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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Understanding the behavior of light/photons inside a Laser

I am trying to establish a model inside my head of how light behaves but find it hard with all the seemingly contradicting information. For example, electrons inside a Laser are raised to a higher ...
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1answer
32 views

Digital colors: why RGB instead of RYG? [duplicate]

We know that Red, Yellow, Blue are primary colors. Any other color can be created by mixing these color. Graphical representation is below: But when I began to learn about computers, I noticed that ...
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32 views

What is the maximum of information in a beam of light?

If I look at the space I can see the Andromeda Galaxy as a small dot in the sky. If I look through a telescope, I can see the spiral shape. If the saw right through a huge telescope, I could see a ...
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3answers
53 views

Why stars are white? According to Rayleigh Scattering

According to Rayleigh Scattering, the red waves are capable of travelling a long distance, so that only we are seeing the Sun as reddish during Sunset and Sunrise. If this was true then all other ...
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Absortion of light by a plasma

Considering a plasma generated in a fixed volume by increasing the temperature of Helium gas from the environment temperature (this temperature is not stated) and an initial presure of 0.001 Torr, to ...
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33 views

What is angular accelerating light?

As described in this article "Our angular accelerating fields rely on combinations of orbital angular momentum - so-called twisted light," says Forbes. Light carrying orbital angular momentum ...
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1answer
10 views

Recalculating lux from EV

I have to calculate amount of light from IR emmiter. The only equipement, that I can use is Sekonic Light Meter like this one: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/sekonic-l-358 The problem is that i need to have ...
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78 views

Is mass essentially an absence in space-time? [on hold]

I'm trying to gain an understanding on conceptual physics. I know the following isn't exactly conventional but is any of it fundamentally wrong? Is mass essentially an absence in space-time? As ...
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71 views

Theoretically, is it necessary that if light passes through a glass slab, its intensity should decrease?

Is it necessary that for an E/M wave of given frequency which can pass through a medium of given refractive index, it should lose some of its intensity. Practically, this must be necessary because of ...
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36 views

Polarization of light upon reflection

I was wondering (since I've looked pretty hard and haven't been able to find anything)- are there any models that explain the polarization of light upon reflection? Everywhere I've looked I've seen ...
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1answer
41 views

Difference between speed of light and of bullet after passing through a barrier [duplicate]

I just read that, when a ray of light traveling in vacuum at $c$ strikes a glass slab, its speed decreases and then when it re-emerges it gets back to its original speed i.e $c$. If I draw a ...
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94 views

Dispersion of prism: Graph of angle of deviation versus wavelength

The figure below is the schematic diagram fro measuring angle of minimum deviation using a collimator. High pressure sodium vapor lamp is used as a light source in this experiment. At position of ...
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1answer
33 views

Sound waves and chromism?

I am definitely not a physicist, but I have a question related to Physics so I thought I'd give it a try. Please excuse my ignorance. :) I am somewhat familiar with the changes in color caused by ...
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2answers
67 views

Why do we see light and isn't everything dark?

Suppose it is dark. If someone shines a flashlight directly at you, you see light. If, however, someone shines a flashlight at something else, you see that thing illuminated, but you don't see the ...
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Metal Halid Lamp: continous arcing?

In metal halide lamp, there is initial ignition which causes arc across two electrodes. The question is that, do you guys think the arc will persist (throughout the course when the lamp is powered ...
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51 views

What is the relationship between $a$ and $m$

$a$ is defined in HERE What is the relationship between the length-scale $a$ and the mass $m$?
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21 views

circular orbits in general relativity [duplicate]

I am studying the derivation of the circular orbits of particles in general relativity (Derivation) Question 1: What is the meaning of the constants $a$ and $b$, it says they are " length-scales", ...
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1answer
17 views

Conservation of Energy in Blue Shift

Imagine light coming down and hitting a neutron star. It light is blue-shifted. I know that energy/mass is conserved and that the energy to blue-shift it comes from the gravitational field, but how is ...
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1answer
69 views

A yellow lemon is illuminated by green light. What color does the lemon appear?

I think it's blue, but I'm not sure. Is there a way to find out without simply testing it?
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1answer
65 views

Find the electric field of light due to an LED [closed]

This is a JEE mains question which neither me, nor any of my teachers can figure out. Help me here. "A red LED emits light at 0.1 watt uniformly around it. The amplitude of the electric field of the ...
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3answers
59 views

UV filter, does it exist?

On the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9BqrSAHbTc, Thomas Leveritt uses a UV filter which, as far as I understand, lets only the UV through. I couldn't find any photo filter that do that. ...
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2answers
46 views

What happens when both of Polarizing filter in LCD screen are Horizontal

What would be the result if we replace the vertical polarizing filter in LCD device (screen) with a horizontal filter, what could we see exactly? Would we see the same if we use only one horizontal ...
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11 views

How to combine contributions of individual type of cone cell sensitivity to get the human luminosity function?

As shown in this figure from some computer vision book: The data of three types of cone spectral responses is pulled down from: http://cvrl.ioo.ucl.ac.uk/cones.htm It is said that the Long, Medium ...
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1answer
42 views

What are the units of color matching functions?

In some computer vision book I read lately, the color matching function is invoked without clear definition of its units. I suspect the color matching functions are spectral irradiance or spectral ...
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1answer
36 views

Interference and windows

The other day i was learning about interference patterns with the effect of a bubble making a rainbow on the surface. I learned that the reflections from both sides of the soap can interfere ...
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2answers
123 views

Special Relativity - Distance Not Increased?

