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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Does light follow magnetic flux lines? [duplicate]

Will light naturally tend to align itself to magnetic flux lines?
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2answers
109 views

Why do sea waves seem to be standing still when you look from the window of an airplane?

Looking from the window of a passenger plane even at moderate altitude such that one can still recognize individual waves and even something like white foam, and small boats close to the cost line, it ...
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1answer
81 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
103 views

How can light enter a black hole if it cannot get out?

I have known for a very long time that light cannot exit a black hole. I can even understand some of the simpler reasonning about it, such as escape velocity, or space geometry inside the black hole. ...
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0answers
29 views

Electrons in a gas discharge tube

I'm having some difficulty understanding regarding electrons in gas discharge tubes. My understanding is the following: In a gas discharge tube the gas must be at low pressure in order to be ...
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1answer
46 views

White light to blue light

When white light falls on a blue colored translucent material and passes through it the light changes its color into blue.Similar phenomenon is observed when yellow light passes through red glass in a ...
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0answers
34 views

How does a hologram record the incident laser?

How does the hologram (the photographic plate) record the incident laser beams when they hit onto it, what happens inside the hologram so that it records these laser beams?
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3answers
64 views

Is sunlight truly white?

I recently purchased a book on nuclear astrophysics, with no goal of mastering the topic but merely to read in between exams and hopefully learn something, it is revealed that the sun is composed ...
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2answers
67 views

is there a way to capture scenes from past? [closed]

Is there a way to capture scenes from past for ex/ capturing someones sound which lived before long time ago.. if yes, how? and if no, why? Regards
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1answer
27 views

Reflection of light at a microscopic level [duplicate]

I always read that light is reflected by a mirror! My question is how does reflection takes place at microscopic level? Mirror is just atoms and electrons are revolving around the nucleus ! So where ...
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0answers
26 views

Single slit diffraction and fringe width

I know that intensity of the bright fringes will decrease on moving away from centre and width of the central fringe is 2 times that of the second fringe. Does the width of other bright fringes ...
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6answers
4k views

Can UV light make us invisible?

For an object to create different EM waves, it needs to increase the temperature, so what if we or some material could be so hot, that it would emit ultraviolet light, and thanks to that be invisible ...
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1answer
36 views

Circularly polarized light and polarizing filter

Does circularly polarized light pass through a linear polarizing filter, regardless of the orientation of such filter?
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1answer
48 views

Can infrared lasers still do damage to things if they are powerful enough?

So I get that infrared light is not visible to the human eye without some sort of device to assist in helping you see it, but I was just wondering how that plays into things like lasers. I know you ...
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YDSE and diffraction

In a single slit diffraction experiment we know that light bends around the edges. So can we treat Young's double slit experiment (YDSE) as a two slit diffraction since we're using two slits in that ...
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1answer
26 views

What wavelength of light is the term 'focal length' defined against? [closed]

Because different wavelengths of light are bent differently in a medium, the focal length ought to be different for each of them (which is why white light splits up into a rainbow). If I have a "25 mm ...
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2answers
81 views
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0answers
25 views

Does tracing paper over a solar panel count as hard shade or soft shade?

For my Physics IA I conducted an experiment to see how shade on solar panels affects the output power. I applied and secured one layer of tracing paper over the solar panels of my solar charger at a ...
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1answer
26 views

How does light filtration work?

How exactly do certain types of glass filter out light within specific frequencies/wavelengths? I'm wondering because I read somewhere that certain types of windows filter out certain parts of the ...
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1answer
59 views

What, if anything, makes primary colours distinct?

I've recently become interested in the primary colours; red, green and blue. In my capacity as a computer programmer I'm well aware of how these colours are used practically, and of how varying ...
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1answer
60 views

Why mirrors form image and others don't?

In the case of mirror, I understand how a image is formed, If I replace plane mirror by wood or some other opaque material in the above image and position of object(bottle) and eye remain the same , ...
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1answer
47 views

Textbooks or papers that clearly explain second harmonic generation?

I'm having trouble learning about Second Harmonic Generation. I've found a bunch of sources, but they all seem to expect a fairly advanced level of knowledge about it. For example, in the wiki section ...
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2answers
64 views

reflection of light and the uncertainty principle

I've heard that light reflects the same angle that it falls and so if we know the position of photon (the spot where it hits the surface) and the direction of where it shall go - that's violation of ...
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2answers
313 views

Computations using light

I recently found out about analog computers. They really intrigue me. I've seen a few videos on how mechanical computers work. I also know that there are electric analog computers too (I have no clue ...
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2answers
64 views

Why lasers and not light? [closed]

Some laser applications consist simply concentrating light into a small spot (e.g., image projection, welding, cutting, etc.). Why are lasers used instead of a simpler light source?
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1answer
63 views

Why we don't observe spherical rainbow?

We have seen or heard of rainBOW and circular rainbow but not any other shape probably due to the shape of water droplets. My question is why can't we see a spherical rainbow?
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2answers
81 views

Photoelectric effect and light coming in chunks

I was watching a lecture on introduction to quantum mechanics.While explaining the photoelectric effect,the lecturer mentioned that we must think of light as coming in chunks with each chunk having ...
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5answers
215 views

What about a surface determines its color?

