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18_nature - Natural Light Natural Light The Physiology of...

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Unformatted text preview: Natural Light Natural Light The Physiology of Color The Physiology of Color The Natural Appearance of Things The Natural Appearance of Things UCSD: Physics 8; 2 Linear spectrum vs. color Linear spectrum vs. color wheel wheel • The spectrum spanning blue to red wavelengths has The spectrum spanning blue to red wavelengths has been thus far portrayed on a linear scale been thus far portrayed on a linear scale • Nature also prefers this scheme Nature also prefers this scheme – prisms, rainbows, wavelengths, extension to IR, UV,… • But we can draw a color wheel But we can draw a color wheel —what’s up w/ that? —what’s up w/ that? UCSD: Physics 8; 2 Color wheel physiology Color wheel physiology • Color wheel is purely a physiological phenomenon Color wheel is purely a physiological phenomenon – receptors in our eyes are cyclic in nature – red / green receptor and blue / yellow receptor – best experienced via afterimages (demo) • Red Red / / green green receptor fires more for receptor fires more for green green , less for , less for red red – Hering proposed “opponent” color scheme, in which, for instance, red light inhibits the red / green receptor, while green light stimulates receptor. – Nicely accounts for afterimage phenomenon, but some maintain that color perception is trichromatic, with separate red , green , and blue receptors UCSD: Physics 8; 2 Opponent Color Receptor Theory Opponent Color Receptor Theory UCSD: Physics 8; 2 Why do things look the way they do? Why do things look the way they do? • Why are metals shiny? Why are metals shiny? – Recall that electromagnetic waves are generated from accelerating charges (i.e., electrons) – Electrons are free to roam in conductors (metals) – An EM wave incident on metal readily vibrates electrons on the surface, which subsequently generates EM radiation of exactly the same frequency (wavelength) – This indiscriminate vibration leads to near perfect reflection, and exact cancellation of the EM field in the interior of the metal —only surface electrons participate UCSD: Physics 8; 2...
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