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 light and isn't everything dark?

Suppose it is dark. If someone shines a flashlight directly at you, you see light. If, however, someone shines a flashlight at something else, you see that thing illuminated, but you don't see the ...
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2answers
59 views

How can shadows ever be sharp?

When I hold my hand underneath my lamp, the shadow my hand casts is crisp and sharp, meaning that the edges are well defined and not blurred. But according to Huygen's principle, shouldn't the light ...
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3answers
156 views

Is that a result of thin-film interference?

Several years ago, I was laying on my bed and had a CD shaped transparent plastic disk (which was covering a 100 CD stack), basically a transparent CD. I don't know why but I took my phone and took a ...
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1answer
20 views

Can a particle accelerator really be constructed which can actually change the properties of a material (create a new kind of atom)?

Can a particle accelerator really be constructed which can actually change the properties of a material (create a new kind of atom)? If not, what are some ways to create or synthesize a new atomic ...
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1answer
38 views

Determining the path of a light ray

Let's consider a ray in the plane $xy$. Let the refractive index be defined in any point of the plane with the function $n(x,y)$. In time $t=0$ the ray is located in coordinates $(x_0, y_0)$ and its ...
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2answers
398 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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2answers
46 views

What would happen to a star if a Dyson sphere lined with mirrors reflected a significant portion of the stars light back to the star

I have looked for similar questions here on stack exchange. The closest example to this that I found is Could a Dyson sphere destroy a star. That question assumed less than perfect absorption of ...
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0answers
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473 nm light through a single mode fiber designed to operate between 1500 and 1600 nm

Can we send light with 473 nm through a single mode fiber designed to operate between 1500 to 1600 nm spectrum? The radius of the fiber core is 4.25 micrometer, NA=0.12 and the single-mode cut-off is ...
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1answer
36 views

How fast would you have to go to claim you saw the red light as green due to the Doppler Effect?

Driving toward it, I suspect you would have to be going at relativistic speeds. Calculating this, it appears to be around 1/6 the speed of light when driving directly at it, but since you are on the ...
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2answers
175 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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1answer
32 views

Why does radiance remain constant along rays of light through empty space?

In Radiometry, radiance (L) is defined as flux density per unit area per unit solid angle. If we move further along a ray, away from a point, shouldn't the radiance decrease? I am unable to grasp an ...
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1answer
41 views

How can light experience a force [duplicate]

According to the second law of Newton f=ma only objects with mass can experience a force. But light can be bent by gravity and is not supposed to have a mass. How ...
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1answer
18 views

Polarized Filtering Frequency Shift?

A polarized filter is exposed to a unpolarized light source. The output of the filter should be of lower intensity, hence lower energy. Should not the filtered light be of a lower frequency to ...
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1answer
55 views

Why does the sky look blue rather than violet? [duplicate]

Sky looks blue because because our eyes are sensitive to blue colour. But when viewed through a camera why don't we see violet of the sky even though we can see violet colour of other pictures taken ...
2
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1answer
32 views

Can a magnifying glass work on EM radiation other than visible light?

A magnifying glass is a convex lens which allows us to bend visible light, thus the image of the object appears larger. My question is, can a magnifying glass work on the rest of the electromagnetic ...
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0answers
12 views

Why can I see a light flicker when it's in my peripheral vision? [migrated]

When I'm looking at an old CRT monitor or a worn fluorescent lamp, but not directly in the center of my gaze, the light from it seems to flicker. When I focus my gaze onto the monitor or lamp, the ...
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3answers
45 views

Can we see a rainbow on moon or any other celestial body?

We see rainbows after rainfall on earth... According to my understanding a rainbow is formed as a result of scattering of light....Then is it possible that we can be able to see a rainbow on the ...
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2answers
177 views

Gravitational Effect Versus the Speed of Light [duplicate]

If, for some reason, the sun were to suddenly disappear altogether, I would like to know the following: would we "feel" it first (i.e. being thrown into outer space due to no longer having anything ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Understanding the behavior of light/photons inside a Laser

I am trying to establish a model inside my head of how light behaves but find it hard with all the seemingly contradicting information. For example, electrons inside a Laser are raised to a higher ...
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1answer
89 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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1answer
35 views

Digital colors: why RGB instead of RYG? [duplicate]

We know that Red, Yellow, Blue are primary colors. Any other color can be created by mixing these color. Graphical representation is below: But when I began to learn about computers, I noticed that ...
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3answers
110 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
36 views

What is the maximum of information in a beam of light?

If I look at the space I can see the Andromeda Galaxy as a small dot in the sky. If I look through a telescope, I can see the spiral shape. If the saw right through a huge telescope, I could see a ...
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3answers
57 views

Why stars are white? According to Rayleigh Scattering

According to Rayleigh Scattering, the red waves are capable of travelling a long distance, so that only we are seeing the Sun as reddish during Sunset and Sunrise. If this was true then all other ...
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1answer
6k views

Why is light produced when an underwater bubble is collapsed with a sound wave?

