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Light and Color The Nature of Light - The ancient Pythagoreans believed that the

vision was exclusively due to something coming out of our eyes, that is, the li
ght was on us. Today it is not discussed more, as in the seventeenth and eightee
nth centuries, if the light is made up of bundles of tiny particles or is a prop
agating wave. The light is not where neither particle. It is composed of photons
, particles whose behavior has a wave nature.
Despite being a very simplified view of the current understanding that physics i
s the nature of light, just know that most of the luminous phenomena can be stud
ied admitindose that light is a propagating wave with all the characteristic pro
perties of this phenomenon. The source of light is somewhat similar to the sound
source. While the sound is produced from mechanical vibrations, one can say tha
t the light comes from electromagnetic oscillations or oscillation of electric c
harges. Another similarity is that, as our ears can only detect a small full spe
ctrum of sound waves (20Hz - 20kHz), which our eyes detect light as it is only a
narrow spectrum of electromagnetic waves. In physics, the only difference betwe
en all forms of electromagnetic radiation spectrum is the value of the frequency
(or wavelength, since c = λ. F). Radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation o
r heat, light, ultraviolet and X-rays are electromagnetic radiations physically
identical. The value of frequency, the only difference between them is due to th
e source that originated: the higher the energy, the more often and closer to th
e interior of the atom is its origin. - The lower frequencies come from the osci
llation of electrons in wires. This is the case of the radiation emitted by driv
ers covered by alternating current, usually with frequency of 60Hz. They are pro
ducing a characteristic roar when the car radio, tuned to any station in AM, pas
ses under or near the wires of high voltage grids. - In the range 104-1010 Hz, t
he oscillating circuits are sources or transmitters of radio and television. - F
rom 1010 to 1012 Hz microwaves are generated by special electronic valves. - Fro
m 1011 to 4.1014 Hz are the radiation of heat, or infrared, generated by the vib
ration or oscillation of the outer electrons to atoms and molecules. - In the sh
ort interval of 4.1014 to 8.1014 Hz, corresponding to visible light by the frequ
ency of 1017 Hz, which are included the UV sources are oscillations or transitio
ns of electrons between the outer layers of atoms. - Between 1015 to 1020 Hz are
X-rays originated from more internal transitions of electrons from the atom or
very rapid deceleration of high energy particles, electrically charged. - From 1
019 to 1024 Hz are the gamma rays in transitions in layers of particles inside t
he atomic nucleus.
Light Sources - In a first approach, more superficial, it can be said that refle
ction is the most common cause of light emission (the vast majority of bodies th
at we see reflects the light it receives) are illuminated bodies. But there are
many other causes: for example, any warm body from a certain temperature becomes
bright. Thermodynamics says that any body at any temperature, emits electromagn
etic radiation.
WEB OF KNOWLEDGE - Prof. Maria Paula Neves Rodrigues Fernandes
The human body, for example infrared radiation enough to be detected by suitable
equipment (binoculars, cameras and video that allow "see" in the dark). In othe
r words, if the retina is sensitive to infrared radiation, such as special equip
ment, the human body would be considered bright and not bright! If the dimension
s of the source are negligible, ie it can be represented by a point source is co
nsidered punctual. If this is not possible, the source is extensive. This concep
t is relative, the same source can be considered comprehensive or specific, depe
nding on the dimensions involved in the situation.
The seven colors of the rainbow - In 1665, when Isaac Newton was 23 years, plagu
e has spread to Europe. To escape the contagion in the big city, Newton spent a
year and a half on the field, the home of his mother. During these forced vacati
ons devoted himself to study and research on my own and made startling discoveri
es that only published several years later in his book Optics. Newton had only a
few prisms, lenses and sunshine. Making a small hole in a curtain got a narrow
beam of light that has focused on the prism. The light, after passing through a
prism, projected on the wall opposite a spot elongated,€distributed with the co
lors from red to violet. This beautiful phenomenon happens when the sun is low,
on one side of heaven, and on the other side there are dark clouds of rain. "It
was very pleasant," he wrote, "watching the bright colors and intense, but soon
tried to examine them carefully." Face, he arrived at the idea that white light
from the sun is composed of light of all visible colors. What Prism does is simp
ly to separate these components. The component is the violet and red shifted, un
less diverted. The other deviations are intermediaries. Both can be said that th
e colors of the rainbow are seven, as five, six, eight, or thousands endless.
To test this idea, made the light scattered by the prism cover different prism,
placed upside down. The second prism rejoined the lights and the white light com
ponents reappeared on the other side. Some text related only six colors: red, or
ange, yellow, green, blue and violet. It is very difficult to distinguish more c
olors than those in the rainbow. The colored band produced by Newton when he sep
arated the colors of sunlight with a prism is called the spectrum of sunlight. "
This separation, or dispersion, can be obtained with a prism or with another dev
ice called a diffraction grating, which will speak on another occasion. To be su
re of his interpretation, Newton made a crucial experiment: the scattered light
focused on a card with a small hole. Adjusting the position of the hole has pass
ed only one component (red, for example). Did this focused beam on the second pr
ism and noticed no more decomposition. The beam is deflected but still the same
Recombination of the scattered light.
