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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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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105 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 ...
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290 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 ...
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2answers
201 views

Why energy saving light bulbs contain rare earth?

Reading a french article talking about a recycling unit of rare earth from energy saving light bulbs near Lyon - France (here is the official press release of the Salvay company), I was wondering : ...
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49 views

What is the main downfall of using QPSK rather than DQPSK in fiber optics?

I've read that QPSK works theoretically in order to encode two bits depending on the phase of the signal. However, practically a reference for the carrier signal would be needed due to some ambiguity ...
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157 views

Digital camera as a measurement device [closed]

It is know that digital camera is not the best device for quantitative measurements. However, it is often used in all sorts of atmospheric physics research, maily due to: Low cost and availability. ...
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177 views

Why are subjects upside down when I look through my door peephole?

There is a convex lens 3/4" on the outside and 1 1/2" convex lens on the inside. Each lens has one flat side facing out and one convex side facing in. What can be done to correct this image?
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234 views

Does infrared light pass through active shutter glass?

The glasses that we use for 3D viewing, do they allow infrared light to pass through them? Infrared rays pass through normal glass right? I need the pupil illuminated through infrared LEDs so I need ...
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805 views

How to use the Coddington shape factor?

We are given $\sigma=\frac{r2+r1}{r2-r1}$, with $\sigma$ being the Coddington shape factor. What I am having problems with is solving for $r1$ and $r2$ when I am just given a focal length and a ...
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66 views

Light vs. X-ray interactions with Phosphor

Looking for some information on how light and xrays interact with phosphorous, or what might cause the following: Scenario A focus beam of light is directed at a phosphor plate at the same time as ...
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584 views

Double Slit Problem, Waves and Optics [closed]

Given d(slit separation)= $0.158\:\rm{mm}$, $\lambda _{red}= 665\:\rm{nm}$, $\lambda _{g/y}= 565nm$, L(distance from screen)= $2.24\:\rm{m}$ What is the distance between the third order red and ...
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1answer
82 views

Can electrons reflect light?

Lately, I have been watching sparks while connecting my electronic devices and I can notice that electricity is kind of blue, and theoretically it's blue because it reflects blue wavelengths?? And ...
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2answers
159 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 ...
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1answer
379 views

Triboluminescence, how does it work? [duplicate]

I was browsing Reddit and I stumbled upon this. It is a video on making duct tape glow a blue light by pulling two pieces of duct tape apart. Appearntly the glowing is caused by something called ...
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3answers
3k views

Light traveling through a medium

Does the frequency of light change when it travels across an interface between two media? What happens to the light wavelength and the light velocity at the interface? I've gotten different answers ...
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1answer
162 views

Why can't we produce visible light from a radio transmitter? [duplicate]

Producing visible light from a radio wave transmitter: why is it not possible? If it is, what are the limitations?
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4answers
79 views

What do light wave oscillations look like?

High school physics student here, so please bear with me for a moment. I know that light waves oscillate, but I don't know how. In textbooks and diagrams they're portrayed as wavy lines traveling ...
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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
1k views

What colour is nothing?

To me this is very confusing, but I hope we can discuss it and find a solid answer to the question. If you were somewhere where there was absolutely nothing, what colour would your eyes see?
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2answers
220 views

Why are radio waves in the 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz range invisible?

Visible light diapason is 400 - 700 nm which is 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz. If using an antenna I would broadcast steady sinusoidal wave in this range, why the EM emitted by the antenna are not visible? Suppose ...
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3answers
999 views

Does brightness of the light remains constant with the variation of the distance with respect to the source in vaccum?

I have this question going in my mind from many days, i.e why brightness of light emitted from any light source around us decreases with distance? The brightness of light from tube light, streetlight, ...
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4answers
48 views

Can the term «shadow» pertain to anything else than light? [closed]

Can the term shadow pertain to anything else than light? Feel free to interpret this question in the widest sense possible.
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3answers
3k views

All objects radiate energy, but we cannot see all objects in the dark. Why?

We claim that all objects radiate energy by virtue of their temperature and yet we cannot see all objects in the dark. Why not?
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3answers
236 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 ...
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1answer
8k views

Could the shadow move with faster-than-light speed? [duplicate]

If I make a huge laser with a figure for shadow in front of the laser, and I shine it on to the moon, will I see the light from the laser AND the shadow moving the same speed? (I read somewhere the ...
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2answers
355 views

Why are some of the biggest stars known blue?

