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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Why Does The Moon Apear White/Grayish and The Sun Yellow?

The Sun, as we all know, is white. Because our atmosphere scatters light the sun appears yellow to us hear on earth. So, why isn't the moon also yellow. Doesn't our atmosphere scatter its light. How ...
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2answers
40 views

why we can't see light emitted from tv remote while a camera can?

If we try to see light emitted from tv remote we can see this.while if we try same in camera we are able to see this. Why
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0answers
18 views

In Fermat's Principle of Least Time, how do we know that light is able to reach the end point?

From my understanding of Fermat's Principle, you decide a start point and an end point for a light ray to travel between, and the light 'chooses' whichever path takes the least time (or technically ...
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1answer
23 views

What happens when the frequency of light propagating through a solid equals the resonance frequency of the electrons in the atoms?

I was reading this article and the following questions came to my mind: During the propagation of light through a solid, the photons collide with the atom making the electrons vibrate. What happens ...
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1answer
20 views

Hydrogen Spectra using Hydrogen Gas Discharge Tube

I am doing an experiment for my lab work which include determination of value of Rydberg Constant using method of Interpolation. For this we first plot calibration curve for various wavalengths ...
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7answers
4k views

How do we see? Where do the photons disappear?

I know that the light is reflected from a object to my eyes, but I don't understand exactly how. The photons appear from the light source and disappear in my eye! Can someone explain the phenomenon of ...
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2answers
46 views

How to turn the light stronger than your strength in start

Imagine the following scenario: I have one lamp, and I would like to turn it stronger, like a strength of 2 lamps. Can I do it, passing the light (for example) through one crystal or a special ...
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2answers
39 views

Physics of color: why do visible colors absorb all colors except the color itself?

It's funny I cannot answer this question, but I really don't have a very good physical intuition for how color works. I know that sunlight and (say) light from lightbulb is a superposition of all ...
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1answer
42 views

Can a beam of light be modulated close to it's frequency?

I'm wondering if it would be possible to modulate a signal using photon pulses - where the frequency of the signal would be close to the frequency of the light. Also would it be possible to transmit ...
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0answers
29 views

How far do the propagation paths in QED go?

I am currently reading Feynman's popular book on QED "the strange theory of light and matter". I know classical optics quite well, know about Fresnel, Brewster angle and the like. I also am now used ...
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2answers
113 views

How do we know that the CMBR is the oldest light?

How do we know that the CMBR is the oldest light which we can see? Is it based just on the facts 1.that waves redshift with expanding space, and 2.predictions of the big bang theory; Or is there a way ...
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2answers
36 views

Optics of perceived shadows on LCD monitor

After changing my desktop wallpaper on my LED-lit LCD monitor to one with a dark corner, I started seeing shadows on where the clock widget is while looking sideways at the screen. These shadows move ...
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1answer
27 views

How does light focused through a lens create bokeh (blurry background)?

This question is relevant, though I don't think it quite answers the question. From a photography perspective, when you open the aperture wide (with a small f-number) you get a very shallow depth of ...
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1answer
101 views

What causes the sharp borderline at the bottom of northern lights?

The northern lights are caused by cosmic charged particles interacting with the earth's upper atmoshphere. The particles can be trapped by the Lorentz force, so that we can see them where the magnetic ...
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4answers
4k views

Why does a moving fan seem transparent?

We all know when fan starts moving faster, we cannot see its blades. Why is this? First I assumed persistence of vision may be the reason. But that can happen with blade also right? Image of blade ...
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3answers
97 views

Is heat always associated with Light?

I have found that light always produces heat. The only cases I think heat is absent with light is Fluorescence and Phosphorescence (maybe because they emit low energy but maybe the heat is still ...
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1answer
22 views

Computing color and brightness of a hot material

Every blackbody color calculator I've managed to find only calculates hue and saturation; they completely ignore brightness, which severely limits their usefulness if you're trying to model the actual ...
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3answers
145 views

Why does shining a laser into an iPhone camera create these shapes?

When I shine a laser light into an iPhone 6 camera I get these weird shapes: The shapes are in no way in the background behind the laser. What causes these to appear? I know about typical lense ...
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1answer
103 views

How can the Hubble telescope see the light from galaxies that are millions of light years distant?

The Hubble Space Telescope is in the news every now and then. How can it photograph galaxies that are millions of light years from Earth? We can understand that light comes from galaxy and Hubble ...
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2answers
50 views

Do photons experience every moment in time and position in space simultaneously? [duplicate]

Would it be more correct to say that a photon, traveling at the speed of light, would experience all points in time simultaneously, and therefore be everywhere at once? It might be just our ...
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1answer
30 views

can i convert the visible light into another form of electromagetic light form?

can I convert the visible light form into another form of electromagnetic light??actually I want to make a device which convert the objects which are visible to the human eye into invisible as a part ...
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0answers
27 views

UV absorption decrease with an increase in concentration

I am working on a project measuring the absorbance of a solution which contains surfactant and hard brine. The solution has a constant concentration of surfactant and varying concentration of hard ...
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1answer
31 views

What range of light wavelengths can a typical mirror reflect?

