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84

As mentioned in a number of other answers, there are three different color receptors in a typical person's eye. They respond to different wavelengths of light, as can be seen in the below diagram from wikimedia. The $x$-axis is wavelength in nanometers, and the three curves represent the three receptors' response at those wavelengths. Any incoming light ...


76

Fun question! As you pointed out, $$\theta \approx 1.22\frac{\lambda}{D}$$ For a human-like eye, which has a maximum pupil diameter of about $9\rm mm$ and choosing the shortest wavelength in the visible spectrum of about $390\rm nm$, the angular resolution works out to about $5.3\times10^{-5}$ (radians, of course). At a distance of $24\rm km$, this ...


47

The eye is sensitive to light with a wavelength in the range from about 700nm to 400nm, and for the non-colour blind all wavelengths in this range are detected by one or more of the cone cell types. So there are no hidden colours in this range. Light outside the 700-400nm range can't be seen, so I suppose you could claim these are hidden colours, but then ...


28

This is actually a really good question. (And I'm not one of these people who insists that there's no such thing as a dumb question; I just think we shouldn't be embarrassed to ask dumb questions. Anyway, this isn't a dumb question.) As you may know, collisions between two protons (like those the LHC usually does) can produce many different types of ...


26

This is from the Physics FAQ article that I wrote 15 years ago: If shorter wavelengths are scattered most strongly, then there is a puzzle as to why the sky does not appear violet, the colour with the shortest visible wavelength. The spectrum of light emission from the sun is not constant at all wavelengths, and additionally is absorbed by the high ...


24

Let me start by clarifying that I assume the question is whether a superhuman or any object of human size can render itself invisible through speed alone. And that the speed of said object must be $v\ll c$. From this, I assume that the object or person being viewed must spend a reasonably long amount of time within the observer's field of view such that ...


22

The reason "myopic" people see Monroe and others see Einstein is that the high frequency information in the image says Einstein and the low frequency says Monroe. When looking at the image closely, you seen the high frequencies and therefore Einstein. By looking at it out of focus (presumably what is meant by "myopic"), the high frequencies are filtered ...


20

Your eye is a second optical system. It re-focuses the diverging rays to produce a real image on the retina. This process is exactly the same thing it does when looking at a nearby (i.e. not at effective infinity) object.


19

You can't see clearly underwater for a couple of reasons. One is the thickness of your lens, but the main one is the index of refraction of your cornea. For reference, here's the Wikipedia picture of a human eye. According to Wikipedia, two-thirds of the refractive power of your eye is in your cornea, and the cornea's refractive index is about 1.376. ...


18

It really depends on what you mean by colour. If by colour you mean "the human brain's response to a given combination of wavelengths", then by definition there can be no invisible colours; wavelengths combinations that do not stimulate any cones in the eye are just equivalent to black. If by colour you mean "a given combination of wavelengths", then we ...


16

The two effects are not related. The size appearing larger is a matter of some speculation to this day, but it is purely a psychological effect. If you want to prove this, take a look a the moon while standing up and looking between your legs. It won't look nearly as large. The red/orange color is related to the sunset being red. In fact, it's the same ...


16

Because Maxwell's equations are linear. Equivalently there is no elementary photon-photon interaction. If there were, say, a quartic photon interaction then you would be able to see a beam of light directly instead of seeing its interaction with dust particles.


15

I would think an object can be invisible to a human if it moves so fast that, within the time it passes the field of view of the human, it reflects too little light to be detected visually (human vision has very high, but still limited sensitivity to light). On the other hand, if the object moves so fast in air, it will produce a lot of noise and probably ...


15

Let's first substitute the numbers to see what is the required diameter of the pupil according to the simple formula: $$ \theta = 1.22 \frac{0.4\,\mu{\rm m}}{D} = \frac{2\,{\rm m}}{24\,{\rm km}} $$ I've substituted the minimal (violet...) wavelength because that color allowed me a better resolution i.e. smaller $\theta$. The height of the knights is two ...


14

(Source, Wikipedia Commons) The moon is generally called a "Harvest Moon" when it appears that way (i.e. large and red) in autumn, amongst a few other names. There are other names that are associated with specific timeframes as well. The colour is due to atmospheric scattering (Also known as Rayleigh scattering): may have noticed that they always ...


