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
314 views

Why is a rainbow curved in shape?

Why is a rainbow curved in shape? When dispersion of light takes place, light splits into seven colors, but when rainbow is formed it appear to be bent. Why does this happen even though light travels ...
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1answer
96 views

Something about things going in black hole?

Don't hit me if the question is too lame but here it goes 1) We all know that to see something light must get reflected from it's surface and then reach our eye's 2) Any thing which goes in black ...
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2answers
654 views

Are shadows underwater “wet”? [closed]

Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this but it seemed the most appropriate. I read a riddle earlier today that mentioned something about shadows underwater and it got me thinking.. Would a ...
2
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1answer
100 views

Why does snow seem to reflect red light best?

I've noticed that snow seems to reflect red light more than any other wavelength at night. It's seen in the sky, as well as the snow itself, both of which take on a reddish tint. Why exactly does it ...
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1answer
112 views

Sunrise/Sunset on a planet with an A-Class or B-Class Star

I'm a sci-fi writer, and I have a question regarding a hypothetical planet that orbits an A-class or B-class Star. Assuming Rayleigh Scattering occurs roughly the same way on this planet as it does ...
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2answers
196 views

The speed of light as it approaches a massive body

No matter how fast you go, you will aways perceive the speed of light as constant. Taking that as a fact, the special relativity theory was formulated. Now, for what I understand about general ...
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3answers
370 views

Clear vs black in terms of light reflection?

I've heard that clear things such as the gaseous components of the atmosphere or water reflect no light, and that is why they are clear. I've also heard that black things such as asphalt are such ...
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3answers
900 views

Why doesn't gravity speed up light?

We know that gravity speeds up a body; for instance, a meteor which enters the earth gets constantly accelerated up by earth's gravity. And from relativity we know that light bends near a massive ...
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1answer
106 views

Do we have 2 minutes of extra morning?

my physics teacher told me about the refraction and its applications one of them was 2 minutes of early sunrise and after she explained this effect she concluded that days are 2 minutes longer than ...
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1answer
140 views

Characteristic quantities in Fiber optics

I'm having trouble finding typical quantities in fiber optic communication. In particular, what kind of powers are generally used (or what is the minimum that fiber optics receivers can detect ...
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4answers
1k views

Does optical fiber preserve the angles of incoming light?

I am reading up on optical fibers and there's one thing I haven't understood yet: Does an optical fiber preserve the angles of incoming light? For example, if we light two LEDs in front of an ...
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4answers
2k views

Looking for the actual reason of refraction explained precisely without analogies

I'm a high school teacher trying to teach my students (15year olds) about refraction. I've seen a lot of good analogies to explain why the light changes direction, like the marching band analogy, that ...
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2answers
229 views

Redshifting of light from a moving light source

We know that the expansion of space causes redshifting of light. I even read somewhere that the Doppler effect also happens in light. So imagine I switch on the headlights of my car in front of a ...
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1answer
72 views

Does firing electrons at an object change its colour?

If one had an electron gun capable of firing electrons with a specific energy at an object, can it change its colour? I think it is possible because the emission spectrum of the material would ...
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1answer
234 views

photon polarization, uncertainty in Energy

A beam of red light is sent along the $z$ axis through a polaroid filter that passes only $x$ polarized light. The beam is initially polarized at $30$°, and the total energy is $10$ Joules. Estimate ...
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3answers
294 views

Electromagnetic Waves

We all know that light is an electro magnetic wave. but is electricity a EM wave? If it is then why light does not requires a medium to travel and why on the other side electricity needs a conductor ( ...
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3answers
388 views

Does the velocity of a light source influence the light

I have only just finished High school physics so my understanding is still fairly simple but I'm having trouble with this question. Imagine you are in space traveling at a relativistic speed with a ...
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1answer
69 views

Determining a person's sight from his speech [closed]

Suppose we meet a person wearing glasses.Can we determine whether the person is short-sighted or long-sighted? However,due to courtesy,we are not allowed to ask him to try the glasses and in general ...
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1answer
1k views

Visible light through a single-mode optical fiber?

If I understand things correctly, the optical fibers used for (long-range) data transmissions are generally single-mode fibers, transmitting light in the 1300-1500 nm spectrum. Now, could such a ...
2
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3answers
307 views

How far does a Photon's field Extend?

I read the related answer to whether photons have size, and the answer seemed to be it depends. If a Photon, or a rather an E&M wave has a magnetic and electric field, should things be able to ...
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1answer
164 views

Resampling spectral data?

I want to use the CIE CMFs (Color Matching Functions) provided here: http://www.cvrl.org/cmfs.htm With data from my spectrometer in 10 nm increments. However, the CMFs are only provided at 5 nm ...
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1answer
336 views

Implications of Formula for Stellar Aberration

I am studying relativity and was working on deriving stellar aberration using relativity. My derivation is as follows: Suppose that the observer is traveling at a velocity $v$ in the $x$-direction. ...
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2answers
800 views

Is the frequency/wavelength of light modified when multiple light sources are combined?

Let's say I light a wall with two spotlights: One red and one green one. Where they overlap, I'll see a yellow area at the wall. My question is, whether this is caused by an modification of the ...
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2answers
277 views

Are there any materials that change the electromagnetic wavelength of visible light?

