Tagged Questions

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.

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0
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1answer
18 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?
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4answers
293 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
76 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
57 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 ...
0
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0answers
66 views

Is it fundamentally possible to capture an orthographic image of the real world? [on hold]

I thought about asking this question of Photography SE, but I decided that this sort of a fundamental physics question regarding light and dimensional observation, so I decided to cross-post it in ...
-1
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0answers
15 views

light movement, not in a straight line [closed]

In physics class our teacher asked when the light doesn't move in a straight line, why, and how can we use it.I looked for an answer all over the internet and found photography sites and the physics ...
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Why does light fade from a room?

So basically in my toilet I have this really bright ceiling light, but when I turn it off it doesn't just instantly plunge me into darkness, but rather sort of fades out over a few seconds. It looks ...
0
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0answers
29 views

can there be an object which reflects( not illuminates ) electromagnetic waves in the non visible region? [closed]

can there be an object which reflects( not illuminates ) electromagnetic waves in the non visible region? If so then will it be appeared to us(humans who can see visible region only) transparent or ...
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3answers
93 views

What conditions should be met to notice a Doppler effect on light?

What relativistic conditions should an observer meet to notice the Doppler effect on a sample light wave, and is it even possible for one?
-4
votes
1answer
40 views

is it possible to extract spectrum (color in general) from an animal [closed]

if i may ask....can this be ASAP? :3 my problem: okay this is going to sound lame, but i was wondering if it is possible to extract color (specifically spectrum) from an animal. this question ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Is it possible to improve the efficacy of light bulbs with a semipermeable mirror? (The greenhouse bulb)

Let us imagine that there exists a material that reflects infrared radiation, but is transparent for visible light. Could we take an incandescent bulb and add this material to the inner surface of the ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Pattern on mesh office chair emulates thin film interference for curved surface. Possible to form an equation?

I saw a chair that looked like this at the dentists office yesterday, and the pattern caught my interest, as the light patterns emulated thin film interference fringes formed by an object that has a ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

AC wire radiation

I'm trying to test my recently installed MEEP program for a very simple AC current. I know that for DC current, Ampere's law dictates that the magnetic fields must drop off as 1/r. How does this ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Would using Cherenkov radiation for lighting be feasible?

Could Cherenkov radiation be used for general illumination, for example, to replace LEDs, light bulbs etc? I.e. are there, or could there be, methods to produce substantial amount visible light with ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Why seeing further in “timespace” does not add up?

I've read that astronomers have received a light (a photon) 13 billion years old. Here's my question: If we start to turn the clock backwards all matter, energy, etc should start heading to the ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

One way mirrored hollow sphere [closed]

Imagine a one way mirror, where from one side it appears to be glass, but from the other side, it appears to be a mirror. Now, fold that sheet into a hollow sphere, so the inside is mirror (and I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

Is manufacturing roughness really the only reason we don't see optical interference in thick dielectrics like windows?

I had always kind of wondered why we didn't see interference in things like windows -- we were taught that the condition is that the thickness of the film/slab/medium just has to be an integral number ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Energy Dispersion in Young's Double Slit Experiment

In Young's double slit experiment, when you see the diffraction pattern, why does the intensity of the light fade out as you move from the central maximum? I think it has something to do with the ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Are there datasets with light spectrum samples and their respective 1931 CIE XYZ values?

I'm developing a software (.NET/Mono) library to work with color spaces and light spectrums, and I want to add many test cases in order to ensure software quality. I've programmed code to convert ...
0
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0answers
17 views

What's so special about the invention of Blue LED that a Nobel was awarded to its invention? [duplicate]

Why was this years Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, Shuji Nakamura for inventing the Blue LED? I know that if a Nobel Prize is awarded for an invention, it must be ...
0
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0answers
26 views

What makes fluorescent lamps lower in heat than high pressure lamps coated with phosphorus?

Why does a fluorescent lamp give off more pure visible light (without heat) than a high-pressure lamp? Is the heat given off by high-pressure lamps caused by the intensity of light being emitted from ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Use mirror to see every angle around me

An applied physics question: How can I setup a mirror all around an arm wrestling table so I can see all angles of what I'm doing? The arm wresting table looks like this With the wrestlers on ...
1
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0answers
20 views

Analogy for Rayleigh scattering

This morning's eclipse has me looking into Rayleigh scattering. I'm trying to think of a good analogy to explain it to somebody without getting too in-depth into electromagnetism and other subjects... ...
2
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0answers
143 views

Nobel prize for (dangerous) LED lamps? [closed]

There are many scientific articles about the danger of LED lamps (see below from the LED magazine, from scientific american, from a governmental journal and from Harvard health newsletter): Light ...
1
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0answers
35 views

What is this light pattern caused by LED matrix street light?

At our office, they have installed new downlights in the parking lot (street lights) based on a rectangular matrix of very bright LEDs, which are not diffused. They look something like this one: ...
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vote
3answers
75 views

Why is the Moon not redder at moonrise/moonset?

