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)

0
votes
3answers
92 views

Problem on speed of light

As I was reading special relativity, my book says the speed of light is $c$ with respect to any other thing. Does that mean the speed of an individual photon is $c$ even with respect to another ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Wavelength of blue filtered light

Does blue filtered white light have a certain wavelength, or is this highly dependent on the filter and source of light?
0
votes
2answers
109 views

How camera flash can send information

Nikon have CLS a system that allow to trigger one flash with other flash. I don't know how exactly it work from user point of view, I think that one flash (in command mode) can send information like ...
0
votes
1answer
174 views

Why isn't steam/cloud blue like liquid and solid water?

Most of us here are aware as I think that pure water has a natural quest to absorb visible red colour wavelength slightly due do which liquid water and sometimes even ice appears to have a blue colour ...
0
votes
2answers
377 views

Is it possible to project an image onto water? [closed]

Is there a way to create an image/projection in the water? Or form the water to project an image, little dot/pixel? Use some type of frequency to modulate the little dot in the fluid?
0
votes
3answers
281 views

Refraction through prism

We know that the light gets refracted when it enter a medium low/high refractive index. But why light is not refracted when it comes out from the vertex of a prism.
0
votes
1answer
122 views

What is the intrinsic colour of the star? [closed]

Hey I have this question and I am wrestling with it all day and I am completely lost. The V magnitude of a star is 15.1, B-V =1.6, and absolute magnitude Mv= 1.3 The extinction in the direction of ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a glass window protect from heat radiation?

I have been reading in this and found a statement saying : " Glass will not transmit heat radiation.". So now I am confused. If glass won't transmit heat radiation, then why do we feel hot when we sit ...
0
votes
1answer
156 views

Concentration of photons: How many can you slow down in a given unit of space?

Being able to slow down light to the speed of a bicicle as shown in this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK6HxdUQm5s Led to a question: Given a unit of space e.g. 1cm^3, and then you slowed down ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Length contraction as $v>c$

What would theoretically happen to an observed object's length (let it be a 5 meter line) moving at some speed greater than that of light in a straight path?
0
votes
1answer
145 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) :)
0
votes
2answers
332 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).
0
votes
2answers
8k views

Does more reflective aluminum foil make a room cooler compared to less reflective foil?

Aluminum foil is said to be not absorbing light at all. It reflects light. So, does it mean that a more shiny aluminum foil will reflect more light and thus make the room more cooler as compared to ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Light bulbs, Wattage meaning? [closed]

Light bulbs, Wattage meaning? Two incandescent bulbs (120 V, 25 Watt) and (120 V, 500 Watt) connected to the same batteries. Which one shines brighter? And why?
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Can the choice of reflection angle for light can be derived from a minimality condition?

When the light hits on a surface, it reflects with the "same" angle as the one that hits the surface. I was wondering if this choice of angle can be explained by a minimality condition?
0
votes
1answer
237 views

Which fraction of light is refracted from a source of light under a lake?

I was trying to solve this problem: "A punctiform source of light is standing inside a lake, at a height h of the surface. f is the fraction of the total of energy emitted that escapes directly from ...
0
votes
2answers
828 views

The color purple in a rainbow

In a rainbow the colors order is red then orange (made from red and yellow, thus making sense that it appears in between them) the yellow followed by green after which comes blue (again green formed ...
0
votes
1answer
184 views

Seeing a mirage through mirror?

Okay, I am not really good in physics (rather terrible), but nonetheless. So, I was just wondering if you can see a mirage, is there something special in our eyes that we can see it or what? I mean, ...
0
votes
2answers
100 views

Observing visible light itself by our eyes

We know that for any object to be seen by a human eye, the light from any source must be reflected from that object so that it reaches our eye and we can detect it.....but how do we see light itself? ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

Can a stream of photons to be an environment for carrying light?

As the air molecules are environment for carrying sound waves, could stream of photons be environment for carrying electromagnetic waves? What contradictions cause this assumption in the existing ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Red light on blue object (for graphics software)

I'm trying to make a program that simulates shadows in a 2D environment and I need some help in determining how things should look. For example, if my light source is red and the illuminated object ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Can the inverse of a laser exist?

