Category Archives: Light

Possible Effects of Solar Flares

If a large solar flare were to directly hit the Earth, it would significantly affect all of the electronics on Earth. Us being so dependent on electronics, this would be crippling to essentially all forms of communications, payment and many other important functions of life. Most cars would shut down due to many new carsContinue reading “Possible Effects of Solar Flares” Continue reading Continue reading

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How Does the Sun Create Enough Energy to Reach the Entire Solar System?

The heat and light energy, that which allows for life on Earth and provides energy for the entire solar systems, comes from a powerful yet simply process from deep within the core of the sun. This process is called nuclear fusion. Essentially, single protons, which can also be defined as singular hydrogen molecules, fuse togetherContinue reading “How Does the Sun Create Enough Energy to Reach the Entire Solar System?” Continue reading Continue reading

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Breaking “c” and the Warping of Space-time

The speed of light, often denoted by the constant “c,” is faster than anything that we know. Although there have been attempts to get certain particles to travel faster than the speed of light, like when scientists at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland tried to get a hold of neutrinos, no one has successfully brokenContinue reading “Breaking “c” and the Warping of Space-time” Continue reading Continue reading

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The Visible Doppler Effect

            Ever wonder why the siren of a police car or a firetruck seems to change in pitch after it passes by? Well, the phenomenon is known as the Doppler Effect. The Doppler Effect explains how sound, like in the example above, or light waves are manipulated by the movement of an object in relation toContinue reading “The Visible Doppler Effect” Continue reading Continue reading

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Gravity’s Effect on Light

Light appears almost instantaneous to the naked eye. This seems especially evident on the Fourth of July, watching a firework explode, only for the boom to hit you seconds after the colorful light hits your eyes. It does not seem like something so fast and instant could be affected by a force such as gravity.Continue reading “Gravity’s Effect on Light” Continue reading Continue reading

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Gravity Waves

Gravity waves have been speculated to exist ever since Einstein set a speed limit to the universe, the speed of light. When Newton came up with the gravitational force equation, it only considered mass and distance when calculating the force. It did not take into account that if one mass disappeared, then that information ofContinue reading “Gravity Waves” Continue reading Continue reading

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scattering: light and sunsets/sunrises

This morning I woke up to a beautiful sunrise (pictured) and got to pondering how the colors came to be. Apparently, they result from a process called scattering, a process by which small particles in the the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter. Although scattering affects the color of lightContinue reading “scattering: light and sunsets/sunrises” Continue reading Continue reading

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Is it possible for a star to be invisible?

One of the things I’ve always been most curious about on the topic of space is: is it possible for something that emits light (like a star) to emit light such as radio or gamma waves but not visible light? If such an object existed, it would be invisible to us, although it could stillContinue reading “Is it possible for a star to be invisible?” Continue reading Continue reading

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Ultraviolet Catastrophe

While we discussed in class the importance of blackbody spectra continuous spectra, there is an important historical footnote in understanding where the famous blackbody curve arises from. Physics in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s predicted the wavelength-intensity relationship to be I α 1/λ^4, using a derivation based on classical statistical mechanics. This relationship closelyContinue reading “Ultraviolet Catastrophe” Continue reading Continue reading

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Light and Vision

Humans can only see a limited range of all of the light that is in the universe. As learned in class, there is UV, radio, infrared, and Gamma ray waves. The light we can see is a small portion between the UV and infrared waves, but other animals rely on their ability to see light […] Continue reading Continue reading

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