The red light is not scattered.
With these and other observations, Newton demonstrated that white light from the
sun is a mixture of light colors visible. Each color undergoes a shift by diffe
rent prism. Technically, we say that violet light is more refractile than the re
d because it deviates more. Or, in other words, the refractive index of the viol
et component is greater than the refractive index of the red component. The spec
trum of sunlight, known as "white" is a continuum with all visible colors.
WEB OF KNOWLEDGE - Prof. Maria Paula Neves Rodrigues Fernandes
Today we know that these components have wavelengths ranging from 4000 Angstroms
(violet) to 7500 angstroms (red). The elements or compounds can be induced to e
mit light in both the flame of a campfire as the bucolic flashing of fireflies o
r in deep ocean animals that emit light as attractive to their prey, while nucle
ar reactions generate the light fantastic the Sun and stars German physicist Gus
tav Kirchhoff discovered that each chemical element emits light with a distinct
and very characteristic spectrum. That is, the spectrum can be used to detect th
e presence of the element in the source of light. For example, we see blue light
s in major avenues are bulbs with mercury (Hg). When an electric current passes
through the vapor lamp to light up, light emitting characteristic of the element
mercury. See, in the figure below, the spectra of hydrogen (H) and mercury (Hg)
. Numbers are the wavelengths of rays, in angstroms.
In 1815, Joseph von Fraunhoffer, observing the solar spectrum, noted the presenc
e of a series of dark lines superimposed on the continuous color spectrum. With
skill, Fraunhoffer told more than 500 of these black lines. Comparing the views
of those black lines with the positions of the lines already cataloged the eleme
nts, Fraunhoffer noticed a perfect match. For example, exactly where are the lin
es of hydrogen, appeared well-defined dark lines in the solar spectrum. The expl
anation for this dark lines is as follows. The sun emits light in all colors, as
seen above. But that light passes through gases in relatively cold surface of t
he sun itself These gases absorb the sun's light in exactly the colors they like
to send. The dark lines are lines of Fraunhoffer absorption of light. The light
source may be a distant star whose light is focused on the spectrograph through
a telescope. Examining the spectrum of starlight astrophysicist obtain informat
ion about the chemical elements and compounds present in the star. In other word
s, can make a chemical analysis of the star. A spectacular example of this type
of analysis came when scientists discovered dark lines in the solar spectrum tha
t did not correspond to any known element. They named the element helium, the na
me of the sun god mythology. Only 17 years later, the element helium was found o
n Earth. The figure below shows the emission spectrum of helium and the absorpti
on lines that it imposes on the solar spectrum.
WEB OF KNOWLEDGE - Prof. Maria Paula Neves Rodrigues Fernandes
Adding and subtracting colors. The colors of the television - The red roses is a
n intrinsic property of the roses, or will be due only to the light falling on t
hem? The color of an object depends on both the light that illuminates the objec
t and the specific properties and surface texture. If they are roses illuminated
by green light that is strongly absorbed by the petals of roses and they become
almost black. The color of roses therefore depends on the substances of their p
etals, light environment and their interaction. As the color of the leaves of a
plant photosynthesis is different, ie the energy harvesting for energy productio
n is of different wavelengths. To better understand this fact let's see how the
colors can be added and subtracted.
It is not necessary to use all visible colors to get white. Just use three color
s, called primaries: red, blue and green. Designing on a white screen, light bea
ms with these three primary colors, we observe that the sum of them in the cente
r is white. SOMA red with green is yellow and so on. Any visible color can be ob
tained by adding the three colors, varying appropriately the intensity of each.
Indeed, with these three colors or colors that we are in the solar spectrum, suc
h as brown. This is used on the television screen. If you look closely you will
see that the screen is covered in spots with just these three colors. Viewed fro
m afar, the dots blend together and see the full range multi-colored. In fact, r
ight now, all the colors you see on your monitor are the sum of these three: red
, green and blue (Red, Green and Blue, RGB). SUBTRACT colors is to eliminate one
or more of the components of light. For example, mix paints equivalent to subtr
act colors. Since children know that blue paint mixed with yellow paint gives gr
een ink. What happens is that the pigments absorb blue ink side components pigme
nts of red and yellow ink absorbs the blue side components. That leaves the inte
rmediate components, ie the green.
Adding color primaries.
Subtracting the color white.
