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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Is there an atomic level explanation for diffraction of light around opaque aperture?

It has always been a hard time understanding the phenomenon of diffraction of light around opaque objects. Hoe does it happen? Why does transparent objects do not diffract light? What quantum ...
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2answers
139 views

Why can't light waves bend? [duplicate]

Assume that you fixed a speaker to an inclined pipe as well the torch. You can hear sound from the other end of the pipe, but can't see the light from other end of the pipe, why?
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2answers
75 views

Given two surfaces, one that absorbs light and the other that reflects it, will there be a signficant temperature difference?

My likely wrong understanding of light is this: By some way the molecules are structured, a photon hits an atom or a structure, is absorbed, then re-emitted and it's that photon wavelength that I see ...
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1answer
130 views

Why do we see the sun's light color different from the moon's light color?

Why do we see the color of the sun's light as red or orange, while we see the moon's light as white, although it's reflected from the sun?
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1answer
67 views

relation between photon number and energy

Suppose there are two light beams. One is red while the other is violet. The energy of both is the same. Which one of these beams has a larger number of photons, or is the number of photons relevant? ...
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1answer
98 views

Physics and Skin Color: What differences do physicists observe between different skin colors?

I majored in social sciences, so I haven't taken a science class since 1999, so forgive me if I don't ask this right. What difference would skin color make from a physics perspective? Would there be ...
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1answer
85 views

speed of the light emitted from a fast moving object [duplicate]

Would not speed of the light emitted from the front of the fast moving object be the speed of light + the speed of the fast moving object?
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2answers
153 views

Is a Perfect/Lossless Mirror possible?

In traditional mirrors, some of the input light is absorbed by atoms in the mirrors surface and are 'lost' as heat, degrading the quality of the reflected image. Could this loss be compensated by an ...
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4answers
893 views

Why doesn't more light bounce off of things in the manner of sound?

If I'm sitting in the den with my door slightly cracked, I can hear my wife washing dishes in the kitchen down the hall. But why can't I also 'see' images of her washing dishes if, say, I looked up on ...
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1answer
66 views

Light Waves and Light Photons gedanken Experiment

Suppose you have a source of light that emits light with a wavelength of 2 meters, and you set the device to be turned on and switched off alternately. You also set it so that each interval the device ...
32
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9answers
7k views

Why can't we see gases?

I am not sure what causes gas molecules to be invisible.This question may look silly but I really want to know the story behind it.
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1answer
127 views

When photons are emitted, do they accelerate to reach the speed of light? [duplicate]

Photons are considered mass-less particle with a specific velocity but according to the electromagnetic theory, a photon is considered to have both energy and momentum. So what happen when they are ...
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2answers
478 views

What is the difference between light and visible light? [duplicate]

After watching a few videos on light and electromagnetic radiation, I am a little confused. The way things are explained, is that light is just the same as electromagnetic radiation I thought this ...
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0answers
94 views

Why does Pyrex glow orange under UV?

In a Physics lesson today our teacher performed a demonstration to show how quinine in tonic water glows blue when under UV light. He showed us the same demonstration using water in a Pyrex beaker, ...
204
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7answers
12k views

How does light bend around my finger tip?

When I close one eye and put the tip of my finger near my open eye, it seems as if the light from the background image bends around my finger slightly, warping the image near the edges of my blurry ...
2
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1answer
186 views

Relation between impact parameter and distance of closest approach of a light ray in Schwarzschild Geodesics

The following wikipedia articles are incompatible : Two body problem / bending of light by gravity Schwarzschild geodesics / bending of light by gravity According to both articles, the equation ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Why is a flower shaped diffraction occluder the best solution for controlling diffraction?

According to this TED talk by Jeremy Kasdin, Nasa is planning to spend $1bn on a "Starshade" project, where a giant flower shaped metal eclipser 20 meters wide is placed 50k kilometers in front of a ...
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3answers
133 views

About the speed of light and gravity

I read (I think ) that part of relativity theory is that a strong gravitational field distorts the uniform passage of time. If this is true and a lightwave 'travelling' to Earth passes a star near ...
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0answers
164 views

Calculate shadow path&size + object size based on distance

What are the variables I need to take in account if I want to calculate shadow path and size? I will try to simplify my questions. I have a $2D$ circle (radius: $28$) which means the size of the ...
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3answers
969 views

What happens to the index of refraction of a lens if placed in water?

What happens to the index of refraction and focal length of a lens that is initially in air that is then placed in water?
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2answers
56 views

Correlation between color of light visible to us and the intensity of transmitted light by the material

I wanted to know if there is any relation between the color of light observed by the eye and the intensity of light transmitted by a material. Let us assume that I have a table of intensities of light ...
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2answers
85 views

Does any substance possess the property color? [closed]

For example, a leaf in normal sunlight may be seen as green, but under a red light it is seen a red or may be dark. So the color of leaf changes according to lighting conditions. So that, does any ...
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0answers
60 views

What is the age of the Universe from the big-bang light perspective?

What is the age of the Universe from the big-bang light perspective? We all agree that the universe is around 14 billion years, from the perspective of a hypothetical observer moving in a galaxy, ...
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5answers
2k views

When photons reach us, what exactly is happening to us and to that photon?

I'm new to physics and am just going through some of the free online classes at World Science U, and after watching this video on the nature of the speed of light and its constancy, a question came to ...
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1answer
66 views

Why the crest of water absorb more light than the trough of water?

