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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Did Newton argue that particles speed up when entering a more dense medium?

Statement: Newton argued that particles speed up as they travel from air into a dense, transparent object, such as glass. From this source, I gather that he did argue that the light particles ...
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4 views

Specular or Diffuse Reflection - Overhead Projection

Question: What type of reflection is exhibited as light waves from an overhead projector reflect off a white projection screen and are scattered throughout a room? I said specular reflection, ...
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1answer
359 views

Why Do My Fan Blades Produce Color When They Spin?

I've posted a short video here as a visual aid. Whenever I put my fan on Medium speed during the night time, it produces a rotating Blue and Orange color design, despite both fan blades being a white ...
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1answer
64 views

Helicopter blades

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?
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1answer
30 views

Lux and W/m2 relationship?

I am reading a bit about solar energy, and for my own curiosity, I would really like to know the insolation on my balcony. That could tell me how much a solar panel could produce. Now, I don't have ...
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2answers
166 views

Which of these theories on why light slows in media are true?

This question is similar to previously asked questions, but the responses to them are confusing and I think it may be better covered by listing out all the potential answers for clarity. It's a ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
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1answer
51 views

Why do we perceive a colour?

White/yellow light hits a red case, and the red color is reflected into our eyes, since other wavelengths are absorbed. My question is: since both the paint on the case and the white light have ...
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1answer
134 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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31 views

What causes the lines in these photos of a flourescent tube?

I was taking pictures of a flourescent tube using a Moto G 2013 when I noticed these evenly spaced lines as I got closer to it. The distance between the lines reduced as I got closer to the tube. ...
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1answer
37 views

Can quanta have different energy levels? [on hold]

The energy of a wave is h*f. How i imagine this is each cycle consisting of 1 quanta. I sometimes hear people say the energy of a photon is equal to h*f which makes it sound like each cycle has a ...
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2answers
21 views

Why Can You Only See Direct Light In Water From a Lighthouse

Whilst observing a lighthouse, I noticed that I could only see the cone of light reflected in the water when the lighthouse light was directly pointed at me. At all other points, I could just about ...
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2answers
71 views

What is the physical structure of light?

Conceptually, I understand what light is, but I don't know what a photon would "look like" if it could be frozen in space/time. For instance, the notion of amplitude seems to be absent when discussing ...
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2answers
246 views

Why must an integrating sphere be a sphere?

Why must an integrating sphere be a sphere? Why can't it be an integrating cube? What is the difference? Could I use a cube to measure total illuminance like an integrating sphere does?
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2answers
59 views

Light-Matter Interaction and 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
1k views

Frequency Of Light

I am confused on few topics... What is meant by "Frequency of Light"? Does the Photon(s) vibrate, that is known as its frequency? If the Photons vibrate, then they have a specific frequency, then ...
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1answer
29 views

Is scattering cross section determined by mass?

This is just for visible light/photon scattering. Let's say I have small spherical particles in water, if I keep the weight concentration of glass the same but change the diameter of glass sphere from ...
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2answers
453 views

Frequency modulation using visible light

Currently I am doing research into visible light communication from an Embedded Systems background (MSc), but I am struggling to relate the concepts of modulation of radio to visible light. I already ...
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1answer
69 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 ...
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1answer
55 views

Police laser speed detection guns

Situation Police shooting a laser device into his rearview mirror, bouncing off the oncoming car license plate. I want to know if this second surface mirror, and the symmetric system--laser gun to ...
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4answers
43 views

Can the term «shadow» pertain to anything else than light? [closed]

Can the term shadow pertain to anything else than light? Feel free to interpret this question in the widest sense possible.
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1answer
70 views

A mirror in the sky to look at past Earth

Earth reflects light from Sun into Space; are there any "mirror like" objects which reflect back to Earth this light? Has anyone been able to use this method to recover some information on how was the ...
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3answers
358 views

Why does Snell's law not factor in wavelength?

If dispersion is caused due to different wavelengths bending with different angles, how is Snell's law right in generalizing it as $\sin(i) / \sin(r)$? Or am I missing something?
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1answer
36 views

Optical fibre modes and intensity pattern

I shine laser line in front of one side of multimode optical fibre.Light coming out of other side is projected into wall.Whether the intensity pattern seen on wall is same as the mode of propagation ...
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1answer
71 views

Do photons change velocity instantaneously?

Any object traveling at c is observed as traveling at c in all reference frames. When a photon travels through a vacuum at c, all reference frames observe it traveling at c. When a photon passes ...
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1answer
100 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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1answer
48 views

Why is it hard to make black clothes?

