Physical processes involved when seeing, and comparisons between with other light detection systems. Includes questions about the eye, optical nerve, brain, corrective lenses, etc.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
1answer
81 views

Why are UV protective eyeware Orange?

Many industrial processes use uv as a curing agent. When one uses such a process, one must protect one's eyes from the radiation. Most uv protective gear I have seen is tinted orange? Does this ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the minimum optical power detectable by human eye?

If one is in complete darkness, what is the minimum optical power that the eye can "see" (let's say in 500-600 nm range). I found that for 510 nm, 90 photons can be detected ...
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Refraction and scattered light for NLCs

For helping with judging NLC candidates (are they NLC or not) I have a set of formulas to calculate the minimum altitude (in km) of the candidate given an observed altitude (in degrees) of the ...
4
votes
8answers
938 views

Is there a lens that would invert my vision?

Would I be able to invert my vision by mounting a particular lens in front of each eye? I am currently able to achieve this by mounting a right-angled triangular prism across both eyes. The specific ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

At what distance could you see andromeda with the naked eye?

We've all seen the telescope photographs of andromeda galaxy: I'm wondering if it were possible to travel close enough to the andromeda galaxy could you achieve a same perspective with the naked ...
4
votes
2answers
357 views

Sensitivity of eye

In which color human eye is most sensitive?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why we see upright images?

Since it's convex lens there in our eyes so image formed on our retina is inverted, so how come that we see upright images?
4
votes
2answers
185 views

Is there a good explanation for the observation of Martian canals?

Martian "canals" have been observed by independent observers after their first description. Now, they are attributed to "optical illusion", but I think that this is not a good choice of word, because ...
4
votes
2answers
342 views

Difference in perception of unpolarized and polarized light

What is the difference in perception of polarized light and unpolarized light? What difference does polarized light cause to our eyes?
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does the sea horizon line always seems to be at the same height as one's eyes?

I wonder why, when I look at a sea/ocean, the horizon line always seems to be at the same height as my eyes, no matter how many meters I am above the sea level. This is something I noticed when I ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How far can the human eye see? Any ending point or infinite?

How far can the naked human eye see if unobstructed? (straight ahead on perfectly flat land). Is there a stopping point or is it infinite when you look in the sky? Is there any situation that the ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

What, if anything, makes primary colours distinct?

I've recently become interested in the primary colours; red, green and blue. In my capacity as a computer programmer I'm well aware of how these colours are used practically, and of how varying ...
4
votes
3answers
178 views

Possibility for contact lenses that enhance the vibrancy of color

Would it be possible to develop oculars that would enhance the vibrancy of color? I know there are many digital filters to improve vibrancy, but are there physical devices able to produce the same ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Vision vs. limiting magnitude

Does anyone know how the acuity of your vision translates to a difference in limiting magnitude? e.g., the kind of answer I'm looking for would be "For each factor of 2 improvement in your vision ...
3
votes
5answers
7k views

Eye sensitivity & Danger signal [duplicate]

Why are danger signal in red, when the eye is most sensitive to yellow-green? You can check luminosity function for more details...
3
votes
2answers
24k views

Is black a color or absence of color? [closed]

Is black a color or absence of color? When there is no light, everything is black, so how can we say that black is a color?
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What is difference between white objects and transparent objects as far as photons are concerned?

Transparent materials let photons through because the energy gap of electron is so large that the photons cannot be absorbed. If the material absorbs a photon, the photon disappears; does this mean ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it only red, green and blue that can make up any color through additive mixture?

I'm reading about color vision and have some trouble understanding the motivation for why the trichromatic theory was suggested in the first place. The book I'm reading ("Psychgology: The science of ...
3
votes
4answers
11k views

Why is there a difference between additive and subtractive trichromatic color theories?

Helmholtz distinguished between additive and subtractive trichromatic color theories. Additive theories concern optical combinations of colored light sources and are usually modelled on RGB while ...
3
votes
2answers
678 views

What is the 'resolution' of the reality in pixel terms?

What resolution should a TV screen have so that its image were so faithful as reality as if the TV were a window? Also what would happen if Physics could reproduce a 'pixel' of the size $ l_{p}^{2} $ ...
3
votes
1answer
253 views

An object glows red at around 1000K while a red star is around 3000K. What causes this misalignment in spectra?

According to the H-R diagram, a red star is 3000K, a yellow star is 6000K and a white star 10000K. But a hot metal appears red at 1000K, yellow at 1500K and white at 2000K.(approximately) Why is ...
3
votes
2answers
653 views

How we see laser light if it travels in a straight path? [duplicate]

Light travels in straight path, and our eyes detects an object's reflected light then we see the object. So if laser light is going in a straight path, how come we can see laser light?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Are black and white colours? [duplicate]

I am an artist, and I have heard that white is a 'tint' and black is a 'shade' in the artist world. I have also heard that they are colours in the normal world/scientific world. Which is correct and ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Is there a way to create a flickering frequency to be dependent on speed of the person looking at it?

Is there a way to make a screen or a road sign flash at different rates, depending on the velocity of the observer looking at it? I would like to achieve a state where two observers going at ...
3
votes
4answers
613 views

What was the motivation behind suggesting the trichromatic theory of vision?