I have done my experiment using water ripple to study the behavior of waves. I know that the crest will absorb more light than the trough so that the image created on the white paper sheet appeared to ...
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0answers
39 views

How do RGB colors work? [duplicate]

They say that all colors can be formed by mixing Red, Green, and Blue appropriately. Is it true? Isn't the Fourier basis infinite dimensional? Or does it turn out to be the case that only three ...
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4answers
408 views

Can't virtual images be put on a screen?

Apparently the plane mirror makes virtual images, and virtual images cannot be projected onto a screen. If you look below, it is? If the eye is basically a screen of rods and cones, then everything ...
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3answers
194 views

Do atoms of a surface excite to reflect the light?

How do surfaces reflect certain colours and absorb the others?
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1answer
42 views

Calculating the distance between Detector and Double Slit

I have a little problem that is kind of confusing me at the moment. The following task: Light of the wavelength $\lambda = 500nm$ hits a double slit whose distance is $a = 30\mu m$. Each is $a = ...
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3answers
146 views

Why can colors be mixed? [duplicate]

We can combine colored light, creating other colors, at least in terms of visual perception. But how it the result physically "a different color" - if it is at all? Or is all this not a physical ...
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2answers
85 views

How camera flash can send information

Nikon have CLS a system that allow to trigger one flash with other flash. I don't know how exactly it work from user point of view, I think that one flash (in command mode) can send information like ...
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1answer
300 views

How car headlight works?

There are two headlight of car. One having a light bulb between two concave mirrors (one mirror behind and other infront of bulb), and the other type of light only have one concave mirror behind the ...
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2answers
433 views

Which solution to the electromagnetic wave equation is the most accurate model of monochromatic light?

When a photon is modeled as a monochromatic electromagnetic wave its electric and magnetic components are usually taken to be sine waves (for example here ...
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1answer
96 views

How do projectors work?

So, objects are certain colors because they are absorbing every color except for that one. So why is it that if I take a projector and project a blue image on a red wall, the red wall still reflects ...
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1answer
80 views

Visual Fields testing: Decibels of sensitivity - meaning

Automated Visual Field test measures the patient light sensitivity in decibels. Questions: If one point has sensitivity of 30 decibels and another point has sensitivity of 27 decibels does it mean ...
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1answer
25 views

galaxies fading away after time [duplicate]

Dark energy is constantly pulling all objects away from each other with increasing speed. This in turn causes a red-shift of the light from the most distant object where this effect is most profound. ...
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1answer
54 views

Why do the RGB gamut vertexes not intersect the edges of human vision on the CIExy plot?

As I understand, the CIExy graphic maps "greenness", or rather middle-wavelengthness, to the Y axis and "redness", or rather long-wavelengtsness, to the X axis. The trapping used to reduce the 3d ...
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0answers
85 views

Light emanating from finger tips?

My little nephew on two occasions (when he was 4 now 6) said he saw light rays emanating from his fingers. His father said this is true and that there is physics behind it. I have searched the ...
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0answers
23 views

What's the proof that the polarization occur s to the electric field of the light? [duplicate]

What's the proof of the light polarization that it happens to the electric field and not the magnetic field? How did Malus discover that the light is polarized although he didn't see the waves ...
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2answers
403 views

Why doesn't the magnetic field polarize when polarizing light?

If the magnetic field doesn't polarize does it follow the electric field path of propagation? or does it vanish?
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0answers
93 views

Photons and Black holes

How many photons in one Planck volume would it take to form a tiny black hole? A photon doesn't have mass but it does have energy, $1.0101 \times 10^{-37}$ Joule for red $650$ nm wavelength light if ...
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2answers
292 views

Why must an integrating sphere be a sphere?

Why must an integrating sphere be a sphere? Why can't it be an integrating cube? What is the difference? Could I use a cube to measure total illuminance like an integrating sphere does?
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4answers
235 views

Question about the wave nature of light

I quote from my textbook, " Consider two vertical slits S1 and S2 placed parallel to each other, and a string is passed through them. The end B is fixed and A is given jerks perpendicular to its ...
2
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5answers
458 views

If you shoot a light beam behind the event horizon of a black hole, what happens to the light?

I have a couple of questions about light here, and sorry of they are silly.. So since anything that goes beyond the event horizon can't go out, so what if a light beam was pointed somewhere behind ...
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1answer
67 views

Light and Prisms

If you matched the yellow light of one prism to that of the green light of another prism, say through a thin glass pane, what would be the resulting color?
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2answers
73 views

How is the image in a mirror created without a lens or pinhole?

How is the image in a mirror created without a lens or pinhole? From every point in the world there are infinitely many rays going out. How come the image on a mirror is ok, when there is no pinhole ...
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2answers
85 views

How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays?

How is the image in a mirror created? Are there infinitely many light rays? My motivation for the question is from image processing. We work with images as discrete 2D functions, as matrices. Spatial ...
3
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1answer
35 views

How is barometric light porduced?

A shaken sealed glass tube containing liquid mercury in a dark room will glow. This has been know since the 17th century and is called barometric light. How does the addition of potassium ...
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3answers
129 views

Does Light Ever Cease Once Created

I was reading an article on Huffington Post (link to article) about the Multiverse theory. In the article it said this: The big news last week came from the Background Imaging of Cosmic ...
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2answers
240 views

Calculating the coherence length from a spectrum

I have measured the spectrum of the LED in my interferometry set-up, and now I want to calculate the coherence length from it. A commonly found formula is $l_{coh} = \frac{c}{\Delta f}$, sometimes ...