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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How to convert physical ligth quantities (frequency, intencity, spectrum) to RGB and back?

Suppose I would like to have maximally physical image format. Which quantities should I store in the pixel? Obviously, it should be frequency spectrum, i.e. table with frequency vs. WHAT? How to ...
4
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2answers
358 views

Seeing one's back on the event horizon

If we would hypothetically be exactly on the event horizon, we should see our own back, because of the circular motion of photons on the event horizon, right? But what would be the image size, or $-$ ...
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0answers
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Absorption Spectrum

I just learnt what absorption and emission spectrum are. And our teacher introduced us to what Quantum Dots are. And showed us their absorption and emission spectra. And they look something like this ...
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1answer
89 views

Electromagnetic radiation and black body radiation

I was taught today that the Electromagnetic wave Theory is unable to explain black body radiation. The example that was given to me: When a metal is heated, it emits different frequencies of light as ...
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1answer
71 views

Can horizontally and vertically polarized light combine to become circularly/elliptically polarized light?

Well, we know that circularly/elliptically polarized light is made up from orthogonal components. So is it possible then to create circularly/elliptically polarized light by combining horizontally and ...
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8answers
10k views

Could Legolas actually see that far?

The video “How Far Can Legolas See?” by MinutePhysics recently went viral. The video states that although Legolas would in principle be able to count $105$ horsemen $24\text{ km}$ away, he shouldn't ...
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1answer
35 views

Calculate minimum intensity of a point source visible to a camera

I have two cameras and know the specified minimum faceplate sensitivity for both: Camera 1: Minimum faceplate sensitivity 4 x 10-6 Lux Camera 2: Minimum faceplate sensitivity 2 x 10-7 lux I also ...
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2answers
124 views

Why does adding red light with blue light give purple light?

Our eyes contain 3 photoreceptor cells (cones) to perceive three wavelength ranges of light. Here is a visual representation of the wavelengths by these receptors (S, M and L). So if we have light ...
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1answer
29 views

light color and refraction

I'm a bit confused on the topic of refraction, some starting premises: 1) When light refracts from exiting a medium with a low n and entering a medium with high n the light bends. 2) The index of ...
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1answer
58 views

Problem with plane mirror focal length thoery: Is the focal length actually infinite?

We all learned that the focal length of plane mirrors is considered to be infinite, as the radius of curvature is infinite. However, imagine this scenario: You have a perfectly flat (no one get mad, ...
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1answer
33 views

Do the various frequencies of light within sunlight have the same coherence length?

I'm aware that the coherence length of sunlight can be observed with a Michelson-Morley interferometer. I haven't seen any experiment that separated the different colors within sunlight to determine ...
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1answer
56 views

Bending of light - photon's inertia instead of mass

Using classical mechanics, the formula for gravitational attraction is $$F = G\frac{m_1m_2}{r^2}.$$ This formula does not work for photons, and we need to use Einstein's theory of gravity to ...
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1answer
69 views

What does the size of an object have to do with it's color?

Stephen Hawking mentions in his book 'A Brief History of Time' that quarks are much smaller than the wavelength of visible light so they do not have any color in the normal sense. What exactly does ...
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2answers
80 views

When we look in different directions in the universe how do we know we're not seeing the same thing?

For my question assume: 1: Big bang happened at a point (I know it happened everywhere) but after that explosion universe started to expand in all directions so it maybe considered to happened ...
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4answers
498 views

Light and Gravity - bending of light around a massive body [duplicate]

Well, as I have read, a massive body can cause light to bend around itself due to its gravitational attraction. What I don't understand is how, as the Newtonian formula for the force of gravitational ...
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4answers
141 views

How does gravity slow light without an equal and opposite action? [closed]

This is regarding the gravity well sort of explanation. People claim that gravity doesn't slow light by saying it curves the road by which it travels but if space is indeed without properties and ...
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2answers
92 views

Why does light travel in a straight line through a liquid?

So I was reading a document that stated that when traveling through a material (I'll use a liquid here, maybe water), a photon actually always traveled at 300,000 km/s, it was just that it ...
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1answer
130 views

Why does glass absorb infrared light?

I was under the impression that glass was transparent to light with a wavelength above ultraviolet, but when playing with my latest toy, an infrared thermometer which brought up a question I asked ...
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2answers
119 views

Is it possible to have a perfectly black material?

After reading this NASA article about the "blackest material", the following stuck out to me. The tiny gaps between the tubes absorb 99.5 percent of the light that hits them Is it possible to ...
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2answers
488 views

Can light affect gravity? [closed]

I have a mentor at work, who wrote a paper in the past regarding light and relativity. I am an aerospace engineer by training and a system administrator/programmer by trade, so I know a little bit ...
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1answer
64 views

Helicopter blades

Why do the propellers on helicopter appear to be so slow when the propellers is going at full speed? Can you please explain this particular optical illusion to me?
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1answer
127 views

Why are black mosquito nets so much less visible than white ones?

I have just been installing a couple of mosquito nets for windows in our apartment. The material is polyester, fibers are approximately 0.2mm thick, and the hexagonal "holes" apprixmately 1.5mm in ...
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2answers
54 views

Why is water blue (on a quantum level)

OK, lets formulate it differently and say water works as a blue passing / red restricting filter. It is actually observable. Just do a dive in a swimming pool with white light (maybe even at night) ...
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1answer
44 views

Thin Film Interference in Fluid Dynamics: Many are welcome to throw ideas in here, Please!

