ?
0
votes
1answer
26 views

Is it possible to project black light? [duplicate]

A thought passed by me and I wondered if projecting black light was possible. We can make lights with many other colors, but I'm not so sure about black. So, is it possible? Has it been done?
1
vote
4answers
30 views

Why is microwave better than visible light for point to point data communication?

In the electromagnetic spectrum, it appears that the shorter the wave length, the better the bandwidth due to higher frequency. Some communication systems utilize microwave to transmit data to offer ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Effect of varying distance of light source from a Light Dependant Resistor

I'm doing the experiment described here and I have a few questions regarding it. I've taken a mini-LDR hooked to a multimeter set to $\Omega $ and a $25\,\mathrm W$ Light Bulb to plot the following ...
0
votes
2answers
25 views

Why doesn't the color of an object change when signal of different frequency impinge upon it?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I've always thought that the color that an object has is due to the oscillation of the atoms that makes up the material of that object. When white light is shine upon an ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

What do we see while watching light? Waves or particles?

I'm trying to understand quantum physics. I'm pretty familiar with it but I can't decide what counts as observing to cause particle behave (at least when it's about lights). So the question is what do ...
2
votes
4answers
117 views

Why Light isn't like an Acoustic wave?

I just wanted to know why light isn't an Acoustic wave.Is it because light wave doesn't obey acoustic properties?
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Black Holes and Light [duplicate]

It is said that photons have zero rest mass so how can gravitational force of a black hole affect light? And if photons do have some effective mass while traveling at speed of light then only can a ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Why human and most of vertebrates cannot see Near-Infrared light (720nm-1500nm)? [closed]

On daytime, the surface of Earth is illuminated abundantly by light of spectrum from 250nm-1500nm, that includes near-ultraviolet spectrum (250nm-380nm), visible spectrum (380nm-720nm) and ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

What is causing the separation of light in this image?

Reflection of keychain LED light on Macbook Pro (2014) screen I have also observed this phenomenon on my mobile phone and on a tablet. I assume this means it is somehow related to backlit ...
1
vote
3answers
75 views

Why can we see white objects as white under the sun if the sunlight is yellow?

I get that the sun is producing white light which is scattered threw our atmosphere so that the light of the sun reaching our eyes is yellow. So how come if I look to a piece of white paper under ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Defining photons

I've read every book for my course and all of them describe photons as wave-packets/"bursts" of the EM wave. I just can't appreciate this view of photons. From what I've gathered on photons: Photons ...
-1
votes
0answers
29 views

On perovskite solar cells [closed]

Now experiments on perovskite solar cells are in progress . Everybody is looking to improve it's efficiency. One method for improving it's efficiency is by adding multilayers. One key issue in this ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Darkest matter on Earth (“pure black”)

What is (for a human's eyes) the natural or synthetical matter on Earth (i.e. not in Space) that emits the least quantity of visible photons while being lightened by sunlight? In this matter, how is ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Why is the color of fire is yellow or blue sometimes? [duplicate]

If you light up any thing it burns in yellow and as well when you light up a gas stove it burns in blue color. What brings this color change?
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What instrument can we use to measure light energy released from a light bulb?

Is there any way of measuring the light energy released from an incadescent light bulb without the use of an integrating sphere?
-3
votes
0answers
58 views

How can Einstein explain particles of light without particles?

how can Einstein explain particles of light without particles? For his Nobel prize he used Newtons explanation except both he and Newton agreed that aether solved the problem of going through holes. ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What happens to the energy of photons when two light waves with plane wavefront interferes destructively? [duplicate]

When I began learning about optical interference, I came to know about destructive interference in which light waves cancel each other. How the energy is still conserved ? I found that the ...
4
votes
3answers
408 views

Why doesn't a ray of light have enough momentum to make us fall?

Why can't light be so powerful that it has enough momentum to make us fall?
1
vote
3answers
78 views

Isn't all light polarised?

I apologize if my question does not make sense.(I'm teaching myself microscopy.) So reading Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and electronic imaging by Douglas&Murphy, at one point the author ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Information in twisted light

New Scientist has a story on the use of twisted light to store multiple bits of information per photon. What is this technology, and what are the information density limits per photon? "MOZART and ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

What common materials absorb most infrared light?

I'm competing in a simple robotics competition where most of the participants use reflected infrared light to detect their opponent. I'd like to make my own robot as difficult to see as possible. What ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Raman amplification

Recently I read a bit about Raman amplification. Unfortunately, I did not understand everything. As far as I understood the resulting wavelength only depends on the pumping wavelength. Now I heard on ...
5
votes
5answers
125 views

What exactly are light waves?

