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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2answers
151 views

Why is the spectrum of a blue flame the way it is?

In the spectrum of the blue part in a candle flame, there’s a violet emission at 432 nm due to excited CH* molecules (chemiluminescence). Why 432? Why not 400 or 500? There are emissions at 436, 475 ...
3
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2answers
724 views

How can shadows ever be sharp?

When I hold my hand underneath my lamp, the shadow my hand casts is crisp and sharp, meaning that the edges are well defined and not blurred. But according to Huygen's principle, shouldn't the light ...
28
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4answers
7k views

Why are stars white?

That is may be a easy question, but I am not a professional. The sun is a star and when I look at the sun is usually yellow. Why stars in the night are white? I suppose is for the distance. What is ...
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1answer
120 views

How can a camera zoom & photograph the sun without damaging the lens?

I find Huge images of sun in google images, i doubt that if we zoom the sun's image by using camera, then definitely sunlight will also get intensified leads to lens damage nothing but acting like ...
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1answer
17 views

Saturation point of incident Light on an object

Since the color of objects depends on the parts of the visible spectrum reflected out and the remaining is absorbed; is there any maximum limit to which the absorption can take place? In other words, ...
31
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4answers
5k views

Is there an infinite amount of wavelengths of light? Is the EM spectrum continuous?

The electromagnetic spectrum is a continuum of wavelengths of light, and we have labels for some ranges of these and numerical measurements for many. Question: Is the EM spectrum continuous such that ...
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1answer
182 views

Red/blue shifting out of visible spectra

How fast would a white light (emitting only visible spectra) need to travel in order to red or blue shift so far its no longer visible? Are some stars completely invisible due to this effect?
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0answers
13 views

Is the link between shadows a refraction of the light? [duplicate]

When two objects in the sunlight approach, if you look at their shadows, they form a link when they are really close, is that an example of refraction? If so, is it the same as the refraction we see ...
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2answers
304 views

Light, being a probability wave, carries energy; does an electron wave also carry energy? If so, how?

The entity "light" behaves as a wave & particle. The wave is actually probability wave . That is, to every point in a light wave we can attach a numerical probability that a photon can be ...
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1answer
137 views

How to calculate the colour a human eye sees when looking at a light spectrum?

I have to do a presentation about colourants in Chemistry class (grade 12, advanced) and want to write a program that calculates and visualizes the colours of some simple molecules. What I need is ...
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2answers
807 views

Sun spectroscopy - Home experiment

We let the sun light run through a 5x3x3cm triangular glass prism and we examined the formed 'rainbow' in search of Fraunhofer lines. However, even though we looked close enough (even with a ...
1
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1answer
100 views

Do photons have a spectrum like light when they are treated as waves?

If light can be treated as both a particle and a wave, are there things called infrared photons, or ultraviolet photons etc, as there are infrared waves, or ultraviolet waves? Or are photons just ...
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2answers
432 views

Are we feeling the sun's heat?

If I may summarize something I told a friend in a pub... "We don't get heat from the sun at all. Heat requires matter to move through and there's too much vacuum between the sun and us for any heat ...
42
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6answers
8k views

Where do photons go when they are absorbed?

The answer I usually get (and I'm paraphrasing here) is that they disappear and are instead absorbed as heat energy. But I find it hard to believe that the photon simply "disappears." Common sense ...
2
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2answers
1k views

The relationship between light and magnetic fields

I have two questions. Does light have a magnetic field? If not, can it be affected by other magnetic fields?
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5answers
1k views

Can we change a photon's frequency in mid-air?

Can we have a light source emitting photons in the infrared range and after, lets say, 5 meters, these photons become a photon in the x-ray range? The only way I know we can change a photon's ...
2
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2answers
280 views

Do light particle/waves have a frequency? [duplicate]

I sought the answer to the question about amplitude of light waves first, but I was actually thinking about whether the wavelength is the only property of a single quanta of light. I suppose direction ...
4
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2answers
839 views

Reflected and refracted light have same frequency as that of the incident light frequency. Why?

My text book says- When a monochromatic light is incident on a surface separating two media, the refracted and reflected light both have the same frequency as the incident frequency. Can anyone ...
8
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3answers
205 views

Why doesn't $ds^2 = 0$ imply two distinct points $p$ and $p'$ on a manifold are the same point?

Let's suppose I have a spacetime manifold $M$. Let $p$ be a point on my manifold. Now I move from $p$ to some other point $p'$. Presumably I should have moved some "distance" right? How can I speak of ...
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3answers
179 views

Frequency dependence of the speed of light in air

According to this link, the speed of light of different colors in a medium should be different. But if the refractive index of light in air is 1 then this means that the speed of light in air and ...
2
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5answers
400 views

White, is it a colour or absence of colours?

Our chemistry sir and we had an argument today at the lab, he says that white actually is not a colour, it is the abscence of colour, but we say that it is a colour and we gave the following point to ...
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1answer
766 views

How many foci does a converging or diverging lens have?

I thought this was a simple question but can't seem to find a direct answer. In ray diagrams with a converging or diverging lens, we always draw F (the focal length) on both sides of the lens. But ...
3
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1answer
573 views

How do photons carry information?

In cosmology it's frequently said that photons from the early universe carry information from that time. However, wouldn't they also carry data from later interactions? How do we differentiate ...
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0answers
320 views

Interstellar Movie: Black hole shown in the movie [duplicate]

In the interstellar movie, the black hole shown has a ring of light orbiting around it. From what I know, (correct me if I'm wrong) that light is unable to escape the gravity of the blackhole and ...
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3answers
2k views

How much lux does the sun emit?

