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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1answer
660 views

Was the choice of red/green colors for traffic lights a happy coincidence?

All of us have learned since secondary school that the reason we use red in the traffic lights for "Stop" is because it travels the furthest without dispersion. According to wikipedia which cites ...
0
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1answer
76 views

Any suggestions for units conversion? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Photometer: measured Irradiance L converted to photon rate I am conducting a experiment where stimulus output of $470\ nm$ is measured by a radiometer at $30\ \mu W\ ...
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1answer
712 views

Photometer: measured Irradiance L converted to photon rate

I am conducting an experiment in which the power meter reading of $410\,nm$ narrow bandpass stimulus is noted to be 30 $\frac{\mu W}{cm^2}$ at a distance of 1 inch away from the light source. I wish ...
0
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1answer
69 views

Regarding “Holes” in bands, and Photons

So from learning Band theory, and PN Junction and such, I've learned that photons are created when "holes" are filled in a band, and this is what can create light (Isn't this how LEDs work?) Anyways, ...
4
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1answer
726 views

Does light induce an electric current in a conductor?

I know that electromagnetic waves induce electric currents in conductors and that's the basis for radio, wi-fi etc. I also know that light is also an electromagnetic wave. So, can light induce a ...
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3answers
2k views

Does light change color on its way through a window? [duplicate]

Looking at the refractive index of glass, it's around $1.6$. Then the speed of light $x$ through light should be given by $$ 1.6 = \frac{3.0\times10^8}{x}, $$ so $x$ is about ...
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2answers
182 views

Can I see the light from 10 million km away?

If light is switched ON, only for a second, and the distance between the observer and the light source is 10 million kilometers, can I still see the light spark? For example, let's assume that the ...
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1answer
636 views

Resistance of Light Dependent Resistor (LDR)

Is there a mathematical expression relating the resistance of Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) with light intensity?
2
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1answer
159 views

Commercial Infrared lights

I purchased an infrared light. It's a 100 W Philips infrared lightbulb. Says it's infrared, but I haven't done any spectrum analysis so I don't know for sure if it's just red or really infrared. As I ...
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0answers
56 views

Was Einstein's Cross Predicted by Einstein's Theories? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does gravitational lensing account for Einstein’s Cross? Einstein's Cross is a fascinating phenomena for which I have asked explanation here. However, I'm also ...
3
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2answers
442 views

Why do hot objects prefer to emit photons over electrons ? Is there electron-positron annihilation?

Why do hot objects prefer to emit photons over electrons ? Is there electron-positron annihilation ? If so , why ? Im confused by this.
2
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1answer
866 views

Confused about fire?

Im confused about fire. The way I see it : Heat creates (kinetic) energy in mass and this creates stronger vibrations of atoms. When those vibrations are strong enough the electrons interact ...
2
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1answer
458 views

Can light be canceled by merging with an inverted wave?

Can light waves be canceled by merging them with their inverted waves? Seems like it would violate conservation of energy but waves are added together when they overlap, right? Where is the flaw in ...
3
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1answer
229 views

How would one generate Brownian light? What would it look like?

When light is an equal mix of all visible frequencies, we call it white light. By analogy, sound that is a mix of all audible frequencies is called white noise. For sound, there is an additional ...
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1answer
289 views

Are the speeds of the different wavelengths of visible light different or varying in a medium such as air?

Are the speeds of the different wavelengths of visible light different or varying in a medium such as air? If so, please inform by how much? Also, even if the wavelength speeds vary minimally, please ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Why both yellow and purple light could be made by a mix of red, green and blue?

We see the mix of red light and green light as yellow light (#FFFF00). The wavelength of yellow light lies between red and green. But the wavelength of purple light lies outside of red and blue. ...
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3answers
3k views

Intensity of light

If we have 2 beams of light with equal intensities, but with different frequencies, wouldn't the one with the higher frequency generate more power? If so, how come the intensity, which is in $W/m^2$, ...
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4answers
713 views

Is infrared light diffused on walls?

Lamps that produce visible light can light up a whole room because the ceiling and the walls diffuse light. This way, when there is a single lamp in a room, something that is in the shadows is not ...
1
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1answer
566 views

How can you test what color different people perceive? [closed]

If I would show someone a yellow object and ask them, "is this object yellow?" That person would say "yes". But I could never know if my perception of the color yellow is the same as that other ...
0
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2answers
206 views

Why photo cannot be captured while facing toward the Sun /

When the Camera is facing toward the Sun and a person is standing to and We're capturing his photo , all we get is a black shadow even when we capture with the flash light or anything. Why does it ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Is there something special in the visible part of electromagnetic spectrum?

I always wondered how much information we get from color. Things we see have different colors; edible products change color when began to spoil so we have a notion what color a fresh product should ...
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2answers
4k views

Is the “How to break the speed of light” minute physics video wrong?

I am referring to this video, on YouTube, by minutephysics, which has quite a lot of views. In the video it states that if you flick your wrist while pointing a laser that reaches the moon, that the ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Why doesn't my pinhole camera work?

We all know that light travels in straight a line, which can be proved by pinhole imaging as in the picture shown : But when I'm doing this little experiment with an apple, no matter how I change ...
53
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10answers
17k views

Is it possible that there is a color our human eye can't see?

Is it possible that there's a color that our eye couldn't see? Like all of us are color blind to it. If there is, is it possible to detect/identify it?
2
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3answers
476 views

Redshift of light in dark matter

Following Edwin Hubble, it is widely believed that the universe is expanding, which is based on the red-shift of light from distant objects. Can dark matter cause light to be red-shifted and make it ...
2
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2answers
603 views

How does scattering work?

Why is the sky blue? I was always taught in high school that light with wavelength $\lambda$ acts like a little particle that wiggles up and down through space (in proportion to its magnitude). I was ...
2
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1answer
117 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 ...
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3answers
2k 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
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1answer
299 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 ...
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4answers
206 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
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2answers
452 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?
7
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3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
297 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
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7answers
601 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
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2answers
449 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
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1answer
834 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
654 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
369 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 ...
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2answers
652 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 ...
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0answers
183 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 ...
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0answers
428 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 ...
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2answers
470 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
143 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
518 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
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0answers
251 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 ...
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0answers
93 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
957 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...