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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Why do objects of a given color appear white under light of that color?

Under light from the sun, a red object will scatter the red component of light, and absorb all others. Hence, the human eye perceives it as "red". White objects scatter all wavelengths of light. ...
34
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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
22 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
83 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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1answer
83 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
79 views

What is the frequency of the color black?

Our eyes don't see light; they detect vibrations in the 400-800 THz range that we call color. Since our eyes can detect the color we call black, what is its frequency?
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0answers
50 views

How do I translate from CIE xyY color space to combinations of monochromatic wavelengths

Let's say I have a chromaticity point, on the CIE xyY color space that falls within the real colors. (Like y:0.1, x:0.4 Y:1 -- magenta)[1] I also know that humans can perceive the same color, when ...
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11answers
18k 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?
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1answer
41 views

What is the visible spectrum to common mobile phone cameras? [closed]

With my iPhone I can see the IR emitter on a tv remote, which could be around 940nm, but I thought cameras generally tried to filter for the human visible spectrum (i.e. sub 700nm). I'm trying an ...
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1answer
41 views

What would the rainbow look like if we could see the full EM spectrum? [duplicate]

Would the rainbow look different if we could see the full EM spectrum (or at least a lot more of it)? Would the width of a rainbow be bigger and would all wave lengths of light be in a rainbow?
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1answer
52 views

Estimate the amount of atoms in the smallest speck of matter you can see with the naked eye [closed]

I am currently working through a physics text book at my own pace on Newtonian mechanics. I came across this question in the the chapter 1 problems and had a bit of trouble with it. My biggest issue ...
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4answers
3k views

Do eyeballs exhibit chromatic aberration?

Fairly straightforward question. If not, why not? I suspect that if they do, it is not perceived due to the regions of highest dispersion being in one's region of lowest visual acuity.
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5answers
4k 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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6answers
3k views

Why is Light invisible?

Why can't we see light? The thing which makes everything visible is itself invisible. Why is it so?
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1answer
59 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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0answers
30 views

Chromatic aberration in human eye [duplicate]

A lens focuses the different colours of white light at different points. Since our eye has a convex lens there should also be such an aberration but we see objects clearly with normal eye. I want to ...
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2answers
186 views

How do a microscope's optics expose defects in the user's vision?

I've got cataracts in both eyes. My vision is correctable to 20/30, so the cataracts are essentially a non-issue in daily living. But when I use a microscope, which I do daily, (binocular, zoom ...
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2answers
3k views

Infrared remote flashes blue light in camera

I know that if you held an infrared remote in front of a digital camera, it'll flash a blue/purplish light when you press the buttons. Why? (Image by Zombie Rider.)
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2answers
207 views

Why do we (3 dimensional creatures) see in 2 spatial dimensions? [closed]

Why do us humans, as 3-dimensional (in terms of space) creatures, see everything in 2 dimensions? Is it because the surface of every 3-dimensional object is 2 dimensional? Or because light enters our ...
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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
85 views

Why does the sky look blue rather than violet? [duplicate]

Sky looks blue because because our eyes are sensitive to blue colour. But when viewed through a camera why don't we see violet of the sky even though we can see violet colour of other pictures taken ...
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2answers
2k 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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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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3answers
236 views

Is purple in visible light?

This isn’t a duplicate. I read those pages, but those didn’t answer my questions. Please watch this. Does visible light consist of red, orange, yellow, green, cyan and blue? No purple? My definition ...
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3answers
90k views

Why does the moon sometimes appear giant and a orange red color near the horizon?

I've read various ideas about why the moon looks larger on the horizon. The most reasonable one in my opinion is that it is due to how our brain calculates (perceives) distance, with objects high ...
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1answer
68 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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2answers
2k 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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2answers
129 views

Understanding colored shadows [closed]

When I turn on white lights, these chairs cast a shadow. However, when blue LED lights are turned on the shadow turns yellow. Why is this? Is this due to interference of light or is it just an ...
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2answers
1k views

Can spectacles converge sunlight to an extent that it burns the eyeball?

I need to know whether wearing spectacles can cause optical harm. I saw a movie where one pair of glasses was placed on table exposed to sunlight, then the sunlight converged and focused to a point ...
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2answers
5k views

Why do green lasers appear brighter and stronger than red and blue lasers?

This is mostly for my own personal illumination, and isn't directly related to any school or work projects. I just picked up a trio of laser pointers (red, green, and blue), and I notice that when I ...
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2answers
42 views

What is the maximum light difference for one to be able to see into or out of a building and equally discern objects? [closed]

In this question I am referring to the physics behind not being able to discern objects outside when in a lit room, even though you would be able to discern them if you were outside, even though when ...
3
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2answers
349 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
5k 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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3answers
13k views

What is the color of a mirror?

A mirror couldn't be white, as then you wouldn't be able to see your reflection so clearly. It wouldn't be transparent, as that then won't reflect. So what color is it?
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3answers
500 views

How to optically rotate images in small increments (for eyeglasses)?

As the result of an accident, one or more nerves that control the rotation of my left eye were damaged. The result is that my left eye views the world rotated clockwise several degrees, compared to my ...
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2answers
1k views

The color purple in a rainbow

In a rainbow the colors order is red then orange (made from red and yellow, thus making sense that it appears in between them) the yellow followed by green after which comes blue (again green formed ...
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0answers
326 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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4answers
542 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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2answers
100 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
65 views

is it possible to extract spectrum (color in general) from an animal [closed]

if i may ask....can this be ASAP? :3 my problem: okay this is going to sound lame, but i was wondering if it is possible to extract color (specifically spectrum) from an animal. this question ...
118
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8answers
13k 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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3answers
564 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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2answers
192 views

How does the human eye knows how far the object from which the photon was reflected?

A photon is emitted from a source and reflected off an object (or objects) until it hits the human eye. The color of the object we see depends on the photon wavelength. If photon travels with constant ...
3
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1answer
125 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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9answers
11k views

Can a human size object move so fast that it ceases to be observable?

In many anime, comics, movies, etc, we see a lot of super human beings moving and fighting at such high speeds that a regular human being cannot see that they are fighting or moving pass by. In ...
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2answers
541 views

Why does the sky suddenly look gray through this window?

I am looking to the windowed roof of my building, and I notice that the sky, which has few white clouds, sometimes looks completely gray, as if there was a huge cover of gray clouds, but there are ...
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3answers
2k views

If we had three eyes, would our visual perspective be fourth dimensional?

If one covers up one eye, then he loses depth perception (two dimensional perspective). When we uncover that eye, we can now see depth (three dimensional perspective). My question is if we had four ...
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4answers
7k 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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0answers
24 views

Perception when Moving at the seed of light? [closed]

Let us assume that a person moves at the speed of light say towards a planet -say Neptune. Neglecting the relativistic mass effects of the person, what would be his perception? In Vsauce- a YouTube ...
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0answers
96 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 ...