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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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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2answers
39 views

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
36
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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
433 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
17 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
233 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
19 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 ...
0
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1answer
22 views

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

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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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
105 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
46 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
109 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
39 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
79 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 ...
6
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3answers
989 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 ...
4
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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 ...
3
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2answers
113 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
98 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
27 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
97 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 ...
2
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3answers
588 views

Reflections in Rearview Mirror

In the rear view mirror of your vehicle, the driver in the car behind is on the driver's side and the passenger is on the passenger's side. When they raise their left arms they are on the same side as ...
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1answer
21 views

Computing color and brightness of a hot material

Every blackbody color calculator I've managed to find only calculates hue and saturation; they completely ignore brightness, which severely limits their usefulness if you're trying to model the actual ...
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3answers
145 views

Why does shining a laser into an iPhone camera create these shapes?

When I shine a laser light into an iPhone 6 camera I get these weird shapes: The shapes are in no way in the background behind the laser. What causes these to appear? I know about typical lense ...
59
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6answers
12k views

Why are most metals gray/silver?

Why do most metals (iron, tin, aluminum, lead, zinc, tungsten, nickel, etc.) appear silver or gray in color? (What atomic characteristics determine the color?) What makes copper and gold have ...
2
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2answers
50 views

Do photons experience every moment in time and position in space simultaneously? [duplicate]

Would it be more correct to say that a photon, traveling at the speed of light, would experience all points in time simultaneously, and therefore be everywhere at once? It might be just our ...
42
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7answers
2k 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 ...
6
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5answers
528 views

Can we change a photon's frequency in mid-air?

Can we have a light source emitting photons in the infrared range and after, lets say, 5 meters, these photons become a photon in the x-ray range? The only way I know we can change a photon's ...
0
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1answer
29 views

can i convert the visible light into another form of electromagetic light form?

can I convert the visible light form into another form of electromagnetic light??actually I want to make a device which convert the objects which are visible to the human eye into invisible as a part ...
0
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2answers
356 views

Can light exist without spacetime?

Since the medium in which light propagates is spacetime, would light be able to exist if spacetime did not exist? Is this like one of those chicken/egg problems, or can light be thought of as a ...
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0answers
26 views

UV absorption decrease with an increase in concentration

I am working on a project measuring the absorbance of a solution which contains surfactant and hard brine. The solution has a constant concentration of surfactant and varying concentration of hard ...
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1answer
31 views

What range of light wavelengths can a typical mirror reflect?

A typical mirror is capable of reflecting the full spectrum of visible light. Can it also reflect other wavelengths both longer and shorter? What is the range?
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2answers
34 views

Would an ordinary or fluorescent lightbulb generate electricity when exposed to light?

I was wondering whether the physic laws or the nature in which lightbulbs are constructed would allow for lightbulb to generate electricity when subjected to strong (intensive and concentrated) ...
2
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2answers
60 views

What is really a light ray? [duplicate]

I've been studying geometric optics and I'm still a little confused with this idea of light ray. In the book I'm studying everything is being done starting from Fermat's principle which states that ...
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2answers
44 views

Is it true that light has a lot of energy but cannot exert force [closed]

When a photon hits a mirror it is reflected ,it does not affect the mirror.But why when light has infinite energy?
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1answer
1k views

What happens to light that falls into a black hole?

When light enters a black hole, what happens to it? I imagine the photons will either fall into the singularity, or the light will orbit just inside the event horizon indefinitely. (Some background ...
0
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1answer
16 views

Colour changing material/ink

i am not sure if this is the right place to ask but is it possible for me to make an ink or material that changes colour when electricity goes through it at home? (as much colours as possible and low ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Why can i see LCD screen trough my linearly polarized glasses

I have a Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo GT-S5310, it uses an LCD screen. Wikipedia says that all LCD's emit a vertically polarized light However even if I turn my glasses 90 degrees, i can still see the ...
2
votes
3answers
114 views

Why photons reflect off glass?

Why photon reflects and refracts through glass? Some photons pass through glass and some reflects.I know this is due to energy levels of electrons of glass, an incoming photon is unable to excite the ...
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5answers
3k views

Where does light go after it enters a black hole?

Nothing passes through a black hole. Where do things go then? If light enters a black hole, what happens to it? Do things go to a white hole and resume in another universe?
4
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2answers
100 views

Could you view yourself in high gravity situations?

I'm trying to understand what effects gravity can have on light. First of all, I don't understand how gravity can even affect it, since it doesn't have mass, right? That is probably a separate ...
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2answers
43 views
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2answers
94 views

What is the most common photon wavelength in our observable universe (not including the Sun)?

Ignoring the Sun, what is the most common wavelength of a photon that is received by us on average? (I am not asking what is the average wavelength, but rather what is the most common wavelength ...