14

A mirror, or a perfect mirror at least, is the same colour as a perfectly white sheet of paper. Both a perfect mirror and a perfectly white sheet of paper reflect all the light that hits them. The difference is that the paper scatters the light so what reaches your eye is a mixture of all the light hitting the paper, while the mirror reflects the light ...


13

Your eye has three types of receptor cells, the sensitivity of each type peaking in different spectral regions. Roughly speaking, there's one that peaks in red, one blue, one green. (It's not quite so clear cut, but your brain is really good at sorting out messes like this!) When you look at a fire engine (assuming it's red) It's mostly the red receptors ...


12

This happens because the spectral response for each red/green/blue pixel in cameras don't exactly match the spectral response of the receptors of your eyes. For example, check here and here, and compare them to the human eye (and read the whole wiki article for interesting details on human color perception). What digital cameras do, is to try to mimic your ...


12

In the 19th century, the physicists Young and Helmholtz proposed a trichromatic theory of color, in which the eye was modeled as three filters with overlapping ranges. This is essentially a physical model of the pigments in the eye, and it predicts the response of the nerve cells at the retina. Helmholtz did related work on sound and timbre. Ca. 1950, ...


11

These collisions don't produce significant amount of light in the visible range, so the easy answer is "no". They also take place in a vacuum, inside a beampipe which is itself buried in a detector apparatus that is ten meters plus on a side and packed full of stuff with no room for a human. That said, there are several ways in which a high energy ...


11

It's a visual illusion akin to the Wagon Wheel effect The stream of water is being waggled back and forth by a 25 Hz audio signal and being filmed at 25 frames per second.


10

We have color perception because we are trichromats. In our genes there is code for three slightly different light-sensitive molecules. The light-sensitive cells in the retina are called cones, and neighbouring cones each produce one of the different versions of the light-senstive molecule. So each of the three cone-types responds slightly differently to the ...


10

As already indicated by Brandon, it depends on your point of view. If by "color" you mean the definition you find on wikipedia, then "black" is definitely a color; "black" is just how humans perceive the absence of any significant peaks in the spectrum of reflected light, and a low overall intensity compared to surrounding reflectors (or even a complete ...


10

Human color vision is based on four types of receptors in the retina: rods, and three types of cones. Their response to different wavelengths is shown in this graph: . It shows clearly how certain wavelenghts, mostly around the yellow-green portion of the spectrum, are absorbed more strongly, and by more types of cells, than the rest. So it is normal ...


9

This amazing image looks like physicist Albert Einstein. However, move a few feet away from the screen and suddenly it'll transform into Marilyn Monroe. The work of Aude Oliva and her colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the illusion was created in three steps. First, the researchers obtained a photograph of Marilyn Monroe and ...


8

Quickly, try this: Imagine blindingly bright red light! Now blue! Now yellow! You could see stark differences as you shifted from color to color, couldn't you? Yet if you think about what just went on inside of your head, it didn't involve any color photons going into your eyes, did it? So, what you just did must be separate from the light frequencies ...


8

The human vision has 3 types of cones. (that is why all perception-based color spaces are 3 dimensional: LAB, XYZ, HSV ). Each cone type has a different sensitivity curve in the color spectrum (think of them as color filters). It gets complicated because these curves overlap: there isn't a single wavelength of light that triggers just one cone type. So, in ...


8

Am I right ? Yes. If so, what lenses should one wear in order to see clearly while under water ? You don't need extra lens you have one in your eyes, just use goggles that makes a layer of air between the water and your eyes. If you decide to put a convergent lens in front of your eyes it won't work because your eye will still not be able to ...


8

When you mix colors using Watercolors, then they mix as "Subtractive Colors". However, Light itself mixes as "Additive Colors". Even though it might seem strange why the inherently same thing works so differently, it makes sense if you think about Watercolors, etc. as absorbing everything but that specific color.


8

So here is the question, is it physically possible for a "human" (human size object) to move in a CONFINED environment (lets say, 20 m×20 m×10 m ) so fast that a regular person would be unable to SEE? If it is possible, how fast must this "person" be? The human eye relies on reception of photons to "see" something. There is no speed below the speed of ...



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