What i mean is for example exclusively red light comes in but gets reflected or refracted as blue or xray wavelength or whatever. Does this happen at all?
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2answers
357 views

Einstein's Postulates: Simultaneity

Okay, I still don't get the solution (which I will lay out) to the following problem: Suppose that A', B', and C' are at rest in frame S', which moves with respect to S at speed v in the positive ...
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1answer
230 views

Is Tube light polychromatic?

Is tube light/fluorescent lamp monochromatic or polychromatic? Please justify.
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2answers
267 views

Can we have light through out the house with out light being switched on for all the time?

Optical fibres are used to transmit light from one place to the other along curved path in a more effective manner. The optical fibres consist of thousands of strands of a very fine quality glass or ...
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1answer
171 views

What physical phenomena underly the shape of this graph of diurnal UV index?

When I dig up a graphs of UV index versus time-of-day, most graphs are characteristically shaped like one of the plots shown here: That graph is from this site. What physical phenomena underly ...
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5answers
765 views

Can we create invisible things?

We are able to see this beautiful world because of light. When light gets reflected from the object, the reflected light enters our eye retina and thus we are able see that particular object from ...
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2answers
1k views

Can we observe diffraction even if the slit size is tending to zero?

According to Huygens principle, if we consider any point of the primary wave fronts, each point is the source of secondary disturbance. If the point size we consider tends to zero, the number of ...
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2answers
210 views

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length?

What is the energy distribution of light if it has an infinite length? I have read in one of the answers here on phys.SE that light has actually an infinite length. But then what is the energy ...
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2answers
64 views

How should I interpret an article about light being slowed and compressed?

I've found an article describing a method that allowed the light to be "slowed and compressed"... That sounds really strange, which made me google a lot and find this PDF document. However for me, ...
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4answers
165 views

Coherence effect on collecting sun light by mirrors

There are systems that collect sun light in one spot. I wonder, why does it accumulate additively, without destructive interference?
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2answers
202 views

Why does the colour wheel wrap around?

Red colour bares 430-480THz and Violet bares 670-750THz according to Wikipedia. What frequencies are the colours between red and violet? Will they be higher than red? or lower than violet? What ...
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2answers
82 views

Frequency of Light Near a Massive Object

We know that near a massive object, light's wavelength and frequency changes, but its speed remains same. I'd like to know how it is possible for frequency to change, unless we change the light ...
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3answers
335 views

According to relativity, can a statement be true and false in same time?

Say I write following statement on a paper: It's year 2014 at earth. Then I give it to my friend. My friend then starts to leave me and earth to outside with velocity of light. Einstein says the ...
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2answers
790 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?
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0answers
65 views

How does a liquid crystal on Silicon affect the phase of incident light?

When a polarized light beam is directed to a phase-only LCoS system how is the phase modulated ? What is the physical effect behind ? Does voltage modulation has an impact on birefringence ?
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2answers
5k views

Relationship between measures of light (candela and lux)

I am trying to understand the relationship between two measures of light: lux and candela. It is probably easy for those with longer experience, but here it goes: I have learnt (here for instance) ...
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4answers
1k views

What {R,G,B} values would represent a 445nm monochrome lightsource color on a computer monitor?

Is it possible to answer my question definitely (assuming the monitor is perfect)? What would be the formula for calculating RGB values for a visible monochrome light with given wavelength?
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3answers
451 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.
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3answers
2k views

During reflection does the emitted photon have same properties?

When light (photon) is reflected the the original photon is absorbed by an electron and then emitted again. Does this "new" photon have the same wavelength, frequency etc. as the original?
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3answers
308 views

Why does the point of intersection of two shadows look brighter?

When I sit in my garden during the day I always keep looking at the two intersecting shadows of two rods. It looks something like this: What I find weird about it is that at the point of ...
125
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6answers
13k views

Why do shadows from the sun join each other when near enough?

I was laying on my bed, reading a book when the sun shone through the windows on my left. I happened to look at the wall on my right and noticed this very strange effect. The shadow of my elbow, when ...
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1answer
5k views

What causes refraction of visible light? [duplicate]

Refraction is the bending of a wave when it enters a medium where its speed is different. The refraction of light when it passes from a fast medium to a slow medium bends the light ray toward the ...
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1answer
410 views

Difference between mirror reflected light rays and rays of a screen

What is the difference between the light rays reflected from a mirror and rays directly emmited from a screen if the screen shows the same image as the mirror would.
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2answers
3k views

Why are two independent sources incoherent?

Coherent sources are produced from a single parent source. But, why are two independent sources always incoherent? Two sources can produce light of the same frequency. Then, I guess the problem is ...
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0answers
39 views

Axis of reflection in a mirror [duplicate]

When I look at my reflection in a planar mirror, the image I see is reflected about a vertical axis. Why is it this axis and not the horizontal axis?
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4answers
90 views

Wall visible after light source removed

Let's say you have a lamp pointed at a wall, in a dark room with no other light source, if you turned off that lamp Would the wall still be visible for any amount of time?
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0answers
74 views

What creates black streams in fountain-type fireworks?

For the New Year celebration of 2014, my nephews set off a series of fountain-type fireworks (as shown below). When one looks carefully into the shower of light, one notices that a fair number of ...