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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Quasi-fermi levels in a solar cell?

I was wondering, if my fermi levels splits up due to n and p type doping into two fermi levels, one for the p type one for the n type, and now due to light radiation my fermi levels split up into 2 ...
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5answers
438 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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1answer
35 views

All possible photons wavelengths

As far as I know all photons come from electrons loosing their energy. I remember from physics and chemistry classes, that electron can loose or get only certain determined amount of energy. Also I ...
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2answers
63 views

Do individual rays of light lose energy via the inverse square law?

We've all heard of the inverse square law, but apparently that refers to the flux or intensity or number of photons hitting an imaginary surface area. This is not exactly what I want to ask about. ...
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2answers
280 views

Light-matter interaction and an object's appearance

I am taking a course in Computer Graphics, and the teacher said we could put materials in there main categories: mirror like glossy or specular diffuse He suggested that the law of reflection is ...
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0answers
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Plane color shift

Please explain this phenomenon. In google earth, type in these coordinates: 26.07712027, -80.17626934 This is I'm assuming captured by some sort of radar, and this shifts the color spectrum in motion ...
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3answers
589 views

How would neutron matter appear to the naked eye?

Neutron matter is matter comprised entirely of neutrons, as it exists in neutron stars. Most optical phenomena encountered in everyday life, such as light reflection and spectral absorption (i.e. ...
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1answer
18 views

Diffraction of light around an object & human perception

A wave exhibits diffraction when it encounters an obstacle that bends the wave or when it spreads after emerging from an opening. Diffraction effects are more pronounced when the size of the ...
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1answer
98 views

Why can gold be drawn out finer than light?

The metal gold is extremely malleable. Gold is also ductile and one ounce can be drawn into 80 km (50 miles) of thin gold wire (5 microns diameter) to make electrical contacts and bonding wire. I ...
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2answers
48 views

Photons have a property from the matter they interact with?

When a photon leaves its source and hits our eye, our brain sees the source of the photon (Like a lightbulb or a star). When a photon is ejected from its source and bounces off of an object we see the ...
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0answers
32 views

What is the minimal size of the spec of dust I can see with naked eye?

When sun directly shines thru the window - I can see small specs of dusts in the air. All specs have different sizes. Assuming direct sun luminosity is 100kLux, spec is a perfect sphere, reflection ...
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0answers
19 views

What is a n-type doped solar cell?

I always thought a solar cell consists of two areas, a n-type and a p-type doped one. So what exactly is meant by n-type doped solar cells? Does it not have a p-type doped area? And how does it work ...
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4answers
11k views

Is it possible to reproduce Double-slit experiment by myself at home?

I want to reproduce this experiment by myself. What I need for this. What parameters of slits and laser/another light source it needs? Is it possible to make DIY-detector?
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4answers
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What makes some laser beams visible and other laser beams invisible?

What makes the beam of some lasers: visible? such as the ones used in clubs or such as the laser pointers sold at amazon which if pointed to the sky look like a solid visible beam of light ...
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1answer
42 views

How to transmit light ideally through not parallel tiny holes within a metal case?

I currently try to transmit light through a tiny hole of one side of a metal case in order to receive the light on the other side of the case. The tiny holes are not parallel (see image 2). Using ...
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2answers
29 views

Explanation for the spectrum of the sun?

My Question is, why exactely does the intensity vanish below 240 nm ? If i look at the plank's law, obviously the intensity for $\lambda \rightarrow 0$ and $\lambda \rightarrow \infty$ will vanish, ...
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4answers
8k views

What invisible flicker do different types of light bulbs have?

What waveform does the light coming off different types of artificial light sources have and (of course) what are the underlying physical reason for them? I was inspired to ask this question ...
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1answer
19 views

Fringe Width and Spacing and Number of Slits in Diffraction Experiments

In a single slit experiment, the fringes are not equally spaced and aren’t of equal widths—the central maximum is the widest, the secondary maxima grow narrower and narrower outward, and the minima ...
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2answers
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Why we can't see light emitted from TV remote while a camera can?

If we try to see light emitted from tv remote we can see this. while if we try same in camera we are able to see this. Why?
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2answers
272 views

Why Does The Moon Apear White/Grayish and The Sun Yellow? [duplicate]

The Sun, as we all know, is white. Because our atmosphere scatters light the sun appears yellow to us hear on earth. So, why isn't the moon also yellow. Doesn't our atmosphere scatter its light. How ...
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1answer
24 views

Light Spectrum - Sum of Waves or Collection of Waves

I'm wondering about the spectrum of light that is often shown pictorially as a distribution of power, say, from sunlight. My question is: does this indicate that each wave of light contains all of ...
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0answers
22 views

can light bounce off another light? [duplicate]

If light is a wave and a particle (wave particle duality), is it possible for light to bounce off another light since light bounces of another matter(particle)?
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1answer
697 views

Why do objects of a given color appear white under light of that color?

Under light from the sun, a red object will scatter the red component of light, and absorb all others. Hence, the human eye perceives it as "red". White objects scatter all wavelengths of light. ...
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7answers
4k views

How do we see? Where do the photons disappear?

I know that the light is reflected from a object to my eyes, but I don't understand exactly how. The photons appear from the light source and disappear in my eye! Can someone explain the phenomenon of ...
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1answer
141 views

Dispersion in a rectangular prism

Why are the colours visible only at the fringes of the light refracted through a rectangular prism?
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5answers
6k views

Why doesn't light kill me?

