6
votes
3answers
639 views

Why can't light penetrate solid objects?

Light is combination of perpendicular electric and magnetic fields, since electric fields penetrate a conductor, why can't light travel in them? I think my argument does sound stupid, but I can't ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Physical reason why (hot) objects glow? [duplicate]

Every object at a non-zero temperature radiates light, i.e. it glows. (Is that called blackbody radiation?) What is the physical reason to this? Is it because more heat implies that the atoms ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the frequency of light restricted?

What are the factors that limit the frequency of light? Can it have wavelengths ranging between zero and infinity?
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Mathematical formalism to include wave and particle perspectives of light

Does the exist any mathematical formalism (model) describing the behavior of light and incorporating its particle character (divisibility, quantization) and wave character? (i.e. quantized wave model) ...
3
votes
3answers
62 views

Unpolarized Light

Suppose I had a ray of unpolarized light, and I was sitting inside the beam and looking at the electric fields oscillating, then , if I am looking at a point how would the oscillations look like? I ...
4
votes
2answers
463 views

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does?

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does? If so, then what makes photons of visible light and other waves different? The rest mass of a photon is zero, but as it moves at ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Would white light waves act as same as monochromatic waves in double slit experiment?

Would white light waves act as same as monochromatic waves in double slit experiment? If not, what pattern would be seen on the screen?
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Electromagnetic radiation and black body radiation

I was taught today that the Electromagnetic wave Theory is unable to explain black body radiation. The example that was given to me: When a metal is heated, it emits different frequencies of light as ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

What does the size of an object have to do with it's color?

Stephen Hawking mentions in his book "A Brief History of Time' that quarks are much smaller than the wavelength of visible light so they do not have any color in the normal sense. What exactly does ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Is it possible to have a perfectly black material?

After reading this NASA article about the "blackest material", the following stuck out to me. The tiny gaps between the tubes absorb 99.5 percent of the light that hits them Is it possible to ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Can the sun cast a shadow?

The sun's light can cast the shadow of another object, but does it ever cast its own shadow?
6
votes
3answers
569 views

How is temperature related to color?

I spent some time studying about temperatures and color of objects. It turns out that as we heat something it turns to red, then yellowish white and if we heat it more it turns to bluish-white. Like ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

What does an analog voice transmission look like in the visible spectrum?

Analog radio signals are transmitted using light in the radio area of the spectrum. If it was transmitted using the visible spectrum instead (using a visible light emitting device instead of a radio ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Can a single photon induce current in a very small coil?

As I know from Lenz's law, I can induce current in a coil just by changing the magnetic field flux inside the coil. As I know from physics course, photons are electromagnetic waves (so they are the ...
11
votes
4answers
218 views

Does the speed of medium affect the path of light?

Let's say I shine a laser from a stationary medium into a moving medium (suppose the water is moving very quickly) perpendicular to the interface and back to a stationary medium like this: (Note: ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

speed of the light emitted from a fast moving object [duplicate]

Would not speed of the light emitted from the front of the fast moving object be the speed of light + the speed of the fast moving object?
4
votes
2answers
140 views

Is a Perfect/Lossless Mirror possible?

In traditional mirrors, some of the input light is absorbed by atoms in the mirrors surface and are 'lost' as heat, degrading the quality of the reflected image. Could this loss be compensated by an ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

What is the difference between light and visible light? [duplicate]

After watching a few videos on light and electromagnetic radiation, I am a little confused. The way things are explained, is that light is just the same as electromagnetic radiation I thought this ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Why doesn't the magnetic field polarize when polarizing light?

If the magnetic field doesn't polarize does it follow the electric field path of propagation? or does it vanish?
5
votes
4answers
178 views

Question about the wave nature of light

I quote from my textbook, " Consider two vertical slits S1 and S2 placed parallel to each other, and a string is passed through them. The end B is fixed and A is given jerks perpendicular to its ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Is every electromagnetic radiation considered “light”?

Somebody mentioned on Freenode chatroom for physics that All Electromagnetic Radiation are delivered in form of Photons not just light. Is it true? Does that mean if we get a THF electrical ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it possible to avoid the radiation that caused the American flag turned into white on the Moon? [closed]

While lunar images have proven that the American flags planted during the Apollo missions are still standing on the moon, lunar scientists have now said that they probably no longer hold the iconic ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Why are radio waves in the 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz range invisible?

Visible light diapason is 400 - 700 nm which is 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz. If using an antenna I would broadcast steady sinusoidal wave in this range, why the EM emitted by the antenna are not visible? Suppose ...
1
vote
1answer
107 views

What really is reflection? [duplicate]

What really is reflection? Is it just the reemission of EMR? I asked my teacher, he said in quantum sense, it is true. But when I read something about emissivity in Stefan Boltzmann's equation, it ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Characteristic quantities in Fiber optics

I'm having trouble finding typical quantities in fiber optic communication. In particular, what kind of powers are generally used (or what is the minimum that fiber optics receivers can detect ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Spatial light modulation for mode multiplexing, how does it work?

If a laser light becomes spatial phase modulated (by phase only spatial light modulator) what happens to the intensity distribution and frequency spectrum of the laser light ? I know that this ...
3
votes
2answers
147 views

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length?

