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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6answers
4k views

Limit of human eye flicker perception?

I am designing a LED dimmer using software-controlled Pulse Width Modulation, and want to know the minimum PWM frequency that I must reach to make that LED dimming method indistinguishable from ...
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1answer
639 views

Is traveling at the speed of light the same thing as teleportation?

If I were on one side of the room and moved at the speed of light to the other side of the room, to an observer it would appear that I teleported. If time stops at that speed, it would be ...
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2answers
29 views

Is every ordinary coloured transparent paper an optical filter?

Can any red coloured transparent paper be used as an optical filter that only allows red colours through it?
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1answer
44 views

Does putting color filters make the sources incoherent?

In Young's double slit experiment a single source is used to illuminate two slits which then acts as two coherent sources to produce interference pattern. But, what if I put color filters on the two ...
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2answers
113 views

Why does welding produce UV light?

Looking directly at a welder is dangerous because large amounts of UV light is produced. What makes this light? Is it electrons from the current that excites metal atoms, and these atoms sends out UV ...
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1answer
82 views

Why does the Sun turn red near sunset?

At daytime the Sun's light is yellowish if not near white. Why when the Sun starts to go down that it's light turn more red. I don't think the earth's rotation is so rapid to cause a red shift. Why ...
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3answers
56 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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2answers
107 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
71 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
221 views

Why can I split white light into separate colors with my eyes

I was sitting in a meeting at work today. When I looked up there was a projector facing the rear wall letting out a very bright white light (the projection). When I look right at it, all I could ...
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3answers
129 views

How can sunlight be white , but pictures of the sun be orange?

I was thinking about elementary physics today and realised: We learned and proved that sunlight is white. But i don't understand why when you look at a picture of a satellite orbiting the sun , it(the ...
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2answers
130 views

How far can you scatter light using a prism?

If I were to scatter light how far do you think it will disperse and what prism is the most effectively scatters light?
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2answers
135 views

why does a mirror show what is in front of it?

the only answer I can think of is that light is reflected from the objects in front of the mirror (visible color) and then reflects again off of the mirror to our eye, but im not quite satified with ...
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3answers
317 views

What starts the movement of a photon

Although a photon has no (rest) mass, it does have a measurable speed. Its movement can be altered by gravity. A photon "travels". If I turn on a flashlight, seen by someone at a distance, the photons ...
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2answers
339 views

Do photons actually generate a slight kinetic force?

My question is even though photons have no (rest) mass, do they emit a external force due to EM radiation causing electrons to be excited and jump to higher energy shells which electrons have mass ...
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2answers
336 views

How does scattering work?

Why is the sky blue? I was always taught in high school that light with wavelength $\lambda$ acts like a little particle that wiggles up and down through space (in proportion to its magnitude). I was ...
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1answer
2k views

Transforming a sound wave into a literal light wave. Is it possible?

Literally transforming sound into an actual light wave seems almost impossible. But transforming the sound wave into a light wave while containing a single mass? I know that sound can contain a mass ...
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2answers
7k views

3d holograms - How are they created?

How do 3d holograms work exactly? I read that there is a laser in use, but how are the multiple perspectives generated and how is the light trapped? in a certain area to create the effect? ...
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1answer
141 views

The range of light

It occurs to me that the empirical evidence shows that there is a point out in space where light stops coming from. Putting aside the expansion of the universe for a second, and focusing strictly on ...
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1answer
183 views

Why is the shadow of earth red?

Reading this article about the forthcoming eclipse on December 10th, I noticed mention that the moon passes through the red shadow of Earth; I'd always held the impression that a shadow is universally ...
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6answers
4k views

Focal Point vs where you see the images

I am trying to figure out where is the focal point and where is the image. I read some information online about the point where you see the image is the focal point, but however, my supervisor ...
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3answers
69 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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1answer
36 views

“backwards” Diffraction Grating with light source at maxima (1st, 2nd, nth order)?

How will a light source with a specific $\lambda$ positioned right at the nth order maximum pointing towards a diffraction grating be affected? Will it come out "directed"?
2
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1answer
48 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 ...
2
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3answers
127 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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2answers
146 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
72 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
89 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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2answers
46 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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2answers
134 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) ...
2
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1answer
204 views

Infinite fringes in double-slit interference

My professor told us that the fringes formed by interference will always be countable or finite. But I am just wondering, if, it is possible to have infinite fringes? Is there such a case? I am ...
2
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1answer
226 views

Why does a white object lit by a blue light cast an orange shadow?

