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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2
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1answer
80 views

Need to write a function that computes the UV index

I have found a lot of people talking about how to compute the UV index, but have not found an example that shows the actual equations, so I could adapt them into an algorithm. Probably the closest ...
2
votes
3answers
861 views

Why is the colour of sunlight yellow?

I was going through the preliminary papers of other schools and found a question that I did not know. It was "Why sunlight appears yellow?". Can anyone answer it?
7
votes
1answer
235 views

Strange light polarization effect?

I spent a while working with MgF2-windowed xenon flash / discharge lamps. Primarily, I characterized their spectra with two normal-incidence spectrometers against a calibrated Deuterium lamp. In this ...
0
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4answers
174 views

Seeing The Light in a Black Hole

I assume if light can't escape a black hole, then light is in a black hole. Does the light 'shine' inside a black hole
0
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2answers
378 views

What is the color of Water?

What is the color of Water? I am not talking about large water bodies like Ocean or lake but a glass of water. If it has no color how can we see it?
6
votes
3answers
662 views

How many percent of the visible light reaching the Earth are from other stars than the Sun?

How many percent of the whole visible light reaching the Earth are from other stars than the Sun? Is it maybe 0,5 - 1% or is my guess already too much? I am interested mainly in visible light, but ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Transparency of solids using bandgaps and relation to conduction and valence bands

I think I understand how a solid can appear transparent as long as the energy of the photons travelling through it are not absorbed in the material's bandgap. But how does this band gap relate to ...
7
votes
2answers
215 views

Does light have timbre?

Timbre is a property associated with the shape of a sound wave, that is, the coefficients of the discrete Fourier transform of the corresponding signal. This is why a violin and a piano can each play ...
14
votes
7answers
424 views

Optical equivalent of a superconductor

Is there some material state that can propagate light indefinitely without dissipation or absorption, like superconductors are able to transmit current indefinitely? If not, then the question is, why ...
6
votes
2answers
327 views

Blue-shifting as opposed to violet-shifting

A recent XKCD comic implies that the sky is blue as opposed to violet due to human physiology, and that animals more sensitive to shorter wavelengths will perceive the Earth's sky as the shortest ...
5
votes
1answer
395 views

What is the colour of starlight?

I'm interested to know the colour of starlight - particularly in rgb terms, I'm pressuming it's either white, or very close to white, but I'm interested to know how close. To make it slightly more ...
2
votes
1answer
328 views

What is the spatial mode of light or the spatial mode of a massive particle?

I'm extremely confused by what physicists mean by the spatial mode of light. I am also equally if not more confused by what the spatial mode of a massive particle is. Can anyone help me out by ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

Photons arriving from the Sun

Given that the Sun is a bit less than 10 light minutes away from Earth, is it correct to assume in principle (I understand actual processes in the core of the Sun make the situation at a photon's ...
0
votes
2answers
240 views

Colors in the secondary rainbow reverse of that in the primary rainbow

Why the colors of Secondary rainbow is reverse of that in the color in the Primary rainbow? What can be the possible reason among the following options Because it is formed by one internal ...
1
vote
0answers
174 views

Splitting light into colors, mathematical expression (fourier transforms)

I am trying to solve a problem that includes a function of the light hitting a certain area. My question is, how would I change a function $G(x)$ of photons hitting a certain area to include just ...
1
vote
0answers
303 views

Malus' Law (Polarization) [closed]

Consider the image below: Let $\theta_2$ be the angle between the axes of transmission of Polarizer 2 and Polarizer 3 and $\theta_3$ be the angle between the axes of transmission of Polarizer 3 ...
1
vote
2answers
242 views

Building a LED lamp, which is the brightest? 3 LEDs of 2500 mcd or 1 LED of 6000 mcd?

I want to build the brightest lamp, for it to be seen at daylight, should I use 3 2500 mcd LEDs or 1 6000 mcd? And also Why?
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Angle of rays leaving a light source

I'm working on ray tracing and I'm trying to understand the impact of the angle at which a light-path intersects the surface of a light source on the amount of light that source delivers to the path ...
3
votes
1answer
357 views

plotting an sRGB gamut Chromaticity Diagram starting with xy coordinates

Starting with xy coordinates I would like to plot a chromaticity diagram displaying just the sRGB gamut portion of the CIE xy chromaticity diagram. For each ...
5
votes
1answer
911 views

Why does the sun “shine brighter” some days?

Today, the sun seems extremely bright; more dazzling than usual, and even the roads seem to be brighter so it's not just when you look up in the sky. Is more light actually getting through (perhaps ...
1
vote
0answers
238 views

Representing a polarization vector for light as a 'manifold of two state'

Explain me these projections please Context: I was reading a paper (Phys. Rev. A 68, 052307) which involved mesoscopic coherent states of light. There, in order to calculate the uncertainty of a ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

How does a lens affect the field of view in a mirror?

If one looks into a mirror, he can see a certain field of view. If he places a convex lens that magnifies (or a concave lens that does the opposite) in front of the mirror, but so that he can still ...
14
votes
1answer
450 views

Why does the spotlight reflected off of a rectangular mirror tend to become circular?

Background and setup When I was 12 I used to like a girl, we were almost neighbors and it was essential that our parents don't find out. So whenever one of us wanted to call the other they'd signal ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Index of Refraction

The scenario: A ray of light strikes the center of the (a) flat surface and (b) curved surface of a semicircular glass medium with the angle of incidences in degrees of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50. The ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Can small clouds reflect enough light to hurt your eyes/blind you?