I just watched the movie Interstellar and the question was asked of why/how high-speed travel would slow time within an area. Curious as I am, I watched several YouTube videos to quickly 'educate' ...
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23 views

Path length requirement for diffraction problem [closed]

The following question has been asked in a problem sheet I have been asked to answer: "The above diagram relates to the path lengths of radiation, with an angle of incidence, θ, reflecting off ...
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2answers
34 views

Color of objects in Yellow sun

The sun appears yellow but the objects on the earth appear as if they have been illuminated in white light. Are all objects that we see in sunlight actually in a yellow shade, and would appear ...
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28 views

Florescents and radio waves

Okay so if you put a florescent light bulb in front of a certain radio, the radio waves excite the mercury inside a causes them to emit UV light which makes the outer coating of the light bulb light ...
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1answer
36 views

Surfaces that reflect UV rays

I've been trying to research what surfaces reflect UV rays for the past day but it's been difficult coming up with definitive answers. So far what I've found is that surfaces that reflect visible ...
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3answers
251 views

Why does red light travel faster than blue light?

I know that light of all frequencies travel at the same speed in vacuum. But I wonder why their speed differ in any other medium, why does red light travel faster if it has less energy than blue ...
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28 views

Polarization vector identity in Minkowski space?

Playing around with numerical light-like momenta $p^\mu_1,p^\mu_2$ (light-like meaning ${p_1}^\mu {p_1}_\mu={p_2}^\mu {p_2}_\mu=0$) and corresponding circular polarization vectors ...
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1answer
28 views

What causes these rainbow effects using a polarizing filter on an airplane?

I know that light reflected from a surface at 45° is polarized and that for a similar reason skylight arriving from a direction orthogonal to the sun is polarized too. Photographers make use of this ...
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161 views

Does my green laser pointer emit three distinct frequencies, or is my measurement flawed?

I was playing around with a cheap diffraction grating and my set of laser pointers, and I noticed that while the red and the blue pointers produce a single point in the spectrum, my green laser ...
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1answer
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Laser diode spectrum vs LED spectrum, why so much difference in broadness?

I've been reading about how light is produced in both laser diodes (the most common types of lasers) and LED's. The mechanism seems very similar if not exactly the same: one applies a potential ...
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74 views

Does a source emitting visible light also emit infrared, microwave and radio waves?

I have a bulb which is hot enough to emit visible light and obviously it's hot enough to emit radiation which lies before the visible light temperature i.e. radio waves, microwaves, and infrared ...
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84 views

Why does the light instantly disappear when we switch off the source?

For example i take a box which is completely covered by the most perfect mirrors possible inside and inside that box i have a bulb whose bulb holder is also covered with the most perfect mirrors ...
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3answers
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Why doesn't light affect a compass?

In our daily life a lot of photons of visible light, infrared and radio etc move around us. We know that light is an electromagnetic radiation. So why doesn't that electromagnetic radiation affect a ...
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81 views

Does a photon travel in all directions?

For example i am standing and a beam of light is passing in front of me. I am able to see that beam of light so does it mean that photons are travelling in all directions other than the photons which ...
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571 views

Why do we use microwaves in microwave oven?

We know that any object above absolute zero emits electromagnetic radiation. So hotter the object shorter the wavelengths. In the electromagnetic radiation spectrum radio waves has the longest then ...
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1answer
36 views

How to build a MOKE (magneto-optic Kerr effect) magnetometer at home?

I'd like to build a magnetometer at home. The type does not matter actually that much but it should be doable at home. The MOKE (magneto-optic Kerr effect) magnetometer at least appears to use ...
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How is ink's color produced?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complementary_colors The pairs of complementary colors vary depending upon whether the colors are physical (e.g. from pigments), or from light. These change ...
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1answer
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Refraction of light marching band analogy

When trying to understand the refraction of light when it hits a slower medium, lots of people seem to be enlightened by the 'marching band' or 'marching soldiers' analogy, which 'explains' that when ...
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1answer
31 views

Interference of waves

Every thing has a dual nature. So if we take waves(consider light interference) as particles, exactly what happens during interference (both constructive and destructive)? Can you explain in easy ...
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1answer
73 views

Why “colours” of light are given in wavelength not frequency?

If I understand correctly, when a beam of (monochromatic) light passes through media of different refractive indices, its wavelength changes but frequency remains constant. Why, then, are colours of ...
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Why does the spectrum for deuterium show a weak line at H-alpha?

I was wondering why the spectrum for deuterium shows a weak line at H-alpha, the first line in the hydrogen spectrum.
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Beating the Diffraction Limit with NSOM

I am trying to understand exactly why we can beat the diffraction limit when using near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). For those who aren't familiar with NSOM, check out this article: ...
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2answers
53 views

Models of light

As far as I'm aware, there are two different (and almost contradictory) models that describe the behavior of light: light as a wave (EM), and light as a particle (QM). From what I've heard, depending ...
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1answer
59 views

What happens if light is trapped between two points?

The image can explain my question In the image light is clearly trapped.Even if the mirror absorbs energy the light is continously being added, will there be enough force to break the mirror?
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Why doesn't the Sun appear green to our eyes?

The spectrum of the Sun as seen at sea level can be seen at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png so we can see that wavelengths around green to yellow are the ones that are the ...