Why does each individual photon have such a low amount of energy? I am hit by photons all day and I find it amazing that I am not vaporized. Am I simply too physically big for the photons to harm me ...
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2answers
435 views

Finding the illuminance from a triangular light source

Since most light sources in games are point-like, it's pretty difficult to approximate area light sources with point sources. As triangles are a universal form to represent 3D models (thus area light ...
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0answers
25 views

In Fermat's Principle of Least Time, how do we know that light is able to reach the end point?

From my understanding of Fermat's Principle, you decide a start point and an end point for a light ray to travel between, and the light 'chooses' whichever path takes the least time (or technically ...
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3answers
240 views

Light wave crossing media and the relationship between speed, wavelength, and frequency

There are many threads on this topic (like this one) but one aspect about the equation $ v = \lambda\nu $ still confuses me. I have read that frequency does not change when light crosses into ...
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1answer
21 views

Hydrogen Spectra using Hydrogen Gas Discharge Tube

I am doing an experiment for my lab work which include determination of value of Rydberg Constant using method of Interpolation. For this we first plot calibration curve for various wavalengths ...
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1answer
27 views

What happens when the frequency of light propagating through a solid equals the resonance frequency of the electrons in the atoms? [closed]

I was reading this article and the following questions came to my mind: During the propagation of light through a solid, the photons collide with the atom making the electrons vibrate. What happens ...
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1answer
112 views

What does a light wave look like (3d model)

What does a light wave look like? The only models I can seem to find online are 2D waves, they just look like sin() graphs. I have seen the models of the two components of "light waves" (electric ...
38
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5answers
10k views

Why is the sky never green? It can be blue or orange, and green is in between!

I, like everybody I suppose, have read the explanations why the colour of the sky is blue: ... the two most common types of matter present in the atmosphere are gaseous nitrogen and oxygen. ...
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1answer
111 views

Path Difference Due to Angled Incident Light

If light incident on a diffraction grating makes an angle $\alpha$ with respect to the normal to the grating, show how $$m \lambda = d\sin\theta$$ becomes $$m\lambda = d[\sin(\theta - \alpha) + ...
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2answers
47 views

How to turn the light stronger than your strength in start

Imagine the following scenario: I have one lamp, and I would like to turn it stronger, like a strength of 2 lamps. Can I do it, passing the light (for example) through one crystal or a special ...
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0answers
110 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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1answer
103 views

How can the Hubble telescope see the light from galaxies that are millions of light years distant?

The Hubble Space Telescope is in the news every now and then. How can it photograph galaxies that are millions of light years from Earth? We can understand that light comes from galaxy and Hubble ...
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2answers
40 views

Physics of color: why do visible colors absorb all colors except the color itself?

It's funny I cannot answer this question, but I really don't have a very good physical intuition for how color works. I know that sunlight and (say) light from lightbulb is a superposition of all ...
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2answers
36 views

Optics of perceived shadows on LCD monitor

After changing my desktop wallpaper on my LED-lit LCD monitor to one with a dark corner, I started seeing shadows on where the clock widget is while looking sideways at the screen. These shadows move ...
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1answer
42 views

Can a beam of light be modulated close to it's frequency?

I'm wondering if it would be possible to modulate a signal using photon pulses - where the frequency of the signal would be close to the frequency of the light. Also would it be possible to transmit ...
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4answers
80 views

What do light wave oscillations look like?

High school physics student here, so please bear with me for a moment. I know that light waves oscillate, but I don't know how. In textbooks and diagrams they're portrayed as wavy lines traveling ...
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3answers
990 views

Reflection at intersection of two mirrors

Consider two mirrors, which intersect at an angle. Let us talk about geometric optics. If we draw a light ray intersecting the mirrors at their point of intersection, how will it reflect? What will ...
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2answers
181 views

Explain the notion of light/electromagnetic waves/photons to a non-physicist

A non-physicist asked me about special relativity. My explanations naturally were based on gedankenexperiments involving light. This forced the question: "What is light? It is particles, isn't? Or is ...
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3answers
167 views

How is it possible for the wavelength of light to change in a medium?

So my physics class has just finished a long unit on optics while at the same time I've been trying to teach myself relativity. I admit my understanding is probably rudimentary, but I figured all the ...
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0answers
29 views

How far do the propagation paths in QED go?

I am currently reading Feynman's popular book on QED "the strange theory of light and matter". I know classical optics quite well, know about Fresnel, Brewster angle and the like. I also am now used ...
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2answers
115 views

How do we know that the CMBR is the oldest light?

How do we know that the CMBR is the oldest light which we can see? Is it based just on the facts 1.that waves redshift with expanding space, and 2.predictions of the big bang theory; Or is there a way ...
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4answers
4k views

Why does a moving fan seem transparent?

We all know when fan starts moving faster, we cannot see its blades. Why is this? First I assumed persistence of vision may be the reason. But that can happen with blade also right? Image of blade ...
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1answer
108 views

What causes the sharp borderline at the bottom of northern lights?

The northern lights are caused by cosmic charged particles interacting with the earth's upper atmoshphere. The particles can be trapped by the Lorentz force, so that we can see them where the magnetic ...
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1answer
31 views

How does light focused through a lens create bokeh (blurry background)?

This question is relevant, though I don't think it quite answers the question. From a photography perspective, when you open the aperture wide (with a small f-number) you get a very shallow depth of ...
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3answers
100 views

Is heat always associated with Light?

I have found that light always produces heat. The only cases I think heat is absent with light is Fluorescence and Phosphorescence (maybe because they emit low energy but maybe the heat is still ...