Okay we all know about Raleigh Scattering, which makes the sky blue. And by the same token, sunsets appear red because sunlight traveling through more atmosphere will "lose more blueness" as it's ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

How do mirrors look & behave atomically?

I was observing mirrors recently and I was thinking about how an mirror would look atomically. I was always used to looking at atoms as being colored that said, I was always concerned at how they ...
1
vote
2answers
39 views

constant speed elevator light beam paradox

I can't get my head around this problem. Suppose there is an elevator moving up at a constant speed relative to an observer outside of the elevator, far away from any gravitational effects. Suppose a ...
0
votes
1answer
45 views

How can monitors display a sharp image, if light travels in all direction?

The question title might be a misnomer, help me improve it. My question is, from my understanding, a light travels in all direction from it's origin point. Also I assume that in the example of a ...
6
votes
2answers
386 views

Homemade Spectrometer

Recently I have had ideas of how to build a spectroscope, but I'm not sure if it will work. As can be seen in the diagram, the experiment is simple: it consists of a laser that generates the light ...
0
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2answers
65 views

How does the human eye knows how far the object from which the photon was reflected?

A photon is emitted from a source and reflected off an object (or objects) until it hits the human eye. The color of the object we see depends on the photon wavelength. If photon travels with constant ...
71
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does my wooden door disperse light into a rainbow color spectrum?

On a clear morning, light comes through this window (viewed from the inside) It then hits the door on the opposite side (so viewing from the outside the door straight on the other side) There is ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Intensity of Brightest Fringe of a multi-slit Diffraction

Let's say we have a multi-slit experiment with N slits.Since the central fringe has the most intensity, is there an equation to calculate the intensity of central fringe in terms of the intensity of ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

How to get the direction of bending light?

When light passes from a more dense to a less dense substance, (for example passing from water into air), the light is refracted (or bent) away from the normal. My question, is there any ...
1
vote
3answers
80 views

What “exactly” happens when a ray is incident at the critical angle?

The question arose when my physics teacher taught me geometrical optics and told that the phenomenon of both refraction and $reflection$ occur by change in medium. First of all, I'm not sure about the ...
2
votes
3answers
90 views

What happens to photons after they hit objects?

If I am not wrong when light hits for example white wall most of the photons are absorbed and transformed into heat and few of the photons at certain wavelength are reflected from the object. So white ...
17
votes
3answers
768 views

Why is the sky dark at night? [duplicate]

The question is the well-known Olbers' paradox: If there are so many/infinite stars, in every direction, why is it dark at night? Where goes all the light we don't see? Discussing with a friend ...
30
votes
4answers
6k views

Why is the sky never green? It can be blue or orange, and green is in between!

I, like everybody I suppose, have read the explanations why the colour of the sky is blue: ... the two most common types of matter present in the atmosphere are gaseous nitrogen and oxygen. ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Rotating sheet of light

I am looking for references on "rotating sheets of light" generated from a point source. Mainly I am looking for applications. (I saw a use related to climate studies or weather forecasting, where a ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Is the glass made up of holes that let the light to go through it?

The following passage has been extracted from the book "The Magic of Science-A.Frederick Collins" (1917): Substances of all kinds have pores or holes in them. A sponge has pores that can be ...
1
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0answers
14 views

What are the factors affecting transparency and color of a substance [duplicate]

What is the reason behind visual properties like color and transparency of different substances? I have always heard that the structure of the substance is responsible for these properties. I always ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Appearance of the recomposition of a given spectrum? [duplicate]

Given a visible spectrum, i.e. a function from the set of visible wavelengths into the set of intensities, I would like to see the color having this spectrum decomposition. Question: How can I do ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the best angle to see water

Sometimes when I clean my house, I miss some of the water since it seems invisible, but when I stand in different angle from the water I can see it clearly, whereas some angles offer partial ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Why do roads appear wet on hot days? I do not understand [duplicate]

Why do roads appear wet on hot days? I don't understand the bending of light rays in relation to the density fluctuations. How are they related? Why do we see mirror images of cars on road in hot ...
3
votes
2answers
68 views

Did Newton argue that particles speed up when entering a more dense medium?

Statement: Newton argued that particles speed up as they travel from air into a dense, transparent object, such as glass. From this source, I gather that he did argue that the light particles ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Specular or Diffuse Reflection - Overhead Projection

Question: What type of reflection is exhibited as light waves from an overhead projector reflect off a white projection screen and are scattered throughout a room? I said specular reflection, ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Lux and W/m2 relationship?

I am reading a bit about solar energy, and for my own curiosity, I would really like to know the insolation on my balcony. That could tell me how much a solar panel could produce. Now, I don't have ...
8
votes
1answer
386 views

Why Do My Fan Blades Produce Color When They Spin?

I've posted a short video here as a visual aid. Whenever I put my fan on Medium speed during the night time, it produces a rotating Blue and Orange color design, despite both fan blades being a white ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Why do we perceive a colour?

White/yellow light hits a red case, and the red color is reflected into our eyes, since other wavelengths are absorbed. My question is: since both the paint on the case and the white light have ...