Light Color Color Addition & Subtraction Spectra UCSD:
Light Color Color Addition & Subtraction Spectra UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 What do we see? Our eyes cant detect intrinsic light from objects (mostly infrared), unless they get red hot The light we see is from the sun or from artificial light When we see objects, we see reflected light immediate bouncing of incident light (zero delay) Very occasionally we see light that has been absorbed, then re-emitted at a different wavelength called fluorescence, phosphorescence, luminescence Spring 2006 2
UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Colors Light is characterized by frequency, or more commonly, by wavelength Visible light spans from 400 nm to 700 nm or 0.4 m to 0.7 m; 0.0004 mm to 0.0007 mm, etc. Spring 2006 3 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 White light White light is the combination of all wavelengths, with equal representation red hot poker has much more red than blue light experiment: red, green, and blue light bulbs make white
RGB monitor combines these colors to display white combined, white light called additive color combinationworks with light sources blue light Spring 2006 green light red light wavelength 4 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Additive Colors
Red, Green, and Blue light sources can be used to synthesize almost any perceivable color Red + Green = Yellow Red + Blue = Magenta Green + Blue = Cyan These three dual-source colors become the primary colors for subtraction why? because absence of green is magenta absence of red is cyan, etc.
Spring 2006 5 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Subtractive colors But most things we see are not light sources Reflection takes away some of the incident light thus the term subtractive If incident light is white, yellow is absence of blue incident white light reflected yellow light (blue gone) blue absorption (e.g., paint, dye) yellow light made of red and green Spring 2006
6 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Whats responsible for selective absorption? Carotene makes carrots orange, tomatoes red, daffodils yellow, leaves turn must absorb blue light Long, organic molecular chain most dyes, pigments are such resonances in optical light
Chlorophyll makes leaves green must absorb red and blue Spring 2006 7 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Questions Why, when you mix all your paints together, do you just get dark brown or black? Why not white? Why is the sky blue, and the low sun/moon orange? Are these related? Spring 2006 8
UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Our limited sensitivity to light In bright-light situations (called photopic, using cones), our sensitivity peaks around 550 nm, going from 400 to 700 In the dark, we switch to scotopic vision (rods), centered at 510 nm, going from 370 to 630 its why astronomers like red flashlights: dont ruin night vision Spring 2006 9 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Introduction to Spectra We can make a spectrum out of light, dissecting its constituent colors A prism is one way to do this A diffraction grating also does the job
The spectrum represents the wavelength-bywavelength content of light can represent this in a color graphic like that above or can plot intensity vs. wavelength previous plots of blackbody spectrum were of this form Spring 2006 10 Example Spectra UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 white light spectrum hydrogen lamp spectrum helium lamp spectrum lithium lamp spectrum mercury lamp spectrum Spectra provide fingerprints of
atomic species, which can be used to identify atoms across the universe! hydrogen absorption spectrum Solar Spectrum with Fraunhofer solar atmosphere absorption lines C: Hydrogen; D: Sodium; E: Iron; F: Hydrogen; G: Iron; H&K: Calcium Spring 2006 11 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Spectral Content of Light A spectrum is a plot representing light content on a wavelength-by-wavelength basis the myriad colors we can perceive are simply different spectral amalgams of light
much like different instruments have different sound: it depends on its (harmonic) spectral content Spring 2006 12 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Light Sources Here are a variety of light sources. Included are: H-ITT IR LED* red LED* green laser pointer flourescence of orange H-ITT transmitter illuminated by green laser Note that light has to be blue-ward (shorter
wavelength) of the fluorescence for it to work. Spring 2006 * LED: Light Emitting Diode 13 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Colored Paper Reflected light (in this case, sunlight) off of paper appearing: blue green yellow orange red
black aside from slight fluorescence in yellow paper, paper colors operate by reflection only: never peeks above 100% white paper would be a flat line at 100% Spring 2006 14 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Fluorescent Paper Bright fluorescent paper follows different rules: absorbs blue or UV light and re-emits at some characteristic wavelength.
These examples are of lime green paper and bright orange fluorescent paper. Note especially in the orange case, the light exceeds the amount that would be passively reflected off of white paper (100% level) Spring 2006 15 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Fluorescent Markers (hi-lighters) Likewise, fluorescent markers (hi-lighters) absorb and re-emit
light. In this case, we see yellow, green, and pink fluorescent markers The pink actually has a bit of blue/violet in it, surprisingly All three have emission above the 100% that one gets from straight reflection Spring 2006 16 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Fluorescent lights
Fluorescent lights stimulate emission among atoms like argon, mercury, neon they do this by ionizing the gas with high voltage as electrons recombine with ions, they emit light at discrete wavelengths, or lines Mercury puts out a strong line at 254 nm (UV) this and other lines hit the phosphor coating on the inside of the tube and stimulate emission in the visible part of the spectrum Spring 2006 17
UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 LCD Monitor LCD monitors use fluorescent lights to illuminate the pixels (from behind). Green gets all of this line Red gets all of this line Blue gets all of this line Thus LCDs just filter the background light Spring 2006 The black curve shows
what my LCD laptop monitor looks like in a section of the screen thats white. Blue, green, and red curves show sections of the screen with these colors Note that the colors are achieved simply by suppression 18 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Transmission of Glass, Sunglasses By obtaining a spectrum of sunlight reflected off of a piece of white paper (using the spectrograph without the fiber feed),
then doing the same thing through the fiber and also through sunglasses, the transmission properties of each can be elucidated. The fiber is about 82% transmission for most wavelengths, but has significant UV absorption. The sunglasses block UV almost totally! Spring 2006 This is why you cant get sunburn through glass 19 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Sunlight and The Blue Sky These plots show the spectrographs response
to sunlight on white paper and to the blue sky. sodium hydrogen calcium oxygen in earth atmos. hydrogen The spectrograph is not very efficient in UV or IR, and its sensitivity curve is shown in black. You can notice the violet hump in the blue sky (brighter than white paper here). Also, can see the solar atmosphere absorption lines in both sun and sky
Spring 2006 20 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Blackbody corrected The spectrograph software lets you claim a source to be a blackbody of specified temperature, so it can correct for its efficiency curve (black curve on prev.). Here we see the result of this process, which has made the sun curve look like a perfect blackbody peaking at 500 nm. But it also assumed that Fraunhoffer lines were artifacts to be removed
Note the dramatic rise of the sky toward the blue/UV end. The lighter blue is without the UV-absorbing fiber in place Spring 2006 21 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 More realistic spectrum Correcting the raw spectra from two slides back with the response curve, we arrive at a more realistic sun and sky spectrum. The black line is a blackbody at 5900 K, which fits the sun reasonably well. This time, the absorption lines survive. Though not in words, this explains why the sky is blue!
Spring 2006 The blue sky now also looks smoother, and on top of this is plotted a theoretical 1/4 model for molecular scattering 22 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 How do diffraction gratings work? A diffraction grating is a regular array of optical scattering points spherical wave emerges from each scattering point constructively or destructively interfere at different angles depending on wavelength Spring 2006 23
UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Another look at diffraction gratings For a given wavelength, a special angle will result in constructive interference: dsin = this angle is different for different wavelengths Spring 2006 24 UCSD: Physics 8; 2006 Assignments HW 7: 14.E.8, 14.E.19, 14.E.20, 14.E.21, 15.E.26 plus additional required problems on website, accessible through Assignments link Read pp. 446447, 454455 to accompany this
lecture Read pp. 447453 for Thursday, 6/1 Extra Credit posted on course website worth up to 3% of grade!!! mostly involves building a spectrometer and exploring lots of things with it Spring 2006 25
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