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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1answer
6 views

Do the characteristic vibrational modes of a material define how much will a material heat up upon radiation exciation?

Do, and if yes how, does the intensity and energy of the Raman modes of a material make it to heat more by radiation excitation. I see phonons and vibrations of the lattice as heat, but maybe I'm ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Why isn't the sunset/sunrise rainbow-colored

When the sun is rising/setting, it goes through a phase where the light is bending from the atmosphere. I believe this image will explain much better than I ever could. Now, if light goes through ...
7
votes
1answer
763 views

How to turn water opaque by pouring the smallest quantity of matter into it? [on hold]

Consider a glass of water and a glass of coffee. Their contents differ by no more than a few grams of particles coming from the roasted and ground coffee, yet the former lets almost all visible light ...
4
votes
4answers
185 views

What will be the relative speed of a photon in a light ray to another photon of opposite direction light ray?

If two light rays start simultaneously in the space from exactly opposite ends in opposite direction that is separated by a distance of 600000 km in a way they meet at the mid point (300000 km from ...
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2answers
46 views

More about gravitation as the source of redshift of light beams [closed]

In the realm of physics there is no knowledge, the justification of which does not depend either upon experience or upon reason. In the light of the findings of the preconditions of knowledge made in ...
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2answers
252 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
91 views

Do the laws of physics that apply to all observers also apply to a non-observer? [on hold]

The Timelessness of a photon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ELA3ReWQJY An observer's laws of physics are time based. "When you're traveling at the speed of light, time does not exist" - Neil ...
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3answers
72 views

Can light be trapped theoretically?

My question is a little silly I know, but I'm curious to know if a particle of light can be theoretically trapped between two reflective screens. For example once the particle of light has left it's ...
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0answers
44 views

Mathematical formalism to include wave and particle perspectives of light

Does the exist any mathematical formalism (model) describing the behavior of light and incorporating its particle character (divisibility, quantization) and wave character? (i.e. quantized wave model) ...
4
votes
2answers
463 views

Why are most accurate reflective surfaces not white?

Since white is our perception of reflection of light, why are mirrors and other metallic objects that are more grey or silvery capable more reflective than a white object? This is somewhat related: ...
3
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3answers
55 views

Unpolarized Light

Suppose I had a ray of unpolarized light, and I was sitting inside the beam and looking at the electric fields oscillating, then , if I am looking at a point how would the oscillations look like? I ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Fabric that allows through uva, but blocks uvb [closed]

I'm wanting to get a fabric that allows through uva, but passes through uvb. I'm not sure where to even start on this. How do I find a material with these desired properties? Allows: UVA 400 nm - ...
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2answers
41 views

Is the gradual progression of day(light) into night a clue that the earth is a sphere?

If the earth was flat, would the transition between day and night be sudden?
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2answers
937 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
545 views

How is temperature related to color?

I spent some time studying about temperatures and color of objects. It turns out that as we heat something it turns to red, then yellowish white and if we heat it more it turns to bluish-white. Like ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Real and imaginary parts of dielectric constant vs refractive index?

So for a complex dielectric constant $\epsilon = \epsilon_a + i\epsilon_b$, the wave vector and index of refraction are related to it through $k = \frac{\omega}{c}n$ and $n = \sqrt{\frac{\mu ...
-4
votes
0answers
58 views

Why is the human eye more sensitive against red light, even if it is the least energetic? [closed]

Why seems the the red light so energetic in real life, when the wavelength of the red color is the longest and therefore has the least amount of energy? Why would blue be considered cold for the ...
6
votes
2answers
57 views

Single-mode fibers and ray-theory of light

I have read ray-theory cannot be applied to single-mode fibers. Why? I know rays are kind of an approximation to describe the real behavior of light, and electromagnetic theory and photonics are ...
5
votes
6answers
822 views

How can molecule of a few angstroms absorb visible light of a few hundred nanometers?

I guess visible light is visible, because it has the right wavelength to be absorbed (or not) and emitted (or not) by many different molecules. Now visible light has a wavelength in the order of a few ...
0
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1answer
39 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 ...
0
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1answer
47 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
447 views

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does?

Do x-rays and gamma rays also contain photons like visible light does? If so, then what makes photons of visible light and other waves different? The rest mass of a photon is zero, but as it moves at ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

photon polarization, uncertainty in Energy

A beam of red light is sent along the $z$ axis through a polaroid filter that passes only $x$ polarized light. The beam is initially polarized at $30$°, and the total energy is $10$ Joules. Estimate ...
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3answers
74 views

Problem on speed of light

As I was reading special relativity, my book says the speed of light is $c$ with respect to any other thing. Does that mean the speed of an individual photon is $c$ even with respect to another ...
3
votes
2answers
169 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
54 views

Does anything at speed of light won't be able to see anything? [duplicate]

They say that if a object travels at the speed of light will be able to pause time only for that object, but if it travels at the speed of light, will the object will not see the light and see total ...
49
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10answers
11k views

Is it possible that there is a color our human eye can't see?

