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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What are the properties of the partially polarized light on refraction?

When a ray of ordinary light is passed on the surface of the water the reflected light will be completely polarized( vibrations in one plane). My question is what will be plane of vibration in the ...
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3answers
898 views

Triple slit experiment

If the experiment is done with single photons and a "detector" at one of the slits the interference pattern breaks down. What happens if three slits are used with single photons and a "detector" at, ...
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Photoelectric effect without light rays

For electromagnetic waves we have the photon association, one imagines light as particles "flying around". What is the analogy for a constant electrical field, one which doesn't change in time ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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
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Rotating mirror - Foucault's measurement of light speed

Some time ago I came across a secondary web source on measurement of light speed in water made by Foucault around 1850. I append its redrawn scheme below (light is reflected from the rotating mirror ...
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2answers
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Reflectance vs. Thin Metal film Thickness Graph

Is there formula that gives reflectance of very thin film of given metal (tens of nanometers) to the visible light of given wavelength(808nm) ? Which properties of metals are needed for the formula ? ...
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1answer
139 views

Is the acceleration and deceleration of a wave instantanious?

When an light travels in free space, it has a velocity of propagation equal to the speed of light. However, then the light enters a medium with a refractive index of n, the velocity of propagation ...
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268 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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formula for transparency of very thin film of metal

Is there formula that gives transparency of very thin film of given metal (tens of nanometers) to the visible light/light of given wavelength ? Which properties of metals are needed for the formula ? ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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Painting wine botles [closed]

Yes, it's a physics related question. Read on. I know from general knowledge that in order to produce a decent wine, you must keep it in a dark place. Therefore, from my knowledge of physics I guess ...
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1answer
181 views

Physics of Fireworks

This evening I saw the 4th July classic Fireworks in San Diego, and I was wondering about the most physical picture of what was happening. Does anyone have a good way to explain the detailed physical ...
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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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2answers
402 views

PV cell for invisible spectrum only

Is it possible to make a photovoltaic cell that would only absorb the invisible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, while letting visible light pass through or bounce off its surface? I guess that ...
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1answer
243 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 ...
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1answer
141 views

Is it possible to send a single photon from a distant planet (say Mars) and detect its arrival at a site on Earth?

My question is specifically whether there exists a technique by which a single photon can be "tagged" or "encoded" in such a way that it can traverse our atmosphere and arrive at some sort of detector ...
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1answer
133 views

Does diffraction contribute to the Black Drop effect?

Two reasons are given to explain the black drop effect here, but I think I came up with a third. Consider a two-dimensional cross section of the situation just after second contact and just before ...
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6answers
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Why isn't it allowed to use a flash when taking pictures in a certain place?

When I go to, for example, a museum I try to take some pictures. Sometimes the museum staffs forbid me to use a flash. Do you know the reason? I don't think it is related to photo-electric effect, ...
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3answers
915 views

Why do electrons around nucleus radiate light according to classical physics

As I navigate through physics stackexchange, I noticed Electron model under Maxwell's theory. Electrons radiate light when revolving around nucleus? Why is it so obvious? Note that I do not know ...
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2answers
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Electron model under Maxwell's theory

I was not able to recall my memories, so: What is the formula that states the frequency of electrons revolving around nucleus is equal to the frequency of light (or photon) emitted (or radiated)? (I ...
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1answer
202 views

Does light photons have jerk? [duplicate]

While searching in web regarding whether rate of change of acceleration is possible or not; I came across the concept of jerk. I want to know whether photons which can be accelerated can also have ...
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2answers
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Do we see color with higher frequency first?

Out of the 7 colours of the rainbow, violet has the highest frequency and the smallest wavelength. Does this mean that our eye sees it first? If yes, then why? Does it travel at the same or higher ...
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10answers
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Why do we think of light as a wave?

I've read that light travels in a straight line and has a wavelength of 400nm to 700nm. But I don't understand why does it have a wavelength and what creates its wavelength? I agree with the concept ...
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3answers
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Why isn't light scattered through transparency?

I'm asking a question that has bothered me for years and years. First of all, let me give some context. I'm a layman in physics (college educated, math major). I've read Feynman's QED cover to cover, ...
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5answers
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How to bend light?

As we all know that light travels in rectilinear motion. But can we bend light in parabolic path? If not practically then is it possible in paper? Has anyone succeeded in doing that practically ?
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372 views

How can a body be transparent?

How can a body be transparent? I need the theoretical explanation for the same. Has anybody succeeded in doing that practically?
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1answer
415 views

How does a strobe lamp stop a fast moving object?