My question refers to an overview of the biggest stars we know: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4138/4820647230_faba1c9f3b_o.jpg Why are some of those blue?
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2answers
400 views

How can opaque black object occur?

I know the fact that a material appeared as black when all wavelength photons were absorbed. I also know that opaque object is the result of reflection and scattering of light wave. Is it right? ...
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2answers
200 views

Can relativistic momentum (photons) be used as propulsion for 'free' after the initial generation?

In discussing this question about propelling a spacecraft with photons and their relativistic momentum, the author asked that I restate my comment as another question. If photons can really be used ...
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2answers
7k 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 ...
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2answers
200 views

2 torches with the same power - More lumen?

I didn't find an answer for this. A friend and me argued about the brightness-impact of multiple bulbs/torches. I told him, that 2 torches with the same power (the same amount of lumen and ...
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1answer
197 views

The Movement of Light

I've asked several other questions like this, and I know it's a dumb question but I really can't understand. When light is emitted from a moving source, it still moves straight in that source's frame. ...
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3answers
285 views

Does the Lorentz transformation not apply to light?

Since you would know that light always travels at the constant velocity with respect to all frame of reference ....according to relativity whenever we are traveling at speed of light our time with ...
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2answers
2k views

What causes light to move through a vacuum

I was looking at rockets and stuff and thought about how they move through a vacuum using newtons 3rd law, and then I started thinking of any other ways you could move through a vacuum without using ...
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2answers
115 views

Could time dilation bend the path of a photon? Does time dilation have a refractive index?

The main question I am getting at is, does time dilation have a refractive index? What I mean is, if I were to shoot a laser past a black hole, would the laser's path "bend" strictly from time ...
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1answer
83 views

Determining the path of a light ray

Let's consider a ray in the plane $xy$. Let the refractive index be defined in any point of the plane with the function $n(x,y)$. In time $t=0$ the ray is located in coordinates $(x_0, y_0)$ and its ...
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3answers
92 views

Can we see a rainbow on moon or any other celestial body?

We see rainbows after rainfall on earth... According to my understanding a rainbow is formed as a result of scattering of light....Then is it possible that we can be able to see a rainbow on the ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there a substance that doesn't reflect OR absorb light from the visible light spectrum?

Is there a substance that doesn't reflect or absorb visible light but may reflect light from another spectrum? Is there a theoretical substance that would have these properties? EDIT: Sorry I wasn't ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the difference between light and visible light? [duplicate]

After watching a few videos on light and electromagnetic radiation, I am a little confused. The way things are explained, is that light is just the same as electromagnetic radiation I thought this ...
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1answer
1k views

Why does light travel at finite speed? [duplicate]

We have known for quite some time now that light travels at a finite speed of 3x10^8m/s (approx) through vacuum. But why is that? Why can't the speed be infinite? Or at least higher than the current ...
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2answers
240 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 ...
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2answers
476 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?
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2answers
957 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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2answers
812 views

Is a monochromatic, or non-monochromatic light visible at greater distance?

Just what the title states. Assuming identical conditions, excellent visibility - If a 1W monochromatic light source, and a 1W non-monochromatic light source were viewed at a location in deep ...
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2answers
3k views

What color a transparent object reflect?

We say an object's color is blue if the object is opaque, reflects blue color and absorbs waves of other color. What color a transparent object actually reflects?
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1answer
20 views

Hydrogen Spectra using Hydrogen Gas Discharge Tube

I am doing an experiment for my lab work which include determination of value of Rydberg Constant using method of Interpolation. For this we first plot calibration curve for various wavalengths ...
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3answers
86 views

Path of light as it travels between two black holes

What would happen to light passing through a narrow space between the event horizons of two equal-mass black holes? Would it deviate or follow a straight path?
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1answer
69 views

Difference between speed of light and of bullet after passing through a barrier [duplicate]

I just read that, when a ray of light traveling in vacuum at $c$ strikes a glass slab, its speed decreases and then when it re-emerges it gets back to its original speed i.e $c$. If I draw a ...
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1answer
230 views

A yellow lemon is illuminated by green light. What color does the lemon appear?

I think it's blue, but I'm not sure. Is there a way to find out without simply testing it?
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2answers
226 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?
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2answers
87 views

Black Holes and Light [duplicate]

It is said that photons have zero rest mass so how can gravitational force of a black hole affect light? And if photons do have some effective mass while traveling at speed of light then only can a ...