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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

2
votes
2answers
34 views

Color of objects in Yellow sun

The sun appears yellow but the objects on the earth appear as if they have been illuminated in white light. Are all objects that we see in sunlight actually in a yellow shade, and would appear ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Florescents and radio waves

Okay so if you put a florescent light bulb in front of a certain radio, the radio waves excite the mercury inside a causes them to emit UV light which makes the outer coating of the light bulb light ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Surfaces that reflect UV rays

I've been trying to research what surfaces reflect UV rays for the past day but it's been difficult coming up with definitive answers. So far what I've found is that surfaces that reflect visible ...
6
votes
3answers
314 views

Why does red light travel faster than blue light?

I know that light of all frequencies travel at the same speed in vacuum. But I wonder why their speed differ in any other medium, why does red light travel faster if it has less energy than blue ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Polarization vector identity in Minkowski space?

Playing around with numerical light-like momenta $p^\mu_1,p^\mu_2$ (light-like meaning ${p_1}^\mu {p_1}_\mu={p_2}^\mu {p_2}_\mu=0$) and corresponding circular polarization vectors ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

What causes these rainbow effects using a polarizing filter on an airplane?

I know that light reflected from a surface at 45° is polarized and that for a similar reason skylight arriving from a direction orthogonal to the sun is polarized too. Photographers make use of this ...
11
votes
1answer
170 views

Does my green laser pointer emit three distinct frequencies, or is my measurement flawed?

I was playing around with a cheap diffraction grating and my set of laser pointers, and I noticed that while the red and the blue pointers produce a single point in the spectrum, my green laser ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Laser diode spectrum vs LED spectrum, why so much difference in broadness?

I've been reading about how light is produced in both laser diodes (the most common types of lasers) and LED's. The mechanism seems very similar if not exactly the same: one applies a potential ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Does a source emitting visible light also emit infrared, microwave and radio waves?

I have a bulb which is hot enough to emit visible light and obviously it's hot enough to emit radiation which lies before the visible light temperature i.e. radio waves, microwaves, and infrared ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

Why does the light instantly disappear when we switch off the source?

For example i take a box which is completely covered by the most perfect mirrors possible inside and inside that box i have a bulb whose bulb holder is also covered with the most perfect mirrors ...
43
votes
3answers
6k views

Why doesn't light affect a compass?

In our daily life a lot of photons of visible light, infrared and radio etc move around us. We know that light is an electromagnetic radiation. So why doesn't that electromagnetic radiation affect a ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

Does a photon travel in all directions?

For example i am standing and a beam of light is passing in front of me. I am able to see that beam of light so does it mean that photons are travelling in all directions other than the photons which ...
4
votes
2answers
593 views

Why do we use microwaves in microwave oven?

We know that any object above absolute zero emits electromagnetic radiation. So hotter the object shorter the wavelengths. In the electromagnetic radiation spectrum radio waves has the longest then ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

How to build a MOKE (magneto-optic Kerr effect) magnetometer at home?

I'd like to build a magnetometer at home. The type does not matter actually that much but it should be doable at home. The MOKE (magneto-optic Kerr effect) magnetometer at least appears to use ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

How is ink's color produced?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complementary_colors The pairs of complementary colors vary depending upon whether the colors are physical (e.g. from pigments), or from light. These change ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Refraction of light marching band analogy

When trying to understand the refraction of light when it hits a slower medium, lots of people seem to be enlightened by the 'marching band' or 'marching soldiers' analogy, which 'explains' that when ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Interference of waves

Every thing has a dual nature. So if we take waves(consider light interference) as particles, exactly what happens during interference (both constructive and destructive)? Can you explain in easy ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Why “colours” of light are given in wavelength not frequency?

If I understand correctly, when a beam of (monochromatic) light passes through media of different refractive indices, its wavelength changes but frequency remains constant. Why, then, are colours of ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Why does the spectrum for deuterium show a weak line at H-alpha?

I was wondering why the spectrum for deuterium shows a weak line at H-alpha, the first line in the hydrogen spectrum.
3
votes
0answers
36 views

Beating the Diffraction Limit with NSOM

I am trying to understand exactly why we can beat the diffraction limit when using near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). For those who aren't familiar with NSOM, check out this article: ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Models of light

As far as I'm aware, there are two different (and almost contradictory) models that describe the behavior of light: light as a wave (EM), and light as a particle (QM). From what I've heard, depending ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What happens if light is trapped between two points?

The image can explain my question In the image light is clearly trapped.Even if the mirror absorbs energy the light is continously being added, will there be enough force to break the mirror?
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Why doesn't the Sun appear green to our eyes?

The spectrum of the Sun as seen at sea level can be seen at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Solar_Spectrum.png so we can see that wavelengths around green to yellow are the ones that are the ...
0
votes
3answers
184 views

Is purple in visible light?

This isn’t a duplicate. I read those pages, but those didn’t answer my questions. Please watch this. Does visible light consist of red, orange, yellow, green, cyan and blue? No purple? My definition ...
3
votes
3answers
183 views

Why most of physics is somehow related to light? [closed]

It seems that for the past 200 years, every physicist is concerned about light. For example : Newton's particle model, Young experiment, Photo-Electrict effect and Einstein's formula, Special ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Velocity of light

Velocity of light decreases as it enters a more optically denser medium. So how far can the velocity of light be reduced? Which object has the highest refractive index?
4
votes
1answer
45 views

Shadow of a ripple?

Suppose a stone is thrown into a pool of crystal clear water and its a bright sunshiny morning. You can observe a shadow of the wave in the bottom of the pool. Why does this happen? Is it due to ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

What causes light to travel through a curved fountain of water?

Today I observed a tilted fountain spurting water upward (the water fell smoothly; no detectable turbulence). A colored light was shown upward into the water as it left its source. This light traveled ...
6
votes
1answer
802 views

Test whether a glass prevents you from getting your Vitamin D portion?

I work in an office with glass, which I believe filters the UV radiation of the sunlight. Is it possible to test if exposure to the light coming through the glass will supply Vitamin D for me as a ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Young's double slit experiment and intensity

I want to ask a question about double slit interference and the pattern that it produces on a screen (for example in Young's Experiment with a laser beam). I understand the reason that you see a ...
0
votes
2answers
123 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
votes
2answers
66 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Why is there lightning where there are no clouds?

Recently my family and I went onto the balcony to observed the stars in the night sky. We started to see flashes in the sky and we realized that it was lightning (non fork lightning). I looked around ...
26
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
10 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, ...
30
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
36 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?
0
votes
0answers
12 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
182 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
415 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Generation of electromagnetic waves [duplicate]

I came across this while searching about generation of electromagnetic waves-Does this mean that if I vary the electric current following through a conducting wire, it will radiate electromagnetic ...
1
vote
1answer
40 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
4k 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
votes
2answers
149 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?
5
votes
4answers
368 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
95 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
votes
2answers
364 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 ...