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
26 views

Active light polarization filter

I want to realise a (fast) active light polarization filter. I just need two states: 0° and 90° rotation of the filtering plane. Is it possible to use a "normal" LC film like in displays and just put ...
5
votes
1answer
145 views

What´s the origin of the four rays that come out of the reflection of candlelight in our TV?

The reflection of a candlelight in our TV shows four emerging rays. The rays vary spatial and periodical and have a repeating pattern of the colours of the rainbow. The further the flame is from the ...
22
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4answers
2k views

Difference between sunrise and sunset?

Other than knowing which direction is east and which direction is west, or observing for a sufficient timespan (to determine the direction of motion), is there any way of telling whether what one is ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Critical Value for Dispersion of light [closed]

If there is a ray of light moving from $n_1$ to $n_2$ you can get dispersion if $n_1$ is a function of wavelength. What angle of incidence ($\theta_1$) will maximise the dispersion? My solution so ...
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2answers
24 views

Beam of light from glass to air

I am reviewing some concepts on light and came across a question that puzzled me. A beam of light is incident from a glass into air. The incident ray is 60 degrees to the normal. The question actually ...
4
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4answers
179 views

How do light waves get their size?

An atom or (small) molecule has the size of about 100pm. Elektromagnetic waves range from about 0.1nm up to 1 km. The most common way waves (like light) are caused by 'jumping' electrons to another ...
4
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0answers
60 views

Seeing light source from its diffracted light

Even if the line of sight is blocked by something(like a wall as in figure) will I able to see the light source if I see the diffracted light of the source? 1.Will the observer no. 2 see the light ...
26
votes
5answers
4k views

How do those T-shirts that change color in the sun work?

When I was a kid, I asked my dad about them and he said (not in so many words) that it was because sunlight and artificial light have different spectrums and they picked colors that reflect only the ...
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1answer
40 views

can the behavior of light be explained on the basis of a single theory?

Can the behavior of light be explained on the basis of a single theory ? example, wave theory of light ,if not then why?
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1answer
68 views

The sun glows bright white, but what color of light does it reflect?

Basically if you take a gray iron bar, and heat it red hot, it would still reflect a dullish white light, even though all you could see is the red light it emits as radiation. In fact if you watch ...
1
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1answer
40 views

Calculating wavelengths from angles in a diffraction grating? [closed]

I am having some problems calculating wavelengths from some given information about a grating spectrum. A diffraction grating with a spacing of 3μm is used in a spectrometer to investigate the ...
1
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0answers
85 views

The path that a light beam takes in empty space

First excuse me if this question is very simple for you but for me and for my friend is not. Recently we were discussing what path a light beam will follow in a box moving at a constant velocity in ...
0
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1answer
104 views

Can you see yourself in space? [closed]

Can one see them self in space if no near by star was in view? Is there enough star light to read once your eyes adjust?
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0answers
39 views

Sun light collimation

Is it possible to make sun light collimated in such a way, to increase energy density and keep it more less parallel? like on the Earth we have intensity of sun approximately 1300 watt/m2. If we use ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

The colour of clouds

Clouds can be a variation of grays, from white to some dark gray, almost black. They are clearly grayscale, so it means they reflect all colours uniformly, but some clouds are whiter than others, so ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Is a narrow beam of light inconsistent with light as waves?

Apparently light can be sent out in very narrow beams. That is easy to understand as particles. However, I don’t know of any way to send waves as a narrow beam. Of course I’m thinking of things ...
40
votes
2answers
4k views

Why does light act differently in miniatures?

When painting miniatures (like RPG fantasy miniature soldiers)... why is it necessary to paint lights and shadows? Being a 3D object, shouldn't the natural light be enough to create lights and ...
-1
votes
1answer
36 views

How does a flashlight work? How would that be effected in the vacuum of space or on another planet? [closed]

I was wondering if it was possible to explore the dark side of the moon. I've been trying to figure out a light source so things there can be seen.
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Is it possible to have light without heat? [duplicate]

I am trying to think of a light source that doesn't generate heat; but I am not sure if such a phenomenon exists. I am not referring to passive light (such as reflected light, ie, moonlight) but an ...
1
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1answer
75 views

What do we mean by speed of light dependent on direction?

I have a statement in textbook saying: When the speed of light is independent of direction, the secondary waves are spherical. When is it dependent on direction and how will the secondary ...
0
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0answers
25 views

Why is it that light bends towards gravity when it has no mass at all? [duplicate]

Why is it that light bends towards gravity when it has no mass at all? Is it because of how gravity behaves as mentioned in general relativity? As far as I know, light cannot escape from black holes, ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

Why doesn't sunlight flicker like candle or flame torch?

Why sunlight appears constant and stable like sun is a bulb? If the surface of the sun and processes going in it are not completely uniform why don't we notice any flickering or non- uniformity in ...
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2answers
49 views

Interference of light waves

So my problem now is how do I add the intensities of the resultants of the two constructive interferences. Thanks in advance. Don't hesitate in asking me anything related to the question.
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0answers
20 views

addition of two lenses with a finite separation in between

Suppose there are two lenses with focal length $f_1$ and $f_2$ respectively. The effective focal length $f$ when they are combined is $1/f=1/f_1+1/f_2$, but this formula assumes the separation between ...
0
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1answer
63 views

About the earths core being 2 1/2 years younger than the surface

In April's addition of New Scientist there is an article on page 10 by Jacob Aron. This article describes how Earth's core because of time dilations could be 2 1/2 years younger than it's surface. Or ...
0
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1answer
36 views

Why don't conductive objects change color when electric dipoles are induced in them?