Speaking as a layman, I understand a laser works by exciting an electron so it returns to rest by emitting a photon. Is it feasible to 'damp' the energy level/s of an electron so it absorbs energy ...
0
votes
1answer
233 views

Does regular sky clouds stops the sun's ultraviolet rays?

I have an argue with an ex-Doctor of Medicine about the amount of ultraviolet light reaching us under the clear day sun and under the 100% cloudy sky. To what extent we can say that the sky clouds ...
0
votes
1answer
284 views

Radiant intensity in terms of angle with the surface

This problem is about color science and it is short but tricky: where do you get $I_p=\frac{P}{4 \pi r^2} \sin \alpha$, where $I_p$ is radiant intensity and $\alpha$ is the angle between the ray and ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Why are umbrellas black?

Why are umbrellas specifically in black? Of course we do have colored ones, but black is the majority. Is there any scientific reason behind it?
0
votes
1answer
97 views

Explain moving lightbulb [closed]

An acquaintance of mine, while being home alone, saw that the light bulb in the room which was hanging from the ceiling with wires having a pendulum motion which was more than noticeable. He says that ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Name for phasor model of light

I'm looking for the name of the model of light "exploring" every path to a given point, and reaching that point with a probability proportional to the square of the resultant phasor's amplitude. (Yes, ...
0
votes
1answer
13 views

Saturation current vs frequency

In the photocurrent experiment, if the intensity of light is kept constant, but the frequency is slightly increased, what's the effect on the saturation current? I think saturation current should ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

How can light experience a force [duplicate]

According to the second law of Newton f=ma only objects with mass can experience a force. But light can be bent by gravity and is not supposed to have a mass. How ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Polarized Filtering Frequency Shift?

A polarized filter is exposed to a unpolarized light source. The output of the filter should be of lower intensity, hence lower energy. Should not the filtered light be of a lower frequency to ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Conservation of Energy in Blue Shift

Imagine light coming down and hitting a neutron star. It light is blue-shifted. I know that energy/mass is conserved and that the energy to blue-shift it comes from the gravitational field, but how is ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Find the electric field of light due to an LED [closed]

This is a JEE mains question which neither me, nor any of my teachers can figure out. Help me here. "A red LED emits light at 0.1 watt uniformly around it. The amplitude of the electric field of the ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Path length requirement for diffraction problem [closed]

The following question has been asked in a problem sheet I have been asked to answer: "The above diagram relates to the path lengths of radiation, with an angle of incidence, θ, reflecting off ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
39 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.
0
votes
1answer
78 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
votes
1answer
35 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
votes
1answer
53 views

Can someone reconcile the Boltzmann transport equation with the Maxwell equations for photons/light?

Having taking courses in both physics and nuclear engineering, I've noticed that the two fields tend to describe photons/light in two different settings. In nuclear engineering, the radiative ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Infrared Vs Visible Light

Infrared waves are widely used for quick heating objects, but a quick look at electromagnetic spectrum astonished me and raised a question that how come an infrared wave with lower energy compared to ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

What is the physical significance of the negative amplitude of a light wave?

I want to understand what is the physical significance of negative amplitude of a light wave? In an ac electrical circuit, I understand that negative amplitude signifies the amplitude measured when ...
0
votes
1answer
113 views

I want to know why light even moves at all.

Never mind in a vacuum, why and how does light even move at all? What propels it?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Why EM waves with long wave length traveles long distance cmpared to EM waves of smaller wave length? [closed]

Most of the times i was told with an example that police uses red light because they travel large distance than compared to blue or green or other wave lengths ? ...
0
votes
2answers
94 views

What's the intensity of a laser pointer?

The unit of intensity or the irradiance of the light is $\mathrm{W/m^2}$. So what's the intensity of a light pointer? Searching on the web, the laser pointer's power is about $5\mathrm{mW}$, imagine ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Are there multiple ways to create the same color?

Color is formed by mixing light of different wavelengths, so a color could be represented as a function which gives the amount of light of each wavelength. My question is, if white light is a mix of ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

Capturing a light beam

For a given container made of an extremely reflective surface, is it possible to shine a beam of light in, and with no 'fiddling' (i.e. closing the hole, tilting the object) to contain the beam for an ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Why does yellow line on road seem white at night?

I have observed while driving at night the yellow marks on road seem white. What I understand is the color of an object is the visible light wavelengths it does not absorb. In other words the yellow ...