Can you see IR?

Can you see the red light?


  • Total voters
    34
  • #26
I've been disappointed with an infrared night vision scope I bought. I turned it on, turned on the illuminator and though 'there's no way in hell the creatures out there can't see this' because I could not only see the dim red glow of the illuminator, but also the beam it projected.

Even though the illuminator was a 450mw one, the spectral range should have been out of range of my cones.

Yep, Mutants of the world unite!
 
  • #27
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zoobyshoe said:
Not the oven element, the stove elements. These definitely are variable. You can set them to anything from low, slow simmer to fast boil.
Oh you mean those electric plates... Silly me. :redface:
 
  • #28
DaveC426913
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Yonoz said:
Oh you mean those electric plates... Silly me. :redface:
Coils is the word you're looking for.
http://www.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/253947/2/Don_t_Touch_.jpg
 
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  • #29
unitone101
My girlfriend can see in IR. I've seen her use our remote as a flashlight, wich completly dumbfounded me. She had always tought everybody could see the 'little light' coming out of the remote. She claims that people and warm objects are contrasted in the dark and still won't beleive me when I say that for me it isn't so. My cup of coffee is NOT easier to see than a glass of water in a dark room for me but apparently it is for her.

She does seem to have problems with cold colors wich make me wonder if she isn't living the phenomen wich is reproducted with these googles
 
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  • #30
DaveC426913
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She had always tought everybody could see the 'little light' coming out of the remote. She claims that people and warm objects are contrasted in the dark and still won't beleive me when I say that for me it isn't so. My cup of coffee is NOT easier to see than a glass of water in a dark room for me but apparently it is for her.
That is awesome and creepy rolled into one.

Let's grind her up to a powder and sell her by the vial as an unction for super-vision.
 
  • #31
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some women are tetrachromatic, so i wouldn't be surprised if more of them can see a bit into the IR or UV range.
 
  • #32
brewnog
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Weirdos, the lot of you.
 
  • #33
DaveC426913
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some women are tetrachromatic, so i wouldn't be surprised if more of them can see a bit into the IR or UV range.
Yeah, although I'm not sure it works that way. The extra photoreceptor works in the within the customary range, not outside it.

"...two types of red cones that are sensitive to slightly different ranges of the red end of the color spectrum. You would not be able to see extra colors the rest of us can’t (sadly, no ultraviolet vision, etc.), but you would be able to make distinctions between very similar colors that the rest of us cannot...."
http://www.blogadilla.com/tag/research/ [Broken]
 
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  • #34
mgb_phys
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IR leds at 880nm have a bandwidth of at least 50nm as you under or over drive them the bandwidth and peak wavelength can move.
More importantly a dark adapted eye in a totally dark room can see individual photons! You can be a long way down the Gaussian wavelength profile of bright IR LED and get individual visible red photons
 
  • #35
~christina~
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I can! It's dim but basically, I have to look to the side of the remote, and my peripheral vision can spot it. I tried this with three remotes and 2/3 had visible red lights showing up, when I hit the buttons. It would blink and etc, depending on how much I pressed the remote buttons. Not sure why I can't see the light on one of them.

My chem lab instructor once asked me whether I could see IR, and I said, "yes.."
Then they proceeded to ask me if I was a bug.

Now I can say, "yes I AM"! :biggrin:

I was just wondering, why does trying to focus in a semi-dark room cause me to start having a sort of, "blackout" of the light in the room? (starts to look as if someone is starting to pour black paint into my vision= same as if what I'd see if I close my eyes)
note: semi-darkness= a crack of light in the room

Is it normal? This sort of made it hard to see the IR light of the remote because I had to unfocus from trying to see it, or I would basically have this, "blackout" of the light in the room, including the IR light itself. hm........
 
  • #36
Count me in.

I sell I.R. kit for outdoor sports, and the only way I know the illuminators are turned off, is by pushing the offer/onner so the little LED goes out and THEN checking at the business end to make sure the lights are indeed turned off.

This applies to I.R. lasers (which I don't point directly at my eyes), I.R. LEDs and lights with I.R. filters on.

. . . . and this whole thread has just started a big fight between me and my dad, who says that you just CAN'T see I.R.
 
  • #37
mgb_phys
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You can't see IR (pretty much by definition), what you can see is the 1 in a billion red photons that are 6 sigma away from the peak wavelength.
 
  • #38
Yeah, thanks, thanks a lot - sometimes it's more important to win an argument than tell the truth you know!
 