Why is light produced when an underwater bubble is collapsed with a sound wave? I have come across this fact on a page (similar to this) but can't understand "Why". I'm just curious about this ...
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0answers
14 views

Absortion of light by a plasma

Considering a plasma generated in a fixed volume by increasing the temperature of Helium gas from the environment temperature (this temperature is not stated) and an initial presure of 0.001 Torr, to ...
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0answers
39 views

What is angular accelerating light?

As described in this article "Our angular accelerating fields rely on combinations of orbital angular momentum - so-called twisted light," says Forbes. Light carrying orbital angular momentum ...
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1answer
11 views

Recalculating lux from EV

I have to calculate amount of light from IR emmiter. The only equipement, that I can use is Sekonic Light Meter like this one: http://www.ebay.com/bhp/sekonic-l-358 The problem is that i need to have ...
7
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2answers
984 views

Slowing down light in an opaque crystal for a whole minute

I just read about a team of physicists at the University of Darmstadt, Germany, that managed to completely slow down a beam of light that traveled through an opaque crystal (article here). How is it ...
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5answers
12k views

Why glass is transparent?

Once I asked this question from my teacher and he replied "because it passes light", "and why it passes light" I asked and he said "because it is transparent". Same question again, Why glass is ...
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3answers
7k 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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2answers
71 views

Theoretically, is it necessary that if light passes through a glass slab, its intensity should decrease?

Is it necessary that for an E/M wave of given frequency which can pass through a medium of given refractive index, it should lose some of its intensity. Practically, this must be necessary because of ...
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8answers
17k views

What determines color — wavelength or frequency?

What determines the color of light -- is it the wavelength of the light or the frequency? (i.e. If you put light through a medium other than air, in order to keep its color the same, which one would ...
2
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1answer
38 views

Polarization of light upon reflection

I was wondering (since I've looked pretty hard and haven't been able to find anything)- are there any models that explain the polarization of light upon reflection? Everywhere I've looked I've seen ...
2
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1answer
575 views

Does a quadrupole transition mean emission of one photon with spin 2?

If it's true and spin-2 photons do exist, could you please point to some literature that discusses spin-2 photons? If not, then how exactly does a selection rule for quadrupole transition make sense ...
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1answer
91 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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1answer
46 views

Difference between speed of light and of bullet after passing through a barrier [duplicate]

I just read that, when a ray of light traveling in vacuum at $c$ strikes a glass slab, its speed decreases and then when it re-emerges it gets back to its original speed i.e $c$. If I draw a ...
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0answers
102 views

Dispersion of prism: Graph of angle of deviation versus wavelength

The figure below is the schematic diagram fro measuring angle of minimum deviation using a collimator. High pressure sodium vapor lamp is used as a light source in this experiment. At position of ...
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3answers
159 views

How can space be euclidean when light bends?

I have read people arguing that tridimensional space sections of space time continuum (whatever its number of dimensions) appears to be euclidean from empirical evidence. I cannot reconcile it with my ...
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1answer
33 views

Sound waves and chromism?

I am definitely not a physicist, but I have a question related to Physics so I thought I'd give it a try. Please excuse my ignorance. :) I am somewhat familiar with the changes in color caused by ...
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1answer
92 views

Basic rule for diffraction

I'm a high school student. I still don't understand the reflection, diffraction and refraction of light. It seems to me that in concept of quantum physics, reflection is just a process of object ...
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1answer
36 views

Surfaces that reflect UV rays

I've been trying to research what surfaces reflect UV rays for the past day but it's been difficult coming up with definitive answers. So far what I've found is that surfaces that reflect visible ...
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0answers
7 views

Metal Halid Lamp: continous arcing?

In metal halide lamp, there is initial ignition which causes arc across two electrodes. The question is that, do you guys think the arc will persist (throughout the course when the lamp is powered ...
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2answers
52 views

What happens when both of Polarizing filter in LCD screen are Horizontal

What would be the result if we replace the vertical polarizing filter in LCD device (screen) with a horizontal filter, what could we see exactly? Would we see the same if we use only one horizontal ...
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1answer
51 views

What is the relationship between $a$ and $m$

$a$ is defined in HERE What is the relationship between the length-scale $a$ and the mass $m$?
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0answers
21 views

circular orbits in general relativity [duplicate]

I am studying the derivation of the circular orbits of particles in general relativity (Derivation) Question 1: What is the meaning of the constants $a$ and $b$, it says they are " length-scales", ...
0
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1answer
17 views

Conservation of Energy in Blue Shift

Imagine light coming down and hitting a neutron star. It light is blue-shifted. I know that energy/mass is conserved and that the energy to blue-shift it comes from the gravitational field, but how is ...
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2answers
78 views

Does a source emitting visible light also emit infrared, microwave and radio waves?

I have a bulb which is hot enough to emit visible light and obviously it's hot enough to emit radiation which lies before the visible light temperature i.e. radio waves, microwaves, and infrared ...
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1answer
79 views

A yellow lemon is illuminated by green light. What color does the lemon appear?

I think it's blue, but I'm not sure. Is there a way to find out without simply testing it?
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1answer
68 views

Find the electric field of light due to an LED [closed]

This is a JEE mains question which neither me, nor any of my teachers can figure out. Help me here. "A red LED emits light at 0.1 watt uniformly around it. The amplitude of the electric field of the ...