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

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331 views

Sensitivity of eye

In which color human eye is most sensitive?
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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?
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2answers
179 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 ...
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1answer
6k views

Purple doesn't occur in rainbow - or does it?

Usually, when asked whether the purple color exists rainbows, an answer similar to this is given: The purple color is perceived by human eyes via the activation of both red-sensitive and ...
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2answers
305 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?
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2answers
3k views

Why would an object appear a different size when in water?

A friend of mine has a homework question and we're having some trouble figuring out what physical mechanisms come into play for this. An underwater swimmer sees a spherical air bubble that appears ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
87 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 ...
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3answers
155 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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5answers
6k 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...
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2answers
21k 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?
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
9k 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 ...
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2answers
604 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} $ ...
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1answer
181 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 ...
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2answers
531 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
102 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 ...
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1answer
99 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?"
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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 ...
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1answer
25 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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1answer
103 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 ...
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7answers
12k 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 ...
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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. ...
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1answer
112 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 ...
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1answer
185 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
68 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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?
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2answers
4k 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?
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4answers
590 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 ...
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3answers
362 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 ...
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2answers
279 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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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2answers
38 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
244 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
480 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
3k 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
26 views

Terminology - optical (visual) properties of a structure

I am trying to understand few terminological problems that I encounter. Without knowing keywords it is hard to perform search for literature or publications in the area. The area relates to the ...
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0answers
38 views

Can a person with bad vision see a blurry picture clearly? [duplicate]

I was just thinking to myself how weird it must be to have bad vision. Then I thought, I wonder if you could print a picture that would appear clear to someone with bad vision. That seemed unlikely to ...
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0answers
463 views

Is there such a thing as purple light? [duplicate]

This is a question as much about color perception as the physics of light. Since I have normal vision, without color blindness, I will draw on my experiences in formulating my question. I will add ...
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0answers
104 views

-Thought Experiment- At superluminal speeds, to what degree would vision be impaired? [closed]

I was thinking about superluminal travel when thinking about advanced civilisations in the future. I was also thinking about the Doppler effect; so I decided to think about how light may be affected ...
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1answer
89 views

How fast would you have to run to create a mirror image?

So I was watching The Flash and in the most recent episode he runs so fast that he is able to create a mirror image of himself so that it looks like there is more of him than there actually is. So I ...