Light falls on a surface. Some wavelengths get absorbed. The other are reflected. The reflected ones are the colors that we perceive to be of the surface. What is the property that determines, what ...
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1answer
58 views

Why do we use Mie scattering to describe light scattering off large objects?

I'm an undergraduate student who has recently come across Rayleigh and Mie scattering and I'm trying to understand them a little better. As I understand it Rayligh scattering is used only when the ...
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0answers
45 views

Photograph of Light as Wave and Particle [duplicate]

what is this? actually its the first photo of light as wave and a particle. The bottom "slice" of the image shows the particles, while the top image shows light as a wave. i have questions 1.how ...
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3answers
6k views

Why do electric sparks appear blue/purple?

Electric sparks tend to appear blue or purple or white in color. Why?
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2answers
110 views

How to use a magnifying glas or any lens to enhance small light power?

I am currently trying to amplify a tiny amount of light so that a photodiode will recognize it. In order to amplify the light I thought about using a magnifying glass since I got to know that such ...
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1answer
33 views

How bright would the Earth be at night without the moon?

How bright would the Earth be at night without the moon? Specifically, how much light would reach the surface of the Earth at sea level?
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1answer
120 views

Is it possible to apply force to a light particle?

I know, the universal speed limit is the speed of light $c$. So, is it possible to apply more force to a light particle? What would happen to it if we could?
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1answer
105 views

If the effects of gravity cannot travel faster than the “c”, does this mean we are only gravitationally bound by masses in our observable universe?

I'm 17 and fascinated by the differences and omissions Newton made in his equations of motion. However it makes sense that gravity can't travel faster than light because of the force-carrying ...
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1answer
60 views

What is the fraction of the incident intensity passing through polarized sheets?

Unpolarized light is incident on a set of three polarizing sheets as shown in the figure at right. The polarizing directions of the sheets make angles 10°, 55° and 85° to the vertical. What fraction ...
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1answer
936 views

Why is the shadow of a wind turbine a bit slow at first then very quickly, etc. and not equivalent to the wings?

When I stand at a wind turbine and look at the shadow on the ground, the shadow is a bit slow at first then very quickly, etc. Very strange.
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0answers
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Velocity Selective Coherent Population Trapping and recoil limit on temperature

I have read that it is possible to go under recoil temperature limit using VSCPT (Velocity Selective Coherent Population Trapping) and that this method is based on atoms trapping in quantum state in ...
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1answer
50 views

photon absorption by atoms causes heat?

I have came up with a weird doubt: photon absorption by atoms causes heat? I mean, I was always told that if the photon's frequency is the magic one, the atoms absorbs the photon and goes to an ...
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0answers
51 views

Speed of light, comparison of two light waves travelling side by side

okay so.here is setup of my question...say we have two observers A and A'..A is fixed to origin of coordinate axis x,y while A' is inside a hollow box (shown as rectangle MNRP) whose one side MN has ...
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1answer
29 views

Semiconductors light emission

Suppose a pure semiconductor, with a direct gap. If I apply a constant voltage to it the electrons will jump to the conduction band. So when I turn it off will it emite light?, because the electrons ...
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4answers
4k views

Do rainbows have ultraviolet bands and infrared bands?

We have seen that rainbows looks so colorful as we are only able to see only the visible light. But Do they also have ultraviolet bands and infra-red bands, that we are unable to see? I know someone ...
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0answers
21 views

Why does a circle of light form around a wire when a laser is pointed at it? [duplicate]

Referencing this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q_4SNbpBfo Why does a circle of light form? I've seen previous Phys.SE posts on this topic relating the answer to reflection, but I have ...
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2answers
78 views

Decoherence of a Coherent Beam

If retarding films (i.e. wave plates) can retard the electric components of light (based on the films thickness) without affecting it's direction, couldn't I use a retarding film of randomly varying ...
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2answers
89 views

Why do two beams of light pass through one another without interacting?

Why is it that if I have two torches, each shining rays in perpendicular directions at perpendicular screens, such that the beams cross, then the images on the respective screens are independent of ...
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0answers
21 views

Odd order of colour fringes around cloud

The other day I took this photograph of a thundercloud that moved between myself and the sun. Around the edge of the cloud there were some coloured fringes that I first took to be a variant on a ...
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2answers
47 views

How is the backlight in a LCD monitor dispersed equally?

How is the backlight in a LCD monitor dispersed equally? I mean are there any layers that disperse the light?
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2answers
79 views

Would passing horizontally polarized light through a varying width vertical slit allow you to measure the positional (x) amplitude of light? [duplicate]

I have found closely related questions on StackExchange, but (surprisingly) not this exact question. Seems some answers say individual photons do not have amplitude, only when traveling with other ...
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0answers
36 views

Why the underside of an object isn't a different colour after light reflects off a different coloured surface

If you were to place a blue plate in front of a green background and shine a light at the blue plate. The light that hits the blue plate would reflect the blue wavelength and when the reflected ...
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0answers
11 views

Polarization in LCDs why the light need to be polorized twice? [closed]

In Lcd Screens there is a prcess called polarization. Two question about it: 1. Why is it needed to pass the light through two polarizers ? 2. How des a pixel devide the light to three sub pixel and ...