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length? I have read in one of the answers here on phys.SE that light has actually an infinite length. But then what is the energy ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Diffraction from interatomic spacing

In diffraction from a single slit, we learn that the angular width of the central maxima, is given by $2\sin^{-1}\frac \lambda d$. For $d\approx \lambda$, the incoming wavefront should be spread to ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Polarisation of light is a wave concept or applicable to photons as well?

I have a very fundamental question. We explain polarisation of light assuming wave nature of light. Is it still valid if we assume light as photons? Or in other words, polarisation is a wave concept ...
6
votes
7answers
371 views

Is the sun's solar radiance spectrum matching up with water's absorption spectrum just coincidence?

People frequently point out that water has a pretty narrow range in which it isn't very absorbing of light, reaching a minimum at a wavelength of about 500nm: And that our eyes have made good use ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Young's DS experiment and most light sources

The reason why two independent bulbs cannot be used to create the young's two slit interference pattern is that the phase difference between those two sources varies very rapidly and therefore, the ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

When was it established light travels forever?

The range of electromagnetic radiation is indefinite. When was that established? Doesn't Hubble's limit have an effect?
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Electromagnet emitting light [duplicate]

We all know that (visible for human) light essentially is an electromagnetic wave with a frequency around 1/((any value between 380 and 760)*pow(10,9)) Hertz. So, if we will build (hypothetically) ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Real and imaginary parts of dielectric constant vs refractive index?

So for a complex dielectric constant $\epsilon = \epsilon_a + i\epsilon_b$, the wave vector and index of refraction are related to it through $k = \frac{\omega}{c}n$ and $n = \sqrt{\frac{\mu ...
3
votes
3answers
129 views

Do electromagnetic waves have endpoints?

When learning about electromagnetic waves at school we never talked about any endpoints as we did with standing waves, so I assumed that light has an endless length, but that doesn't make sense. So my ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

How is the orientation of an electromagnetic wave determined?

I was looking up for how polarisers work, I understood mostly everything except the part that explains that the polariser filters everything except light that is in a certain orientation. Here are my ...
3
votes
3answers
208 views

What electric field vector should I use for modeling unpolarized light?

Regardless of computational cost, light is a kind of electromagnetic wave, so it can be simulated with Maxwell's equations. If we want to simulate light with Maxwell's equations, we need to express ...
-1
votes
1answer
125 views

How light causes increase in temperature

Temperature is the measure of movements of atoms. So if something is said to have high temperature it means that its atoms are moving fast or have high KE energy. There are basically two ways heat ...
10
votes
3answers
517 views

What causes atoms to have their specific colors?

I understand that light (color) is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and that it depends on what wavelengths are reflected/absorbed. Though what property of an individual atom gives it its color? ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

How far can diffused undersea light travel and still be perceived by the human eye?

Example: If one SCUBA diver looks past another SCUBA diver horizontally into negative space, how far away is the most distant emission of 'blue' light waves? Consider the sight angle in question to ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

Why does a street light cast a wavey shimmer across the water (at night)

See image You will have to zoom in. Why is the reflection a wavey one? Could someone explain how this is occurring, to the layman, (with the style of feynman if possible -heh) :)
-1
votes
3answers
134 views

Quantum mechanics: How do the atoms in an electronic circuit enter a smaller orbit on the filament of an incandescent light bulb?

Bear in mind that this is not a homework question, and I have put together some stuff to work on from below: http://www.doublexscience.org/how-fluorescent-lights-work-quantum-mechanics-in-the-home/ ...
3
votes
5answers
266 views

Can light travel slower than the maximum?

First of all, I know that light does indeed travel slower in a medium like air or water, but that's because the photons are bouncing off of the medium's particles and in different directions so the ...
3
votes
2answers
421 views

Does thin film interference (anti-reflective coating) let more light through?

The theory of an anti-reflective coating is that the reflected light off the coating and the reflected light off the substrate is 180 degrees out of phase, causing destructive interference and ...
5
votes
2answers
179 views

Is the color wheel just an optical illusion? [duplicate]

As a kid, I was taught that that blue and yellow make green, yellow and red make orange, and red and blue make purple - forming the subtractive color wheel. As an adolescent I was taught that blue and ...
2
votes
2answers
195 views

Polar ice caps and thermal radiation

I was reading an article on global warming and it said that the polar ice caps, because they are white, reflect a lot of the sun's radiation. The article also has a picture of some houses in England ...
1
vote
4answers
464 views

Radio antenna producing waves in the visible spectrum

If a radio could produce waves in the visible light spectrum, what would the result be? This is a thought experiment that I've pondered for a few years now. I realize there are a few/many real-world ...
4
votes
1answer
104 views

What is the intensity of this light?

I am struggling with a derivation that calculates the cross sections for Mie scattering and since the incident light is considered to be a x-polarized plane wave I thought that we would have $$I_i = ...
0
votes
2answers
191 views

What type of electromagnetic radiation strikes the Earth's surface the most?

If you can could you lists the types of light from the greatest amount to the least amount (Ex: Visible, Infrared, Violet).
3
votes
2answers
131 views

Colors of light

White light is always said to contain all the different wavelengths of light. Why, then, can we 'make' new colors simply by adding wavelengths? Is it just a matter of our perception, that, when two ...