Is it possible that there's a color that our eye couldn't see? Like all of us are color blind to it. If there is, is it possible to detect/identify it?
3
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3answers
1k views

Seeing colors: photons vs waves

As an atmospheric physics major I am familiar with electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere and what dictates what wavelength objects will emit at. When observing radiation in the atmosphere it is ...
83
votes
7answers
9k views

Could Legolas actually see that far?

The video “How Far Can Legolas See?” by MinutePhysics recently went viral. The video states that although Legolas would in principle be able to count $105$ horsemen $24\text{ km}$ away, he shouldn't ...
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2answers
60 views

What is the maximam distance of light that is released by a flashlight?

Recently I looked at the cloudy night sky and noticed a pale green color light moving around the clouds for about 20 min.After observation I came a conclusion that it is probably because of a light ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Why do i see bright red hand when i place flashlight behind my hand?

When I place a working flashlight behind my hand, I see my hand bright red because of the light. So my question is, why do I only see red light after transmission even if incoming light from the ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Would white light waves act as same as monochromatic waves in double slit experiment?

Would white light waves act as same as monochromatic waves in double slit experiment? If not, what pattern would be seen on the screen?
0
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1answer
67 views

Idea is to make an equipment like torch, which should emit darkness.. Is it possible? [duplicate]

Can we have any equipment as such? If light can emit form a hand held device, why not darkness
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0answers
21 views

How to convert physical ligth quantities (frequency, intencity, spectrum) to RGB and back?

Suppose I would like to have maximally physical image format. Which quantities should I store in the pixel? Obviously, it should be frequency spectrum, i.e. table with frequency vs. WHAT? How to ...
4
votes
2answers
315 views

Seeing one's back on the event horizon

If we would hypothetically be exactly on the event horizon, we should see our own back, because of the circular motion of photons on the event horizon, right? But what would be the image size, or $-$ ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Do the various frequencies of light within sunlight have the same coherence length?

I'm aware that the coherence length of sunlight can be observed with a Michelson-Morley interferometer. I haven't seen any experiment that separated the different colors within sunlight to determine ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Scanning electron microscope imaging

In a scanning electron microscopy, secondary electrons are defined as the electrons which obey inelastic scattering whereas backscattering electron follow elastic scattering. Now my question ...
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0answers
14 views

Absorption Spectrum

I just learnt what absorption and emission spectrum are. And our teacher introduced us to what Quantum Dots are. And showed us their absorption and emission spectra. And they look something like this ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Electromagnetic radiation and black body radiation

I was taught today that the Electromagnetic wave Theory is unable to explain black body radiation. The example that was given to me: When a metal is heated, it emits different frequencies of light as ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Can horizontally and vertically polarized light combine to become circularly/elliptically polarized light?

Well, we know that circularly/elliptically polarized light is made up from orthogonal components. So is it possible then to create circularly/elliptically polarized light by combining horizontally and ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Is it possible to calculate chromacity coordinates using absorbance values?

I have absorbance values for blood plasma. Absorbance was measured in range of 380 – 600 nm every 5 nm ending up with absorbance values for 45 wave lengths. I was browsing through literature, and I ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Calculate minimum intensity of a point source visible to a camera

I have two cameras and know the specified minimum faceplate sensitivity for both: Camera 1: Minimum faceplate sensitivity 4 x 10-6 Lux Camera 2: Minimum faceplate sensitivity 2 x 10-7 lux I also ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

Why does adding red light with blue light give purple light?

Our eyes contain 3 photoreceptor cells (cones) to perceive three wavelength ranges of light. Here is a visual representation of the wavelengths by these receptors (S, M and L). So if we have light ...
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votes
1answer
23 views

light color and refraction

I'm a bit confused on the topic of refraction, some starting premises: 1) When light refracts from exiting a medium with a low n and entering a medium with high n the light bends. 2) The index of ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Problem with plane mirror focal length thoery: Is the focal length actually infinite?

We all learned that the focal length of plane mirrors is considered to be infinite, as the radius of curvature is infinite. However, imagine this scenario: You have a perfectly flat (no one get mad, ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Bending of light - photon's inertia instead of mass

Using classical mechanics, the formula for gravitational attraction is $$F = G\frac{m_1m_2}{r^2}.$$ This formula does not work for photons, and we need to use Einstein's theory of gravity to ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What does the size of an object have to do with it's color?

Stephen Hawking mentions in his book "A Brief History of Time' that quarks are much smaller than the wavelength of visible light so they do not have any color in the normal sense. What exactly does ...
1
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2answers
74 views

When we look in different directions in the universe how do we know we're not seeing the same thing?

For my question assume: 1: Big bang happened at a point (I know it happened everywhere) but after that explosion universe started to expand in all directions so it maybe considered to happened ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Helicopter wings

Why do the propellers on helicopter appear to be so slow when the propellers is going at full speed? Can you please explain this particular optical illusion to me?