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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Why do we see discrete light spikes coming out from a light source?

When we look at a light source from a distance in suitable darkness, why do we see discrete light spikes coming out of source like Fig. b of above picture instead of Fig. a?
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1answer
74 views

Light is/produces a electromagnetic wave, but is the opposite also true?

A similar question has been asked, and to some extent the answer is: you need an antenna with $L \approx 200nm$. But it's not entirely clear to me if this is completely hypothetical, as "Marek" also ...
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0answers
25 views

Newton's Ring Experiment-The constant

In the newton's ring experiment, it is given in my lab manual that the radius of curvature of a plano-convex lens is calculated by taking the constant k in the denominator to be 20.I dont understand ...
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1answer
24 views

Where are the electron exchanges happening in solar cell physics when considering the photon?

When considering solar panel physics, are we taking an electron from Light(photon), or is the energy of Light causing an electron to jump in said solar cells through excitation? Is the photon even ...
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1answer
13 views

illuminance on a slope plane

I am trying to understand the illuminance from an extended source(sky dome) on an inclined plane. The article I am reading has beautifully explained it. Yet I don't understand the angles and boundary ...
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3answers
147 views
+50

Blue light filtering

Prologue: my knowledge in these topics is fairly limited, so please feel free to point out the mistakes or the not-so-clear points, and bear with me for the oversimplicity of the language used. I was ...
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3answers
52 views

Bending of light

Why does bending of light(diffraction) occur?
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1answer
48 views

Will I see the light?

There is a perfectly smooth wall. We have a slit parallel to it. Through that a laser beam passes. As the slit is parallel to wall the laser beam will hit it normally. So now if I see obliquely I ...
5
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1answer
44 views

Why is reflected light polarised?

Why is reflected light polarised? I have learnt about Brewster's angle, and how at a particular angle all light reflected is polarised, but do not understand why. Is this something that could be ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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0answers
18 views

DIY optical band pass filter or another alternative

I need to detect laser using a solar cell which would need me to either detect the laser wavelength or use pulse modulation and detect the frequency so I'm kinda here to ask if it's possible to simply ...
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1answer
353 views

Brightness of light sources

I would like to know what determines the brightness of light. I'm confused, After hours of reading, I got these definitions mixed up I need to link them together: Light intensity Brightness of ...
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0answers
28 views

optoelectronics-smallest wavelength of light

Sorry this maybe a stupid question , but i need to know: A few minutes ago i have read an article about optoelectronics: worlds first optical single atom switch The writer of the article ...
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3answers
255 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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2answers
98 views

A Neutron Star and an Atom are Similar [on hold]

In an earlier question I asked if photons could exist without atoms. Is a neutron star's residual light released similar to an exited atom the difference is gravity hold in the electrons in the star ...
5
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2answers
125 views

Why does a laser beam stay collimated?

I am looking for a simple way of explaining the collimation of a laser beam. The typical discussion of the two slit experiment of quantum theory relies heavily on the Huygens principle. Its ...
4
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3answers
371 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
42 views

How physicists explained straight line propagation of Light thinking of light as wave? [duplicate]

To explain the fact that light travels in a straight line assuming light as a wave physicist said that it has small wavelength. So how does the small wavelength explains the property?
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2answers
1k views

Why do we assume that rays from infinity are parallel?

If light rays are parallel to each other , if they are from infinity, they are not gonna make an image because they won't intersect with each other. So we are not gonna see the image. Does that means ...
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2answers
342 views

How to use a magnifying glas or any lens to enhance small light power?

I am currently trying to amplify a tiny amount of light so that a photodiode will recognize it. In order to amplify the light I thought about using a magnifying glass since I got to know that such ...
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2answers
270 views

How can heat turn into light

I am confused about how hot surfaces can radiate light to their surroundings. When I shine a light on a surface the light turns to heat spontaneously, and when I leave that hot surface it radiates ...
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6answers
6k views

Where do photons go when they are absorbed?

The answer I usually get (and I'm paraphrasing here) is that they disappear and are instead absorbed as heat energy. But I find it hard to believe that the photon simply "disappears." Common sense ...
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1answer
64 views

Constancy of speed of light in vacuum? [closed]

Have scientists tried their best to calculate speed of light in vacuum? It seems very absurd to me that light of all frequencies have same velocity in space. Can someone find in future if this speed ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Photons Disappear and Reappear from Atoms?

Where does photons come from and disappear to? Can photons be destroyed and created? Without atoms would photons exist?
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1answer
520 views

Why does light not slow down?

Clearly light bounces off of things, going really really fast. I'm curious to understand how light interacts with matter in order to bounce without: Applying force to the object Losing speed So my ...
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5answers
7k views

Is it (theoretically) physically possible to project an image into thin air?

Is there some law of physics that strictly prohibits the projection of 2D or 3D images into thin air (such as holograms in movies) or is a solution to achieve this still up for grabs by an eventual ...
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2answers
38 views

When i look to a lamp at night, from a distance what happens?