A typical mirror is capable of reflecting the full spectrum of visible light. Can it also reflect other wavelengths both longer and shorter? What is the range?
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2answers
61 views

What is really a light ray? [duplicate]

I've been studying geometric optics and I'm still a little confused with this idea of light ray. In the book I'm studying everything is being done starting from Fermat's principle which states that ...
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2answers
44 views

Is it true that light has a lot of energy but cannot exert force [closed]

When a photon hits a mirror it is reflected ,it does not affect the mirror.But why when light has infinite energy?
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0answers
28 views

Why can i see LCD screen trough my linearly polarized glasses

I have a Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo GT-S5310, it uses an LCD screen. Wikipedia says that all LCD's emit a vertically polarized light However even if I turn my glasses 90 degrees, i can still see the ...
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1answer
16 views

Colour changing material/ink

i am not sure if this is the right place to ask but is it possible for me to make an ink or material that changes colour when electricity goes through it at home? (as much colours as possible and low ...
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3answers
114 views

Why photons reflect off glass?

Why photon reflects and refracts through glass? Some photons pass through glass and some reflects.I know this is due to energy levels of electrons of glass, an incoming photon is unable to excite the ...
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2answers
100 views

Could you view yourself in high gravity situations?

I'm trying to understand what effects gravity can have on light. First of all, I don't understand how gravity can even affect it, since it doesn't have mass, right? That is probably a separate ...
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2answers
34 views

Would an ordinary or fluorescent lightbulb generate electricity when exposed to light?

I was wondering whether the physic laws or the nature in which lightbulbs are constructed would allow for lightbulb to generate electricity when subjected to strong (intensive and concentrated) ...
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2answers
95 views

What is the most common photon wavelength in our observable universe (not including the Sun)?

Ignoring the Sun, what is the most common wavelength of a photon that is received by us on average? (I am not asking what is the average wavelength, but rather what is the most common wavelength ...
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5answers
3k views

Where does light go after it enters a black hole?

Nothing passes through a black hole. Where do things go then? If light enters a black hole, what happens to it? Do things go to a white hole and resume in another universe?
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1answer
30 views

Can colour be synthesized from frequency?

Given the frequency of a mechanical vibration in the audible range, one can synthesize the sound on a computer. For example, I ask "what does 440Hz sound like?" and I can listen to this frequency as ...
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0answers
23 views

Would it be ok to say that not all light travels at the same speed when you consider its own perspective? [duplicate]

The reason I am asking is because higher energy would cause greater gravitational time dilation. Therefore I would expect, from the perspective of a radio wave, a gamma ray having more energy would ...
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1answer
55 views

Question about lens maker's formula

I am trying to follow the derivation of lens maker's formula from the textbook "University Physics", p.1133 ...
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0answers
12 views

How much energy will fall into the eye given luminosity of display

The smart-glasses have tiny display. The manufacturer says the display has luminosity of $2000 cd/m^2$. The area of display is around $0.0002 m^2$. The reference smartphone display has luminosity of ...
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0answers
16 views

Transparency of atoms [duplicate]

Which is the specificity of the atoms which allow to pass the light, from which mass, from which composition of the core or the number of atoms the transparency falls. Electrons can collide with the ...
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2answers
50 views

Why conductors don't scatter light?

Air molecules can be oscillated by E field and re-radiate EM waves in different directions. However, if light is shined to a conductor the E field oscillate the free charges but the effect is to ...
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2answers
70 views

How do EM waves travel in a vacuum? [duplicate]

Apart from that electric and magnetic field variation thing, is there any other explanation? Can photons simply pass through vacuum?
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1answer
26 views

Why, in Chroma key composting, green colour is used? [closed]

In movie shootings, we observe that the Chroma Key Composting method is used very widely. Why do they only use dark green colour, what not some other like white, blue etc,
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1answer
33 views

If an atom emits a visible photon doesn't that mean it's visible?

A visible photon can be emitted and absorbed by an individual atom. Is this process sufficient for saying that we can see an individual atom with visible light? I realize the wavelength of visible ...
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0answers
17 views

Polarized light from any suface?

From a textbook I read something like this: "When sunlight is reflected from a horizontal surface, the plane of incidence is vertical, and the reflected light contains a preponderance of light that is ...
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0answers
26 views

Variable wavelength LED

Does there exist a type of LED (or other type of light source) that can change it's wavelength depending on the current/voltage it receives on a second wire? If not, would something like this even be ...
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1answer
82 views

Mechanism for visible light frequency mixing in storm clouds

So I know that when red and blue light (or the frequencies/wavelengths we percieve as such) hit our eyes with the correct proportions, our eyes and brains interpret that as the color purple. In ...
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0answers
18 views

Why does time stand still for light? [duplicate]

The source for this is the book "Einstein for Dummies", page 330, chapter 10.
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1answer
27 views

Light photon direction in movement

I recently watched a couple science videos on YouTube and left me with a doubt. If a spaceship goes to a really fast speed in the (horizontal) $x$-direction, what would happen if it shoots a light ...
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2answers
50 views

Does light ever experiences acceleration? [duplicate]

Till now I have learned that light has fastest speed. But I have also noticed that wherever it travels it only experiences retardation. So I wanted to know if light ever felt acceleration naturally in ...
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0answers
23 views

Viewing tube light through small cracks

This question appeared on a test: If you peer through very small cracks between your fringes at a tube light some distance away will you see interference patterns, Fresnel patterns or Fraunhofer ...
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1answer
79 views

What is the frequency of the color black?

Our eyes don't see light; they detect vibrations in the 400-800 THz range that we call color. Since our eyes can detect the color we call black, what is its frequency?
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2answers
51 views

Why is the index of refraction different for different wavelengths? [duplicate]

The index of refraction can be written as $$n=\frac{\lambda_v}{\lambda_m}$$ where $\lambda_v$ is the wavelength in a vacuum and $\lambda_m$ is the wavelength in the medium. I’ve been told that since ...