A strobe lamp can be used to seemingly stop a fast moving object when calibrated. Commonly used in quality assurance during production to inspect otherwise non-observable assembly line activity. What ...
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0answers
231 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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1answer
287 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 ...
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1answer
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Transforming a sound wave into a literal light wave. Is it possible? [duplicate]

Literally transforming sound into an actual light wave seems almost impossible. But transforming the sound wave into a light wave while containing a single mass? I know that sound can contain a mass ...
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1answer
417 views

Combining Multiple Light Sources

Ok, Lets say I have two point light sources A and B. Each light source has a power Pa and Pb, and is distance Da and Db away from a point P on a plane. I can calculate the amount of luminosity at ...
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1answer
65 views

What kind of light is needed to light up Venus?

Let's say I would want to light up Venus, such that we can see Venus all day long and not have to wait for a Venus Transit. What kind of light would I need for it? How powerful would it need to be?
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1answer
156 views

Calculating a Deflection of Light Integral from Einstein's 1907 paper on Gravity and Light

$\frac{1}{c^2}\int_{\theta=-\pi/2}^{\theta=\pi/2} \frac{kM}{r^2}cos\theta ds=2\frac{kM}{c^2\Delta}$ An observation: $\cos\theta=\frac{\Delta}{r}$
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1answer
208 views

Exist some relationship between irradiance units and wavelenght of the incident sunlight?

Exist some relationship between irradiance units and wavelength of the incident sunlight? What about irradiance? I want to establish a relationship between wavelength and irradiance, because I would ...
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1answer
240 views

Can a charged black hole interact via electromagnetism? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Detection of the Electric Charge of a Black Hole Light cannot escape from a black hole. However light is also interpreted as the carrier of the electromagnetic force. So ...
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Why is the sky not purple?

I realise the question of why this sky is blue is considered reasonably often here, one way or another. You can take that knowledge as given. What I'm wondering is, given that the spectrum of ...
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2answers
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If blue light has a higher energy than red light, why does it scatter more?

As $E=hf=\frac{hc}{\lambda}$, blue light - with a smaller wavelength - should have a higher energy. However, it is the case that blue light scatters the most. Why is it that higher energy rays scatter ...
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2answers
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EM wave function & photon wavefunction

According to this review Photon wave function. Iwo Bialynicki-Birula. Progress in Optics 36 V (1996), pp. 245-294. arXiv:quant-ph/0508202, a classical EM plane wavefunction is a wavefunction (in ...
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3answers
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Hours of light per day based on latitude/longitude formula

I'm looking for a formula that will return the number of hours per day given a specific location. I was thinking that can be calculated as a difference of sunrise and sunset, but I see that there are ...
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2answers
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What's the relationship between an object's color and it's energy?

All else held equal, which has more energy: a violet-painted teacup or a red-painted teacup? I know that violet light has more energy than red light, but does this mean that the inverse holds true ...
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4answers
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Why does it require such little energy to create the fastest thing in the universe?

I have noticed when I turn on the light switch in my house light comes from the bulb. How is this light created?(process occurring in the bulb) and why is this small amount of electricity enough to ...
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1answer
173 views

How was Dorsey able to measure speed of light with 3 significant digits?

How was Dorsey able to measure speed of light with 3 significant digits in the year of 1907?
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1answer
154 views

Why the color motion picture film appears as black?

Why the color motion picture film, or a color photographic slide, appears as black? The film appears black but when the light from the projector lamp hit it then you can see all the colors.
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2answers
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How much light is there in space and how heavy is it?

Our night sky is filled with stars. On a dark night a significant fraction of the sky is light. This light, we are told, has been in transit for many millions of years. There must therefore be quite a ...
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5answers
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What are colors?

If you go to any course about photography, you learn that all colors are made up of the colors red, green and blue (RGB). (If you mix red, green and blue light, you will get white light, or any other ...
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5answers
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Superposition of electromagnetic waves

The superposition of two waves is given by $$\sin(\omega_1 t)+\sin(\omega_2 t)=2\cos\left(\frac{\omega_1-\omega_2}{2}t\right)\sin\left(\frac{\omega_1+\omega_2}{2}t\right).$$ For sound waves, this ...
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248 views

Light refraction and causality

One way how to look at refraction by a dielectric medium like water or glass is that (phase) velocity of light decreases because it is the wavelength rather than the frequency of the light which ...
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1answer
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Find the dispersion of the slab?

I've been having trouble with this for a few days and already used up all my tries on the homework for it, but have the final is coming next week. Thus I would like to know how do this, however I ...
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2answers
157 views

Luminescence when ripping (answered) and when pouring (not answered)

As a father to a small child, I have often observed this phenomenon but have until i posted this question not found the vocabulary to Google for it. Can you explain what I am seeing? In a darkened ...