WEB OF KNOWLEDGE - Prof. Maria Paula Neves Rodrigues Fernandes
Experiment 1: Chromatography paper (composition and decomposition of colors)
In this experiment, physical chemist, quite attractive, it will use the techniqu
e of paper chromatography (Greek khroma, color). The origin of this name relates
to the fact that, initially, this technique was used only in the separation of
the components of color materials. The color of paint is obtained, usually harve
sted pigment rare earth (group of chemical elements). Colored inks used in pens
are obtained by appropriate mixtures of these pigments dissolved in solvents the
mselves, and the color obtained is the visual result of this combination of colo
red pigments. Such inks generally are insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol.
Is the solubility of these dyes (pigments) in alcohol that we will use in this
Two 'disks' of filter paper, colored pens in bright colors (porous tip) clear pl
astic bottle (with cap), water, alcohol, scissors
In the circles of filter paper (about 15 cm in diameter) forming a central hole
1.5 cm in diameter. Around this hole and 1 cm away his paint small circles using
colored felt-tip pen. The other circle of filter paper is wound into shape of a
cone. You can use a stapler to staple at the base of this cone to ensure that n
ot unroll. Attach the circle containing the colored spots on filter paper cone,
as illustrated above. Place this assembly into the transparent plastic container
(beaker or large glass jar) and fill the bottom of that container with alcohol
layer (about 1 cm in height) and close the container with its own lid.
Expected results:
Alcohol will begin to soak the filter paper cone from the base and, by capillary
will migrate slowly to the disk of filter paper containing the color marks. Arr
iving there the alcohol begin to migrate towards the periphery of the disc. When
passing through a colored alcohol will dissolve the paint, dragging the pigment
s to the edge of the disc. As each component of the mixture goes through the fil
ter paper with different speed (due to their chemical compositions and interacti
ons with alcohol are different), occurs the separation of various materials used
in the ink. Thus, training will be colored trails radiating from each original
colored mark. Note: You should close the bottle where you did the experiment to
retard the evaporation of alcohol. The enclosed environment,€saturated with alc
ohol vapor, will prevent the alcohol dry on the way, during their migration (the
fund will be dry). The amount of alcohol should be adjusted experimentally sinc
e, if too small, you can not reach the edge of the disc.
WEB OF KNOWLEDGE - Prof. Maria Paula Neves Rodrigues Fernandes
Experiment 2: Why is the sky blue.
Purpose: To demonstrate that light is scattered by very small particles in suspe
nsion. Show that the blue component spreads farther than the other components. R
elate the color of the sky during the day and late afternoon. Material: Slide pr
ojector. Transparent plastic box or aquarium long. White card mounted as a scree
n. Description: Use a slide projector and a transparent plastic box or an aquari
um (no fish, please). Do the light beam passing through the projector and the aq
uarium water project over a cardboard serving as a screen. For a narrow beam usi
ng an opaque slide with a small circular hole. Fill the tank with water and watc
h the beam of white light through the liquid and projecting on the screen. Add a
little milk powder to water and stir well. Wait for the water stop and look aga
in the beam. You will see the light that is projected on the screen is a little
reddish. Looking at the beam from the side of the aquarium you'll see that it is
Analysis: The white light such as sunlight or light from the projector lamp, con
sists of a mixture of all visible colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and v
iolet. The light is a wave and each color corresponds to a different wavelength.
The red component has the longest wavelength and violet the lowest. When sunlig
ht passes through the atmosphere is scattered by the particles from the air. The
scattering depends on the wavelength and the size of molecules. Turns out there
's a kind of marriage of interests between the blue component and the size of ai
r molecules so as to cause the spread for this component is more intense than fo
r others. This marriage is what physicists call resonance. Because of resonance
the efficiency with which blue is spread is about 10 times higher than the effic
iency for the scattering of the red component. This also happens with the light
scattered by molecules of water in milk. The red component, which is rather wide
spread, and continues in the beam is projected on the screen. The blue component
is spread sideways and can be seen from the side of the aquarium. When the sun
is setting or rising its light passes through a longer range of the atmosphere t
hat the rest of the day. The blue component will spread to regions where the ear
th is full days remaining for the other components of other colors, especially y
ellow, orange and red. This effect is even more pronounced when the atmosphere h
as other suspended particulates (pollution, for example).
Experiment 3: Drivers of Light
WEB OF KNOWLEDGE - Prof. Maria Paula Neves Rodrigues Fernandes
Simulate the effects of an optical fiber. Illustrate the effects of pressure and
surface tension in liquids. Material: Empty cans of long life milk or large met
al tin. Paper or plastic straws. Flashlight or lamp fixture with a 60 W.
Description: Use a large box of long life milk (empty, of course) open at the to
p. Make a small hole about 2 inches from the bottom. Push gently the tip of a st
raw to drink on that hole, to get about 1 cm. Cut the straw in order to remain a
2 cm out. Seal around the straw with gum or play dough. Fill the box with water
capping the end of the straw with your finger. Place a lamp on top of the box,
turn it and release the water. In a darkened environment clearly see the beam of
water as a conduit of light.
WEB OF KNOWLEDGE - Prof. Maria Paula Neves Rodrigues Fernandes