Lets say its night, and i look at a lamp 20 meters away from me. Im obviously in the darkness, but i can see the light from the lamp, if the photons need to stimulate my eyes in order for me to see, ...
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1answer
23 views

How can light appear to spread in mainly a few rays (e.g: 2,4)? [duplicate]

I think it's easier to explain the question with some images. Here you can see a six-rayed one: I cannot post more than 2 links, so: www.i.stack.imgur.com/23YLa.jpg ...
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2answers
172 views

Where does wave frequency come from

I am trying to wrap my head around where do oscillations in electromagnetic waves come from. As an example if I would take a string of guitar and ring it, it would produce a certain sound based on the ...
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1answer
51 views

Implication of Relativity [duplicate]

According to relativity, no useful matter can travel faster than light. Suppose that your are a light beam travelling. Now you have a parallel light beam travelling beside you. Suppose you look at the ...
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1answer
33 views

Is illuminance defined only on a surface normal to the flux?

Assuming on the below image the source is a point source, I can understand that since the light flux falls on dA is the same within the solid angle and since the intensity I = Φ/dω and E = Φ/dA it can ...
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1answer
50 views

How to calculate a straight edge diffraction pattern

A straight edge diffraction pattern is not the same as a slit or multiple slit diffraction pattern. The spacing between fringes is not equal but gradually gets smaller the farther out you go as in the ...
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1answer
44 views

How we are able to see red and green colored objects simultaneously if combination of red and green produces yellow?

If red and green cones in our eyes are tiggered simultaneously then our brain makes us see yellow color. But if two objects which have red and green colors respectively are placed infront of us then ...
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1answer
18 views

Why does Diffracted Light cone diameter change in relation to angle of light beam?

I have a question about light diffraction. Take a look at these images of the Pantheon oculus. Now what I don't understand, in the first picture, the light is coming in from overhead and forms a ...
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4answers
44 views

Linear polarized 3D glasses and the physical shape of light waves

Looking into how linear polarized 3D glasses work, I keep getting explanations that boil down to this: However, I always assumed that a light wave was depicted in diagrams like this... ...to more ...
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1answer
59 views

Field of view from travelling at (almost) the speed of light?

As we go faster, our field of view increases, but would happen if we travelled at (almost) the speed of light? My questions: Can we see a 360 degree view while travelling at (almost) the speed of ...
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0answers
38 views

Impossible? Or not? [closed]

If the universe is expanding at light speed, and you stand on the edge moving out, if you look across the universe, then you will see twice the light speed, why is that?
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1answer
29 views

How do we call in English scientific terms the Fermat's principle about back and forth light traversal?

We know that the path followed by the light from point A to point B is independent of the direction of propagation of light. This is what is called in French "le principe de retour inverse de la ...
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0answers
27 views

Telescopes and faster than light travel [closed]

If sometime in the future we master faster than light travel, could we solve past crimes by warping to a place in space where the light from Earth is just arriving from that time period and using a ...
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0answers
42 views

What would happen if a monochromatic light falls on an electron?

An electron is not strictly free, but in terms of QFT, we consider scattering events in an asymptotic framework where free particles would arise at $t \rightarrow \pm \infty$. So, I would like to know ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Counting modes Rayleigh-Jeans

In the derivation of the Rayleigh-Jeans Law, we count the number of EM modes in a square cavity. After calculating the number of allowed modes due to boundary conditions, we multiply it by a factor of ...
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2answers
23 views

Same amount of light, spread across larger surface area = more reflection?

I've noticed an odd phenomenon with an adjustable-focus LED flashlight that I've bought. If I shine it at the ceiling of my room at the widest possible angle, the walls get noticeably brighter than ...
44
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7answers
3k views

Photons from stars--how do they fill in such large angular distances?

It would seem that far-away stars are at such a distance that I should be able to take a step to the side and not have the star's photons hit my eye. How do stars release so many photons to fill in ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Why should angle of incidence be equal to angle of emergence for minimum deviation in a triangular prism?

When I was solving questions on Ray optics I encountered a question wherein I had to prove that when a ray of light undergoes minimum deviation through a triangular prism then both the angles of ...
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2answers
51 views

Can we have a microscopic image of light itself?

Is there a way we can see light in a microscopic scale- alaser beam to its depth? Possibly seeing the structure of photons.
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2answers
155 views

Why can we see the earth from outer space if the sky is blue?

As far as I know, the sky is blue because as light from the sun enters the atmosphere composed primarily of wavelengths of visible light. However, as the light happens across molecules of oxygen and ...
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5answers
33k views

Why doesn't the frequency of light change during refraction?

When light passes from one medium to another its velocity and wavelength change. Why doesn't frequency change in this phenomenon?
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0answers
24 views

Wavelength limited resolution

I've read through answers to similar questions, and I haven't been able to find a satisfying answer. I've heard it said that in order to make out something, you need to use light with a wavelength at ...
2
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4answers
8k views

Hours of light per day based on latitude/longitude formula

I'm looking for a formula that will return the number of hours per day given a specific location. I was thinking that can be calculated as a difference of sunrise and sunset, but I see that there are ...
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1answer
48 views

What would happen if light was stored in a circular path? [closed]

This is like an idea for experiment. Lets say one has an optical cable that makes a circle. There is a little Y junction/valve to the circle, through which one pumps some coherent light in. The ...