I've noticed that we have so-called 'black' clothes everywhere, I haven't seen so far any piece of clothes that would be really black, it's always some kind of lighter black. For instance, if you ...
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1answer
31 views

Does general relativity have an effect of the frequency of light? [closed]

if a lightbeam is fired from space to earth is it blueshifted? I heard this happens with special relativity but not sure if it happens with genreal relativity
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2answers
90 views

A light so strong it has a shadow

I have recently taken an interest in shadows. I know that in order for a shadow to exist that you must have a solid in the way of the light. My hypothesis is that there can be a light so strong, like ...
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1answer
43 views

If sound travels through matter what medium does light travel through? [duplicate]

So sound is a wave and is basically just vibrations, an atom vibrates causing another next to it vibrate and so on until it finally reaches our ears to become sound. If that's normally how waves ...
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2answers
101 views

Why are radio waves in the 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz range invisible?

Visible light diapason is 400 - 700 nm which is 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz. If using an antenna I would broadcast steady sinusoidal wave in this range, why the EM emitted by the antenna are not visible? Suppose ...
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0answers
57 views

What is light and how does it travel? [duplicate]

My question is: What is light, and, more specifically, how does it travel? I've been contemplating a theory that I watched on Youtube (which has no real credibility to my knowledge), the Cosmic ...
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1answer
467 views

Dark matter a medium for light propagation

Is dark matter a candidate to fill void left by luminiferous ether as a medium for light travel?
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2answers
120 views

Is there any case of total transmission?

When light strikes the interface of two media some light is refracted and some is reflected. But, is there a case where no light is reflected i.e all the light gets passed through the given object. ...
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1answer
468 views

What is the meaning of this “let there be light” joke?

A middle school teacher across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it.
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3answers
65 views

Does a high energy photon experience deceleration or direction-change when it impinge into water or something due to the change of refraction index?

Wave experiences refraction when it propagates into another medium which has different refraction index. Lights surely does experience refraction at the border of mediums which have different ...
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1answer
86 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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2answers
94 views

Energy & Mass of a Photon [duplicate]

$$\text{Please read the whole question before answering}$$ Before I ask my question, I would like to say that "Yes, I do know a photon has no mass." I was helping someone here on P.SE with the ...
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2answers
1k views

What causes light to move through a vacuum

I was looking at rockets and stuff and thought about how they move through a vacuum using newtons 3rd law, and then I started thinking of any other ways you could move through a vacuum without using ...
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2answers
273 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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1answer
43 views

Thin Film Interference in Fluid Dynamics: Many are welcome to throw ideas in here, Please!

It was a few days ago, and there was a very heavy storm(currents were flowing beside the sidewalks as normal). I became intrigued by a thin film of gasoline that got caught in one of the currents. The ...
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1answer
48 views

What happens to light at sharp points? [closed]

At the tip of the sharp point shown, what will happen to light incident on it. This curiosity was invoked by a friend and also my childhood of watching shiny pointed swords in cartoons. Original ...
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2answers
33 views

Wavelength of blue filtered light

Does blue filtered white light have a certain wavelength, or is this highly dependent on the filter and source of light?
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1answer
49 views

Photons “rate of fire”

I'm not sure if this makes any sense but, do photons "discharge" from a source at an infinite rate?
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2answers
193 views

If atoms have specific energy levels, why do opaque solids absorb all visible light, not just some? [duplicate]

Here's my question: if atoms have well defined energy levels and those differences correspond to the frequencies of light that can be absorbed, how is it that opaque objects absorb all or most visible ...
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4answers
114 views

Photons to Represent a Wave

I fear that I have a fundamental misconception about the "wave particle duality" of light, but in a related question, the answerer said, in some sense, that a light wave propagates until it hits ...
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6answers
9k 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
130 views

How far does a Photon's field Extend?

I read the related answer to whether photons have size, and the answer seemed to be it depends. If a Photon, or a rather an E&M wave has a magnetic and electric field, should things be able to ...
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1answer
285 views

How fat is Feynman’s photon?

According to my calculations, it is a lot skinnier than Airy’s photon, but still a whole lot fatter than a straight line. So, how does a photon get from point A to Point B? The ray optics ...
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1answer
96 views

Is light so important in special relativity?

I'm an amateur physics enthusiast with no formal university education in Physics. So my question might sound very naive, so forgive me. I had this question in the back of my mind since the wrong ...