I want to know how much lux the sun emits on a bright day - I don't mean when one stares directly at the sun, but rather when one walks casually outside when the sun is shinning brightly. Now the ...
2
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1answer
588 views

What material would block (reflect, appear opaque) IR light 750-850nm range, but allow visible light to pass? [closed]

I'd like to find a material, ideally a plastic, that would prevent IR light from passing , but appear as transparent as possible to visible light. I've sampled some plascolite products and they work, ...
2
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2answers
773 views

Why does a circle of light appear when I shine a laser pointer at a wire? [duplicate]

When I point a laser at a wire , a circle of light appears on a wall behind it . why this happens. What is the circle of light and why does it appear? Could anyone give some tips on what I should ...
3
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3answers
8k views

Why are solar panels blue, rather than black, when black absorbs more light?

This is an image of a solar panel array, courtesy of Wikipedia. Some of these look rather black, but most of them are blue. As far as I know, solar panels work by absorbing "light energy", and ...
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1answer
82 views

How does the flow of photons (qty/s) vary across the spectrum? (In everyday life)

Humans see only a narrow band of light wavelengths. Many animals see much deeper into infrared. Maybe one clue to explain why we don't see IR naturally, has to do with the light intensity as a ...
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2answers
245 views

What should be the width of the slit in single slit diffraction experiment?

What should be the width of the slit in single slit diffraction experiment? If the wavelength is taken lambda while doing experiment.
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0answers
28 views

How is the formation of the first atoms related to the cosmic microwave background? [duplicate]

Common atoms formed when the universe finally got cool enough for electrons to bind with atomic nuclei around the year 380,000. From what I understand this shift in state from plasma to discrete atoms ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Making sense of sinogram of perspex block in air

I'm confused trying to visualize what happened exactly during this experiment: Setup with a laser and a photo diode on the opposite side. A perspex block (2x2cm) in between. Take 200 measurements ...
1
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3answers
197 views

How are photons made?

I mean in manufacturing a bicycle we know how to "ensemble" a bicycle, what actions and "assembly of parts". So what steps are needed for make a photon? Also is there a limit on how many photons for ...
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0answers
154 views

Reflection and refraction of light [duplicate]

When a light ray strikes an interface a part of it gets reflected, a part of it gets absorbed while another part gets refracted. Why does light reflect? Why does it refract?
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0answers
60 views

How can spacetime affect massless entities? [duplicate]

Why is light affected and "bent" by spacetime if it has no mass or density?
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2answers
2k views

Why does light travel as waves? [duplicate]

Why does light travel as waves instead of say just a straight line? What are the forces that make a light photon travel in a wavelike pattern?
0
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1answer
169 views

Why would a sweeping LIDAR or RADAR beam not produce an artificial Doppler shift?

Assuming a bi-static Radar or LIDAR with a stationary transmitter and a stationary target and a stationary receiver, with a sweeping RADAR/LIDAR beam reflecting off a stationary target: Why would the ...
1
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2answers
188 views

Why does the thought experiment of a photon bouncing of a mirror imply anything for other objects?

Okay, so I am reading a book, "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene, which talks about motion and its effect on time. Greene makes the point that time changes with motion by saying that if you have ...
1
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0answers
29 views

What sort of function would accurately model the change in daylight at sunrise or sunset?

Assume that you are standing on the equator in a flat, wide-open space and there is no moon or clouds. What sort of mathematical function would accurately model the increase in daylight when night ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

How can absorption spectra form if atoms can't remain in an excited state?

I have been tasked to write a research paper on stars. However, I know very little about physics in general. I am learning about how we can glean information about stars by analyzing the light that ...
3
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1answer
762 views

Why does light not slow down?

Clearly light bounces off of things, going really really fast. I'm curious to understand how light interacts with matter in order to bounce without: Applying force to the object Losing speed So my ...
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2answers
193 views

Number of different wavelengths in the visible spectrum reaching Earth

I recognize the visible wavelengths of light extend from approximately 400 - 700 nm. But how many different wavelengths exist in that range? 300 ? 30,000 ? (400.01 - 699.99) If it's completely ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Relation between number of photons and energy?

Please can anyone explain it. If number of photons are increased will it increase the providing energy. Suppose, we are sending a limited number of photons each carrying energy. We have a energy ...
0
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1answer
181 views

Does the color of refractive medium affects the color of refracted light?

Imagine if I have a red colored prism that splits white light ray into its seven components, would the red component be affected by the red color of the glass material of the prism in any which way? I ...
0
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3answers
387 views

Does light itself experience time dilation?

This seems weird for me. Every time I see light, I will think, "Hey, that light travels from the past far away from us!" Correct me if there is misconception.
5
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5answers
331 views

How is it possible for the wavelength of light to change in a medium?

So my physics class has just finished a long unit on optics while at the same time I've been trying to teach myself relativity. I admit my understanding is probably rudimentary, but I figured all the ...
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2answers
383 views

When we light the lamp of a room .Where does the darkness go? [closed]

I asked my father . He replied : Under the sofa -.-
-3
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1answer
972 views

What is the speed of a Photon? [duplicate]

How fast does a Photon travel through space? And is gravity able to influence a Photon's path?
2
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4answers
338 views

The fainter the star, the further away it is?

If a star appears to be very faint, does that imply that it's really far away, or that its intrinsic luminosity is small? More precisely: If I look up into the cosmos and see a star that is very ...
2
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0answers
115 views

Is there a wavelength of electromagnetic radiation that can penetrate iron but reflect off iron oxides?

We can see corrosion or rust because visible light travels through air reflects off the material back through the air and into our eyes. But I am wondering if you could see the corrosion through on ...