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SECTION
I

1

THE PHYSICS OF LIGHT PRODUCTION

v

The American Standards Association and the Illuminating Engineering Society define light asiradiant energy evaluated according to its capacity to 'produce visual sensationS Radiant energy of the proper wavelength makes visible anything from which it is emitted or reflected in sufficient quantity
to activate the receptors in the eye.
(

Several concepts of the nature of radiant energy have been advanced. 1
are

They
A.
1

The corpuscular theory advocated by Newton, based on these premises:
That luminous bodies emit radiant energy in particles. That these particles are intermittently ejected in straight lines. That the particles act on the retina of the eye stimulating the
nerves to produce the sensation of
light.

~~

2.


3.

optic

~

B. The wave theory) based on these premises: 1. That light is the resultant of molecular vibration in the luminous
material.
2.


3.

That vibrations are transmitted through the ether as wavelike movements (comparable to ripples in water). That the vibrations thus transmitted act on the retina of the eye
stimulating the optic nerves to produce visual sensation.

C.

— 1.
--2.

The electromagnetic theory 2 based on these premises: That luminous bodies emit light as a form of radiant energy. That this radiant energy is transmitted in the form of electromagnetic
,

-_
3.

waves. That the electromagnetic waves act upon the retina of the eye thus stimulating the optic nerves to produce the sensation of light.

D. The quantum theory, a modern form of the corpuscular theory, based on these premises: "~ 1. That energy is emitted and absorbed in discrete quanta. 2. That the magnitude of each quantum is hv, where h — 6.547 X 10~ 27 erg sec (Planck's constant)

and
in

v

=

frequency in cycles per second.

E. The theory of wave mechanics first proposed by Schrodinger in 1925 an attempt to reach an harmonious compromise between the quantum and the wave theories. 1. It utilizes wave characteristics and quanta particles as the need arises in the solution of problems. 2. The mathematics involved is too complicated for present application to illuminating engineering problems.
Note: References are Listed
at the end of each section.

1-1

Such a graphical representation must not be construed to indicate that each region of the spectrum is divided from the others in any physical way whatsoever. 1-1). The relationship of several units for measuring wavelength is given in Table 1-1. 2. Radiant energy may be evaluated in a number of different ways.76 POWER TRANSMISSION BROADCAST WAVELENGTH I MICRONS I X-UNn" I ANGSTROM io-8 CM ] I METER io2 I KILOMETER I0 4 I0 6 I0 8 10'0 .6 X 10 10 cm). limits of the radiant energy spectrum extend over a range wavelengths varying from a few micromicrons (10~ 10 cm) to one hundred thousand miles (1. Luminous flux the time rate of the flow of the luminous parts of the radiant energy spectrum measured in lumens. and the millimicron (m/x) are commonly used units of length in the visible spectrum band. of The known .0-12 10 -I0 I0"6 10"4 10"2 IN WAVELENGTH CENTIMETERS FIG. It is useful in indicating the relationship between various radiant energy wavelength regions.7 _ SHORT WAVE 0.38 X 10~ 4 and 0. the micron (/x). The radiant energy (electromagnetic) spectrum. Radiant energy in the visible spectrum has wavelengths betAveen 0. FREQUENCY COSM IC RAYS IN CYCLES PER SECOND GAMMA RAYS HARD X-RAYS SOFT VAC UUM U. Actually there is a gradual transition from one region to another.1-2 I E S LIGHTING HANDBOOK or concepts are available the will Until such time as new data quantum unquestionably be used as the basis of continued research in light phenomena.76 X 10~ 4 cm. and the electromagnetic wave theories — — Light and the Energy Spectrum The wave theory permits a convenient graphical representation of radiant energy in an orderly arrangement according to its wavelength.5 YELLOW RED 0. Radiant flux the time rate of the flow of any part of the radiant energy spectrum measured in ergs per second.V. 1-1.6 IN 0. The Angstrom unit (A). The electromagnetic wave theory provides a convenient explanation of those characteristics of radiant energy most frequently of concern to the illuminating engineer. \ HERTZIAN WAVES ULTRAVIOLET •—* NEAR INFRARED FAR - DIRECTIONAL RADIO (RADAR) FM TELEVISION VIOLET BLUE GREEN 0. This arrangement is called a spectrum (Fig. two of these are: 1.