I was playing around with a comb, my hair, and pieces of paper when it occurred to me that inducing a dipole on the pieces of paper meant that many valence electrons previously on the side closer to ...
0
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1answer
62 views

How do electromagnetic waves/light travel at the speed of light?

When something reaches the speed of light, then time is said to stop, or at least is perceived to have stopped. The reason is that at that speed, the object become infinitely heavy and requires ...
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0answers
26 views

Why is light redshifted?

I heard that very distant stars can be seen as red. Why does light become more 'redder' when travelling long distances? My guess would be it loses some sort of energy, but can't seem to figure it out ...
1
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1answer
68 views

Calculating angle of min deviation of prism [closed]

Two rays incident with angle 40 and 60 on one face of equilateral triangular prism the angle of deviation are equal .find angle of minimum deviation?
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votes
1answer
27 views

Reflection and angle of refraction

Does the angle of refraction depend on the properties of the material if the angle of the incidence is the same for two different materials? Say I shed light on a surface with angle $ \theta $ and ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

How come light waves don't get caught and absorbed by the electrons of oxygen atoms in the in air?

Shouldn't air be opaque since instead of coming into our eye, the lightwaves get caught in the electrons? If oxygen does absorb light waves, how come air is not hot and you can see through it? The way ...
0
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1answer
49 views

special relativity mirror experiment

There's an experiment in special relativity that involves a light source and a mirror, both placed in a moving object. It is used to derive the time dilation equation. I'm having serious doubts about ...
-3
votes
1answer
77 views

Are one photon at-a-time experiments regarded as the Quantum versions of Classical experiments? [closed]

Is it a correct distinction to regard classical experiments conducted one photon at-a-time as the quantum version of the experiments? For instance, if we take Young's original double-slit, and convert ...
3
votes
0answers
31 views

Structured light, infinite focus

Im interested in projecting a static image across a room that stays focused over a wide range of distances from the projector, without re-adjustment, for a structured light setup. ie, the target may ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Diffraction grating electron velocity problem

Suppose that visible light incident on a diffraction grating with slit distance (space) of $0.01*10^{-3}$ has the first max at the angle of $3.6^{o}$ from the central peak. Suppose electrons can be ...
3
votes
3answers
119 views

How can unpolarised light be produced from 2 beams with orthogonal polarisation?

Say I have 2 beams of equal intensity with orthogonal polarisation. Is there a way, using linear polarizers, half and quarter waveplates , to combine those two beams in such a way that they produce an ...
0
votes
1answer
142 views

If photons end up having a tiny mass, say $10^{-54}~\rm kg$, what would be the universal speed of massless particles?

First, I'm no expert so sorry if I get anything confused but I tried to research as much as could before asking this. So while it is pretty much accepted that photons are massless (Despite this ...
0
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1answer
25 views

Refraction of light [duplicate]

In a prism, violet light undergoes more refraction than light of higher wavelength. Is there any explanation as to why light of higher frequencies refract more than light of lower frequencies?
3
votes
1answer
24 views

Orbital Velocity & LLR

As I understand it, light that is emitted from a source is not imparted with the motion of the source and so always follows a "straight line". If this is correct, I am having a difficult time ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Why does melted agarose in solution appear fully transparent, but become opaque when polymerized?

Agarose gels (hydrogels) are commonly used in molecular biology for electrophoresis of DNA. When a solution of hot agarose is poured, the material is clear: When a gel forms, the material ...
1
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0answers
73 views

Rainbow Black Hole [closed]

In the photon sphere of a black hole the photons are being trapped in orbit, pulled in and trajectories changed. From a safe distance should we see color from the entire spectrum if light in the ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

How can we orient light in vacuum?

Let's consider the mirror clock used to show time dilation in special relativity: In the rest frame of the clock, the light pulse from the laser pen propagates in vertical direction down then up: ...
-1
votes
3answers
53 views

Frequency of other light in white light [closed]

I have this question in mind because I read that the frequency of light depends only on the source of light. If we consider a source of white light then it emits light of different colours also. Then ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Do all solid objects emit visible light?

Are there solid objects that do not emit visible light? To my limited and humble knowledge, creating such an object would require us to "only" shift the spectrum of emitted radiation. Is it possible? ...
3
votes
3answers
56 views

Does visible light heat things up?

During a sunny day the walls of my house warm up (no surprise). My question: how much of this warming up (if any) comes from visible light? I associate infrared with thermal energy. If my house was ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Am I just some energy traveled at light speed? [closed]

I don't understand $E=mc^2$ very well, and here is my question: Does this equation mean masses are just condensed energy? And does this mean that the extra energy an object has when traveling at ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Why are black holes black? [duplicate]

If heard two explanations for this. One explanation is that the gravity is so strong that space is being stretched inward faster than the speed of light and thus no photons could possibly escape. The ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Why the incessant confusion between diffraction and interference? [closed]

Feynman said, "No one has ever been able to define the difference between interference and diffraction satisfactorily. It is just a question of usage, and there is no specific, important physical ...
1
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2answers
84 views

Refraction of light rays

My textbook says that the greater the refractive index of a medium, the lower the speed of a light ray passing through it. Seawater has a slightly larger refractive index than fresh water. Light ray ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

Nature of light in Special Relativity

What is the nature of light in the context of Special Relativity? Is it a photon, or an electromagnetic wave, or something else? I have doubts, because a photon seems to me a quantum mechanical ...