It was a few days ago, and there was a very heavy storm(currents were flowing beside the sidewalks as normal). I became intrigued by a thin film of gasoline that got caught in one of the currents. The ...
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1answer
49 views

What does adding a visible light blocking IR filter do with heat?

Lets say I have a strong halogen light source which has a lot of IR radiation (e.g. a construction lamp). If I change the transparent front glass from the enclosure with a IR filter that blocks ...
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2answers
75 views

Single-mode fibers and ray-theory of light

I have read ray-theory cannot be applied to single-mode fibers. Why? I know rays are kind of an approximation to describe the real behavior of light, and electromagnetic theory and photonics are ...
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2answers
89 views

Do black holes cause gravitational redshift? [duplicate]

Suppose a light ray is emitted by a light source very close to the black hole's singularity away from the black hole's gravitational center. Why won't the light escape? Shouldn't the massive gravity ...
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4answers
447 views

Is it true that gravitational lensing only occurs for objects made of plasma?

The question concerns this video: It says that the Gravitational Lens effect is an illusion, meaning it's not caused by gravity but by change in density of a plasma atmosphere. It claims further ...
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3answers
309 views

Is it possible to transfer light from edge to edge of transparent material?

I don't know much about physics but i believe that this is the place to ask my question. I'm using 3 monitor setup like this: the plastic bezels [ ] are extremely annoying. in order to make them ...
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6answers
249 views

Bending of light from a moving light source

First I will have to explain my question. Look at the image below. This shows doppler shift when an object is moving horizontally to the direction of the wave. Keep the word 'horizontally' in mind. ...
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1answer
417 views

Are black and white colours? [duplicate]

I am an artist, and I have heard that white is a 'tint' and black is a 'shade' in the artist world. I have also heard that they are colours in the normal world/scientific world. Which is correct and ...
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1answer
51 views

Effects of gravity on light [duplicate]

If gravity can bend light, why can't gravity slow light. At least momentarily? Wouldn't that give the illusion of the universe expansion speeding up?
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2answers
68 views

Image formation at surface of water

Consider a lake full of water which has an object immersed in it. Now, if an observer was at the surface at a sufficient distance so that the light ray from the object is internally reflected, should ...
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3answers
853 views

reflection at intersection of 2 mirrors

Consider 2 mirrors which intersect at an angle. If we draw a light ray intersecting the mirrors at their point of intersection, how will it reflect? What will be the normal at that point?
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1answer
52 views

Speed of light affecting appearance of galaxies viewed not face on?

So this has been really bugging me over the past few days (and forgive me if the answer is so simple). Let's say we're observing the Sombrero galaxy. It is about 29 million light years away and 50 ...
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1answer
27 views

scattering of light

How does the path of light become visible due to scaterring of light? According to me it will only tell the presence of colloidal particle but the book give the example of cinema hall projector and ...
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2answers
60 views

Coexistence of light and dark

There are two things light and dark. Is there any system where the thing is neutral, i.e we see light and dark together in same ratio. Is it possible practically/theoretically ?
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5answers
4k views

Can the sun cast a shadow?

The sun's light can cast the shadow of another object, but does it ever cast its own shadow?
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2answers
83 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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0answers
30 views

Does light escape from highly dense bodies [duplicate]

If it were possible to launch a projectile at the speed of light from a body with the mass equal to that of our sun but a density such that its escape velocity was the speed of light how far would it ...
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2answers
103 views

Observer looking out through the window of a train [duplicate]

When travelling by a train, it seems that the nearby objects move in the opposite direction(which I can explain) but the distant objects appear stationary. I can't explain this. By the concept of ...
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2answers
460 views

light penetration in the ocean

Is there an equation that describes the percentage of solar energy per wavelength that penetrates the ocean surface? For example, this website states that only 44.5% of the surface light reaches a ...
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3answers
610 views

How is temperature related to color?

I spent some time studying about temperatures and color of objects. It turns out that as we heat something it turns to red, then yellowish white and if we heat it more it turns to bluish-white. Like ...
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0answers
33 views

how does different colour wavelength intefere? [duplicate]

Say a red colour with 400nm mixes with blue colour with 700nm, but out of phase by a little. What would be the resultant colour? I would know how to represent the resulting wave mathematically, but ...
3
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4answers
555 views

What is difference between white objects and transparent objects as far as photons are concerned?

Transparent materials let photons through because the energy gap of electron is so large that the photons cannot be absorbed. If the material absorbs a photon, the photon disappears; does this mean ...
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3answers
113 views

Could a photon travel faster than the speed of light in vacuum?

If the cosmic speed limit is the speed of light in vacuum, then what happens when a photon traveling through space meets gravity? Wouldn't gravity pull on the photon that's already traveling at max ...
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3answers
187 views

Young's Double Slit Experiment : What would happen if the “first slit” was too wide?

I was wondering what would happen to the fringe pattern displayed on the screen if the first slit (as shown in the picture), which is also known as "single slit", was made a bit wider. I read it in ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does one get an illusion as moon following him?

When you run or ride bike at night if you observe the moon you feel like he moves along with you as the same speed you are going. Why?
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9answers
4k views

Is darkness really light?

According to this wikipedia article "Consequently, most objects that absorb visible light reemit it as heat. So, although an object may appear dark, it is likely bright at a frequency that humans ...
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2answers
107 views

What does an analog voice transmission look like in the visible spectrum?

Analog radio signals are transmitted using light in the radio area of the spectrum. If it was transmitted using the visible spectrum instead (using a visible light emitting device instead of a radio ...