Publication details

Why can we see visible light?



Year of publication 2007
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Physics Education
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Optics, masers and lasers
Keywords eye; perception; optics
Description Visible light only constitutes a very narrow part of the wide electromagnetic spectrum. This article outlines several reasons why the human eye can see only within this limited range. Solar emissions and low absorption in the atmosphere are determining causes, but not the only ones. The energy of chemical bonds, the optical properties of matter, black body emissions and the wave character of light cause further limitations, all of which have a remarkable congruence.

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