609 io-« 2.609 X10-3 6.00004) X 10" 2.214 X10" s 6.540 3.336 3.214 X10-5 1. wavelength and thus in frequency. each form differs in (186.98212 WATER 2.578 X10-2 1.937 INCHES 3.281 FEET MILES 3.937 X10-6 X10-2 3.609 J S 10 7 w H W g H g 108 Pi W H W S w lOU ANGSTROMS MICRONS MILS XIO 5 10-4 1 X108 2. Velocity of Light for a Wavelength of 0.PHYSICS OF LIGHT PRODUCTION All forms of radiant energy are transmitted at the in 1-3 rate of speed same However. Thus.214 XlO-n X 10-19 10-3 XIO" 8 2.214 X103 6.937 3.048 XIO8 1.57S 1.937 3.281 X104 3.1 1 CENTIMETERS KILOMETERS 10-8 10-4 2.99708 lOio X 10" .540 10" s 1 XIO"' xio-» X10-4 Table 1-2.540 XlO-s 2.280 X10-' 8 6.540 X102 3. Table Multiply of 1-1.048 X10* 1.540 10» XIO"' 10-" 10-9 xio 2.937 3.540 S 3. through the equation: where V = V = n — X = v — n\v velocity of waves (cm per sec) (index of refraction) wavelength (cm) frequency (c per sec) it is possible to determine the velocity of radiant energy and also to indicate the relationship between frequency and wavelength.333 XW 1 X10-2 3.937 xio-» XlO-s 3.937 1 X104 103 xio* 1.609 103 104 2.281 xio-' 3.894 X10» X10-4 3.540 X109 3.336 xio 3. The wavelength and velocity may be vacuum altered materially is fixed independently of the by the medium through which it passes.214 X10-J 6.2 X10' 6.99776 mm X 0°C) CROWN GLASS 1.333 1 5.24903X1010 ± 0.589 micron in air. Conversion Table for Units of Length C/3 Number & To Obtain Number of 1 O \\ p4 \ O % 1 en H w fc o PS u § 104 w H w C/3 OS (A H § 2. but frequency medium.300 miles per second).609 0.540 109 xio 3.540 xio-' 1 xio-« 10 xio-' 10 6 MILLIMETERS lO-' X10-2 X10 2.589 Micron (Sodium D-lines) AIR (760 MEDIUM VELOCITY (cm per see) VACUUM (2.048 XIO" 1.281 8. Table 1-2 gives the velocity of light in different media for a frequency corresponding to a wavelength of 0.281 8.540 (J H W kJ g 2.937 X10 7 3.04S 1.937 10-3 1 X104 12 XIO 7 6.04S 1.937 X102 3.

430 .0041 .38 micron).I.00025 .995 .0082 .381 .710 .870 .420 .139 .503 .00006 0.550 . 1-2 was plotted.520 .76 micron).750 .060 .323 1.) in 1924 adopted the standard luminosity factors of Table 1-3 from which the luminosity curve of Fig.1-4 I E S LIGHTING HANDBOOK Luminosity of Radiant Energy The apparent differences in character between radiant energy of various wavelengths are in reality differences in ability of various receiving and detecting devices. from the wealth of data available.503 .500 1 0.460 . 1-3) indicate that most human observers are capable of experiencing a visual sensation upon exposure to radiation of infrared wavelengths (longer than 0.0002 for 0. a luminosity curve has been selected for engineering purposes which represents the average human observer. Goodeve's data (Fig. However. to the extent that the selection of observer is Table 1-3.208 WAVELENGTH (micron) FACTOR 0.570 .640 . 2. (See also Section 2.720 .554 micron wavelength)*' WAVELENGTH (micron) FACTOR 0.410 . The spectral response characteristic of the human eye varies between individuals.470 . the Illuminating Engineering Society in 1923 and the International Commission on Illumination (I.630 micron is 0.032 .400 .660 .555 Luminosity factor = maximum. It also is known that observers exhibit a slight response to ultraviolet wavelengths (shorter than 0.265 WAVELENGTH (micron) FACTOR 0.0012 . This curve may be applied mathematically to the solution of photometric problems so as to eliminate the disadvantages related to all measurements dependent on the accurate reporting of human sensations.0116 .530 .995 .0021 .952 .023 .380 .690 .0004 .038 . 3 The reception characteristics of the human eye have been subject to exThe results may be summarized as follows: tensive investigations. Standard Luminosity Factors (Relative to unity at 0.00012 .730 .061 .0040 .490 .710 . with time.091 .600 .650 .670 .00052 .107 .C.700 .862 .480 .620 . The standard luminosity curve represents an average characteristic from which the characteristic of any individual may be expected to vary.00004 . .680 .580 .00012 .560 .440 .017 . and with the age and the state of health of any indiany individual to act as a standard not scientifically feasible. 1.510 .757 .631 .740 .540 .610 .760 .175 .590 .954 .450 . vidual.00105 .390 .) Recognizing these facts.

75 0.5 D J > 5 0.) luminosity curve shows the relative capacity of radiant energy of various wavelengths to produce visual sensation.90 1 WAVELENGTH OF RADIANT ENERGY IN MICRONS micron =10.C.62 0.0 1-5 0.1 0.46 0.54 0. . CATHODE (METAL PLATE)""-. Goodeve's investi- FIG.4 <0.50 0.70 0.80 IN 0.I.9 10-2 0. 1-4.70 0.42 0.38 0. the surface is connected as a cathode in an electric field (Fig. 1-4) the liberated electrons will flow to the anode creating a photoelectric current. 1-3. 7 Photoelectric Effect This phenomenon.85 0.3 _l LU <r 0.74 0. gations reveal that high flux concentrations of wavelengths just outside the "visible region" are capable of producing visual sensations. --X LIGHT QUANTUM (ENERGY = hV) — ELECTRON (ENERGY = Vz ANODE mV 2 = hV-E ) ENERGY TO-' RELEASE ELECTRON =E FIG.8 I0"4 £0. electrons may be liberated from illuminated metal surfaces.66 0. which is may be observed when a clean metal surface If the liberation of electrons from the surface atoms.2 0. illuminated. The standard (I.58 0.000 angstroms = 1/10. By the photoelectric effect. is An arrangement of this sort may be used as an illumination meter and can be calibrated in f ootcandles.PHYSICS OF LIGHT PRODUCTION VIOLET BLUE GREEN 1. In an electric field these will flow to an anode and create an electric current which may be detected by means of a galvanometer. 1-2.000 centimeter WAVELENGTH MICRONS FIG.