We know a sound wave is a disturbance that moves through a medium when particles of the medium set neighboring particles in motion. And using the pressure variations we can plot a pressure/time graph ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Why does projecting black light from a screen mask white light shining through it?

I had a Macbook Pro, and remember being intrigued when I noticed that the apple logo on the back of the screen allowed sunlight to shine through in an Apple shape on the front of the screen when ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Is there such a thing as purple light? [duplicate]

This is a question as much about color perception as the physics of light. Since I have normal vision, without color blindness, I will draw on my experiences in formulating my question. I will add ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Can a single technology be used to observe light at any wavelength?

Radio waves are observed using induction in antenna. Visible light is observed exploiting electronic transition in matter. Is it possible to do the opposite? If not why?
-3
votes
2answers
85 views

Can you see back in time? [closed]

When you look at the stars, the light that you see is probably hundreds of years old. Which means that you don't know if they still exist. Does all this mean, that if you fly in a speed faster than ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Experimental determination of speed of light

How is the speed of light measured by the most current method i.e. using lasers and atomic clocks? Alternatively, is there a better method?
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Beam of electromagnetic wave, with radius of 3cm or less

I need to create a beam of electromagnetic wave, with radius of 3cm or less, for distance about few meters. What is the minimum frequency (maximum wavelength) that it is really possible?
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Can we get the refractive index of a prism by using white light?

Can we get the refractive index of a prism by using white light ? I guess since white light is non chromatic, it is not possible.
5
votes
4answers
565 views

Why is an opaque body opaque?

When does a body qualify to be called an opaque body? Is it anybody which cannot let visible light through it or is there any other definition? And when and how does a body allow radiations through ...
0
votes
5answers
75 views

Is anything coloured “infra-red”?

All our day-to-day objects are things we can see, and thus we can conclude that their colour lies in the visual spectrum. Is there matter that does not have a colour within the visual spectrum? What ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

What exactly is color? [duplicate]

What is color? “The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light”…. You might say. So take a white object ...
-1
votes
0answers
17 views

Quantum camera using euclidean rotation and kabbalah

I've been playing around with procedurally generated images and the kabbalah/tesseract the last few weeks. Imagine a 3D cube sitting on top of a 2D colour wheel. One thing I noticed is that 3D ...
37
votes
6answers
5k views

Is there a physical reason for colors to be located in a very narrow band of the EM spectrum?

The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to humans are wavelengths between 380 and 750 nanometers. I am aware that animals have different capacities than humans, but the EM ...
3
votes
2answers
46 views

Whats the reaction that creates light when I open BreatheRight strips? [duplicate]

Darken a room. Pull open the sides of a BreatheRight nose strip (they work for me, though may be placebo effect). Notice the blue light coming from the separating adhesive.
2
votes
3answers
314 views

If I turn the light off in a room why does the light instantly disappear? [duplicate]

So today I was asked a question which I found very simple yet I honestly couldn't explain (embarrassingly). One of my mum's friends who knows I'm a scientist asked me "If I turn the light off in a ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Path Difference Due to Angled Incident Light

If light incident on a diffraction grating makes an angle $\alpha$ with respect to the normal to the grating, show how $$m \lambda = d\sin\theta$$ becomes $$m\lambda = d[\sin(\theta - \alpha) + ...
3
votes
3answers
190 views

Making a plastic scintillator glow?

I have a plastic scintillator I had purchased off eBay, which is believed to be BC408 http://www.phys.ufl.edu/courses/phy4803L/group_I/muon/bicron_bc400-416.pdf Upon shining a small UV LED (10-40mA, ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How does Huygens Principle explain interference?

How exactly does Huygens theory about the propagation of wavefronts account for interference?
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Negative frequency contributions for very short pulses?

I am wondering if very short optical light pulses can have a Gaussian envelope? When I describe the pulse shape with a Gaussian than the frequency distribution has also a Gaussian shape. But if the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the colour of a light bulb depend on?

There are light bulbs of different colors available (red, green, yellow, white, etc). What does the color depend on? Is it on the temperature of the filament?
1
vote
4answers
321 views

What's so special about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What's so special about the speed of light? Why do many equations in physics include the speed of light in vacuum $c$? Why do so many thing depend upon it? Why can't it be the speed of sound? ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Where's all the light going in the universe?

According to my knowledge, matter can not go faster than light, and light is emitted constantly in the universe from many types of reactions. If this is so, then isn't light constantly getting past ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Splitting a light wave

What I want to ask is what would happen if you split a single light ray (a photon) into two using a half silvered mirror? Would the emerging light rays have half the amplitude as the original one or ...