I looked out my window a minute ago and immediately noticed a very bright spot where a cloud and a jet/plane trail met. The spot was so bright that I thought the sun was behind it because it left that ...
-5
votes
3answers
215 views

Could some Red and Blue shifts be the result of light passing through “dark matter”?

As i see it, light behaves in certain ways, as the Double Slit experiement shows, So when light comes into contact with dark matter, it becomes both a wave and a particle, the wave is bent around the ...
1
vote
0answers
174 views

Photon Statistics of a Coherent Gaussian Beam [closed]

Assume that a 100 pW He-Ne single-mode last emits light at 633 nm in a TEM00 Gaussian beam. (a)What is the mean number of photons crossing a circle of radius equal to the waist radius of the beam ...
0
votes
1answer
302 views

Dispersion & Absorption in Optics

1) I understand light dispersion. But, I wonder what happens if I used a lens to focus it into a small point. Would it be a white point (would it reverse dispersion) or would I have a multicolored ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

What's the difference between the equivalence principle and curvature of spacetime?

Calculating using the equivalence principle only accounts for half the deflection of light, whereas the other half is from curvature of space-time. But isn't the equivalence principle the same thing ...
-1
votes
1answer
89 views

Determine when a light is going into the object [closed]

Please look at this image: (http://mypages.iit.edu/~smart/acadyear/refract.gif) How can I determine when light is going into the object? Actually, if there is, what is the simplest way to ...
3
votes
4answers
21k views

Why do diamonds shine?

I have always wondered why diamonds shine. Can anyone tell me why?
-1
votes
1answer
807 views

Huygens Principle and principal of rectilinear propagation of light

Suppose I have an wave source and light waves are radiating from it. If I have a point source, then after a time t, with a radius of ct I will have a circular wave front.By Huygens principle each ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

If nothing in the universe can travel faster than light, how come light can't escape a black hole? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does gravity escape a black hole? If nothing in the universe can travel faster than light, how come light can't escape a black hole? I mean, Einstein's relativity ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Where do the high order rainbows appear?

This site shows locations of the high order rainbows up to sixth order. My thought is that, There should be even higher order bows like 7th, 8th, etc. (Though they would be practically impossible to ...
1
vote
1answer
214 views

Speed of light and virtual particles

After becoming extremely bored while studying for an Afrikaans exam, I started thinking about virtual particles. So, can light (photons) interact with virtual particles (even though they only exist ...
3
votes
0answers
116 views

Bandgap Spacing in Photonic Crystals

I am doing some self-study on photonics and have encountered the following question: We know that amorphous electronic crystals such as amorphous silicon have a bandgap. Can amorphous photonic ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Is synchrotron radiation considered incandescent?

Synchrotron radiation is produced via the acceleration of charged particles, much like incandescence. However, all information I've seen state that incandescent light is produced exclusively from the ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

What the name of the evacuated glass gadget with black and white vanes that turn when a light is applied?

I remember a glass device my physics teacher had at high school which Contained some vanes mounted somehow on a vertical axis, which were all black on one side and white on the other Was in a ...
21
votes
12answers
18k views

Why is light called an 'electromagnetic wave' if it's neither electric nor magnetic?

How can light be called electromagnetic if it doesn't appear to be electric nor magnetic? If I go out to the sunlight, magnets aren't affected (or don't seem to be). And there is no transfer of ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do green lasers appear brighter and stronger than red and blue lasers?

This is mostly for my own personal illumination, and isn't directly related to any school or work projects. I just picked up a trio of laser pointers (red, green, and blue), and I notice that when I ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Dark light filters letting through less light

I'm looking for an explanation on why darker light filters let through less light than lighter filters (secondary/high school level). Although this seems to the layman like the obvious outcome, our ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Ideal four-level Gain Medium (or just any old gain medium)

What exactly is happening in a laser's gain cell when the irradiance is greater than the saturation irradiance? Also can someone offer a clear conceptual treatment of the gain-coefficient and its ...
5
votes
1answer
490 views

why sometimes touching old flickering tube lights starts them properly

In my old house there are two old tube lights. Some times they don't start properly, (specially at evening time, may be it is because of low voltage), they starts flickering i.e. on and off ...
-1
votes
2answers
255 views

A light and magnetic mirror paradox?

If light is an electromagnetic wave and lightspeed is constant (we ignore spacetime or gravity for this question) why can't we slow down light with a few dozen wellplaced magnets and electricly ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Rays in Symmetric Resonator

I'm having some trouble figuring out how to get started on this question: If I have a symmetric resonator with two concave mirrors of radii $R$ separated by a certain distance, after how many round ...
0
votes
3answers
793 views

Deriving the Poynting Theorem

I am trying to derive the Poynting theorem. So far, I've only been able to narrow down which equations I think I'll need to do so. These are the equations: Maxwell's Equations: $$ \nabla\times{\bf E} ...
-1
votes
4answers
107 views

What kind of “camera” and “light” source should I use to detect the intermediate path of a light beam? [closed]

I would like to have an image (in any kind of space), where I see the path of a "light" source. In my understanding the most common, directed source would be a laser pointer. a) Is this correct? If ...
0
votes
2answers
221 views

Why is the sky blue? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does the sky change color? Basically what the title says. What mechanisms are significant and how do they contribute to make the sky blue. Also when the sky is not ...
0
votes
2answers
579 views

Wavelength and resolution

I'm reading some texts that seam to assume knowledge of light that I'm not too familiar with. How does wavelength of light relate to the minimum distance span that can be observed (i.e. you cannot ...
16
votes
3answers
717 views

Why does light of high frequency appear violet?

When people are asked to match monchromatic violet light with an additive mix of basic colours, they (paradoxically) mix in red. In fact, the CIE 1931 color space chromaticity diagram shows this ...