Background In this thread, I asked whether it is true that the colors red, green and blue, through additive mixture, can make up any color. Turns out they can't. However, when reading about the ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Why purple seems so to similar to red? [duplicate]

Purple lights has the highest frequency among all visible lights, while the red lights is the least frequent one. However, purple seems to be a mix of red and blue to human eyes, why?
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Human eyes vs aberrations

There are no perfect lenses in nature. Aberrations of some kind will always be there. But why healthy human eyes circumvent this issue? Or, are there any aberrations we don't "see?"
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can an invisible light source cast shadows?

Let's assume that we have a mechanism for producing EM radiation suspended in the air, and that that mechanism itself is invisible to the naked eye (e.g. a microscopic light bulb on a microscopic wire ...
3
votes
1answer
26 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

How to calculate the colour a human eye sees when looking at a light spectrum?

I have to do a presentation about colourants in Chemistry class (grade 12, advanced) and want to write a program that calculates and visualizes the colours of some simple molecules. What I need is ...
3
votes
7answers
14k views

As 3-dimensional beings, do we really have 3-dimensional vision?

I was watching this video on YouTube of a high school student explaining perception in different dimensions, basically stuff he learned from reading the book Flatand. At one point in the video, he ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Static flow of water in the presence of a loudspeaker

The title, I don't know whether it's correct or not, but I came across a video in youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PkgQQqpH2M. The author of video used the title and hence I used the same. ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Mechanism for visible light frequency mixing in storm clouds

So I know that when red and blue light (or the frequencies/wavelengths we percieve as such) hit our eyes with the correct proportions, our eyes and brains interpret that as the color purple. In ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

Do we see objects as they really are or does our brain manipulates itself?

The apparent size of an object decreases with increase in distance that's why we see rails get closer as they get farther. We don't see the rails parallel throughout their length but converging. But ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do we see different colours?

Why do different wave lengths cause electrons to behave(?) differently, causing us to see different colors? What is happening at the quantum level which causes the colour black to absorb all of the ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

White LEDs and colour perception

I’m very interested in LED lighting and the different spread of wavelengths that are produced compared to other types (like tungsten). Given that a White LED bulb actually produces 3 different peaks ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Perception of a rapidly flickering light

Suppose a light switches on and off at a fast rate, with equal time off and on. Why do we see a light that appears only on rather than only off?
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Are dangerous rays emitted during Solar Eclipse?

It is said one should avoid staring at Sun as it can damage the eyes, but it is also said that one should not come out in sun during eclipse as it emits dangerous rays. Is that true? If yes, why?
2
votes
3answers
387 views

Why can colors be mixed? [duplicate]

We can combine colored light, creating other colors, at least in terms of visual perception. But how it the result physically "a different color" - if it is at all? Or is all this not a physical ...
2
votes
2answers
305 views

Hyperopia, Far Sightedness

With hyperopia, the focal point is behind the retina, shouldn't this mean that the image is flipped on the retina itself from what is usual? I must be drawing my ray diagrams wrong. A little ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Why don't eye lenses alter depth perception?

What it is going to do is bend the rays so that light from infinity "appears" as though it is coinciding with a person's far point. In doing so, it allows the person to see a clear image, without ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Why do we see just one octave of light? [closed]

When one takes a look at the usual chart of EM spectrum one cannot help but notice that visible spectrum is slightly below one octave of frequencies; that is, the ratio between the highest and least ...
2
votes
2answers
42 views

Space station illuminated by the Earth

Let's say that we have a space station orbiting the Earth around the equator at a speed of 360 degrees per 24 hours, always being roughly on the line between the centers of the Earth and the sun. From ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Is there a one-to-one relationship between colour theories and our trichromatic vision?

This has started to bug me more and more… it involves: colour theory the trichromatic properties of our eyes through cone cells and light. Is there a one-to-one relationship between colour ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

How does the focal length of the lens change the distance from the camera to an object?

I am reviewing some old image processing notes and have the following problem: I have a camera with a projection plane of $2cm\ by\ 2cm$ and a $15mm$ lens. If you want an $1.5m$ object to take ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Effects of high frequency lighting on human vision?

I have a couple of different LED flashlights. One of them has three different "modes" of brightness, and the way it controls it is via pulse width modulation (PWM). Here is a picture that illustrates ...
2
votes
1answer
504 views

How to determine the required resolution to view an image at a certain size?

If I have several camera specifics, can I determine the required resolution to view an image at the size I want? For example, let's say I want a picture of a square painting to be at least ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Do we see color with higher frequency first?

Out of the 7 colours of the rainbow, violet has the highest frequency and the smallest wavelength. Does this mean that our eye sees it first? If yes, then why? Does it travel at the same or higher ...
2
votes
4answers
4k views

Explanation about black color, and hence color

I'm bit confused about 'black' as a color. As per my knowledge, it is not given in visible color spectra like other colors for example red, violet etc. Also I'm confused with definition of color--does ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to determine the field of view for a pinhole camera with given parameters?

I am reviewing some old material I learned years ago and am having trouble figuring this one out. Can somebody confirm that I have done my math correctly, and tell me how I can recover the field of ...