I was reading this blog post: http://ianstormtaylor.com/design-tip-never-use-black/ Which phenomenon explains this: But I must have been thinking the same thing, because one of those days in art ...
2
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1answer
179 views

Could an oscillator at a high enough frequency produce light instead of radio waves?

Considering that light is in the 400-800 THz range, if you had an electrical oscillator that ran at that frequency connected to an aerial of some sort, would the antenna emit visible light, in the ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Is there a one-to-one relationship between colour theories and our trichromatic vision?

This has started to bug me more and more… it involves: colour theory the trichromatic properties of our eyes through cone cells and light. Is there a one-to-one relationship between colour ...
2
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3answers
202 views

Question on Radiance equation

The radiance equation is $$ L = \frac{d}{dA} \frac{2(\phi)}{dW cos(\theta)} (watt/srm^2) $$ where $\phi$ is the flux. I am thinking, should not be the cosine term on the numerator instead of the ...
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1answer
130 views

Commercial Infrared lights

I purchased an infrared light. It's a 100 W Philips infrared lightbulb. Says it's infrared, but I haven't done any spectrum analysis so I don't know for sure if it's just red or really infrared. As I ...
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1answer
130 views

How would one generate Brownian light? What would it look like?

When light is an equal mix of all visible frequencies, we call it white light. By analogy, sound that is a mix of all audible frequencies is called white noise. For sound, there is an additional ...
2
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1answer
80 views

Need to write a function that computes the UV index

I have found a lot of people talking about how to compute the UV index, but have not found an example that shows the actual equations, so I could adapt them into an algorithm. Probably the closest ...
2
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2answers
364 views

What's the Significance of Color Changes Between EM-Spectrums?

As everybody knows that Black objects are black because almost all the light that falls on them is absorbed into the material. Little or no light is reflected back toward our eyes, therefore we see ...
2
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1answer
797 views

What are the properties of the partially polarized light on refraction?

When a ray of ordinary light is passed on the surface of the water the reflected light will be completely polarized( vibrations in one plane). My question is what will be plane of vibration in the ...
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5answers
175 views

Photoelectric effect without light rays

For electromagnetic waves we have the photon association, one imagines light as particles "flying around". What is the analogy for a constant electrical field, one which doesn't change in time ...
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2answers
753 views

Rotating mirror - Foucault's measurement of light speed

Some time ago I came across a secondary web source on measurement of light speed in water made by Foucault around 1850. I append its redrawn scheme below (light is reflected from the rotating mirror ...
2
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1answer
134 views

Is it possible to send a single photon from a distant planet (say Mars) and detect its arrival at a site on Earth?

My question is specifically whether there exists a technique by which a single photon can be "tagged" or "encoded" in such a way that it can traverse our atmosphere and arrive at some sort of detector ...
2
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1answer
207 views

Can a charged black hole interact via electromagnetism? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Detection of the Electric Charge of a Black Hole Light cannot escape from a black hole. However light is also interpreted as the carrier of the electromagnetic force. So ...
2
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2answers
733 views

Where is a good place to learn (classical) optics?

I need to learn basic optics for a high school academic competition. Does anyone know any good places, preferably free and online, to learn the basics of optics, like lenses, angles of incidence, ...
2
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1answer
834 views

Effects of high frequency lighting on human vision?

I have a couple of different LED flashlights. One of them has three different "modes" of brightness, and the way it controls it is via pulse width modulation (PWM). Here is a picture that illustrates ...
2
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2answers
184 views

Is there a reason for photodynamic therapy to not cause cancer if mobile phones might?

I don't want to open a debate about whether cell phones can cause cancer, I read the thread: Could cell-phone radiation cause cancer? For the sake of this question let's assume there's a chance for ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Speed of different em radiation in a medium

Does all frequency of light travel with the same speed in a particular material like glass? Since by cauchy's relation refractive index change with wavelength which implies the speed also changes. ...
2
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2answers
114 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 ...
2
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1answer
108 views

Finding Interstellar Extinction Coefficient

I have the following problem for an astrophysics course: A star is seen through a rather dusty region of space has its brightness dimmed by +1 magnitude/kpc, which makes it seem further away ...