  • #39
unitone101
Well, I tried this for a test. If I aim my remote towards my eye, and click the remote I can't see anything, and my pupils don't react. I tried it on a few of my family members and nothing happens. But if I aim it at my girlfriend, her pupils contract! So it's hard for her to lie or try watching my fingers or wathever. As far as I'm concerned, my girlfriend CAN see the infrared light on my remotes. Her pupils respond to them and I can't beleive she can contract or dilate them at will. And anyways, she doesn't lie and doesn't care for seeing IR or not. She's actually just fed up of me pointing the remote at her eyes but I'm still fascinated by this.

God, I still remember seeing her using the remote as a flashlight.
 
  • #40
mgb_phys
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As far as I'm concerned, my girlfriend CAN see the infrared light on my remotes. Her pupils respond to them
If her pupils are V shaped and you seem to go through a lot of pet hamsters - you should be concerned!
 
  • #41
Redbelly98
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I used to work with lasers, and could see the IR from a 794 nm laser diode. 1/2 W, focused down to a 100 micron spot.
 
  • #42
DaveC426913
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You can't see IR (pretty much by definition)...
Why do you say this? The definition of IR isn't "below the visible light threshold of humans", it is simply "below red". And "red", as with "IR", is not well-defined in terms of frequencies.
 
  • #43
mgb_phys
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Why do you say this? The definition of IR isn't "below the visible light threshold of humans",
It's a pretty good definition!
CIE defines it as 700nm
Photographic astronomers define it as 730nm ( I band =806nm +- 75nm)
CCD astronomers define is as 1050nm cut-off of silicon
Modern astronomers define it as J band 1.2um same as comms fibre people - it's the first water band gap.
 
  • #44
DaveC426913
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It's a pretty good definition!
CIE defines it as 700nm
Photographic astronomers define it as 730nm ( I band =806nm +- 75nm)
CCD astronomers define is as 1050nm cut-off of silicon
Modern astronomers define it as J band 1.2um same as comms fibre people - it's the first water band gap.
That's fine. So then how can you state categorically that humans cannot see those wavelengths?

Or, at least, how can you correlate the threshold of IR with the limit of human colour perception?
 
  • #45
mgb_phys
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There is obviously some variation in the limit of human vision from person to person.
The limit is somewhere around 750nm it could easily vary by 10nm - but I don't think it extends to 880nm!
However cheap IR leds with a nominal peak at 880nm and a 30nm bandwidth can emit a small amount of light at several times this bandwidth. And remember that a dark adapted eye, especially peripheral vision, is amazingly sensitive - it can easily detect single photons.
 
  • #46
DaveC426913
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There is obviously some variation in the limit of human vision from person to person.
The limit is somewhere around 750nm it could easily vary by 10nm - but I don't think it extends to 880nm!
However cheap IR leds with a nominal peak at 880nm and a 30nm bandwidth can emit a small amount of light at several times this bandwidth. And remember that a dark adapted eye, especially peripheral vision, is amazingly sensitive - it can easily detect single photons.
But you're missing a critical factor: one person can see them, the rest cannot.

Assuming normal people can see "plain old red" it follows that the frequencies normal people cannot see must be infra-red. i.e. Whether or not the light from the LED is wide-spectrum, 99% of normal people cannot see it. That would make it IR.

Now we introduce a few rare people that still can see the light.


So, I guess I'm turning your definition on its head:

You said, "if people can see it, then, by definition it's not IR".
I'm saying, if (normal) people can't see it, then, by definition it is IR. This allows for the possibility that some can.
 
  • #47
mgb_phys
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But you're missing a critical factor: one person can see them, the rest cannot.
We don't exactly have a controlled experiment with the same LED being used by everyone. People's night vision definitely varies and it takes upto 20mins to become completely dark adapted.

I don't know what the ultimate cut off wavelength of rhodopsin is but it can't really vary from person to person - the molecule is the same. What varies is the number/density of rods, the ability of the brain to process low level signals, the amount of time they are prepared to stand around becoming dark adapted - and the stability of the IR led.
 
  • #48
DaveC426913
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We don't exactly have a controlled experiment with the same LED being used by everyone.
I did the experiment with a half dozen people and one remote. Only one person could see it. Not a big sample I'll grant but enough to demonstrate that it is not common and it definitely varies by the person, not by the electronics.
 
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  • #49
mgb_phys
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The night vision acuity - their ability to see very faint red light - varies from person to person. None of them are able to see light much beyond 750nm.
 
  • #50
DaveC426913
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The night vision acuity - their ability to see very faint red light - varies from person to person. None of them are able to see light much beyond 750nm.
My experiment was in broad daylight with a thick blanket over their head. Zero time for acclimatization.

And as for "very faint", he was able to call it as fast as I could press the button. "OnOffOnOffOffOffOffOnOffOn..." and I couldn't fool him even by faking button-presses. I could press or unpress a zillion times and he'd get it right 100%.
 

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