# Light wavelength transmission through ice

• Matt Phelps
In summary, the author is studying the optical transmission of hailstones. He has set up an experiment to pass colored light through hail, one color at a time for the colors of the visible spectrum, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet (ROYGBIV). He measures the transmission of light with a Extech SDL400 light meter with no hailstone in place and then again with the hailstone in place inside his reflective cone. A seal prevents light from "leaking" around the hailstone such that only light passing through the stone is measured. He describes the stones dominate wavelength as the highest percent passing through the stone that is the longest wavelength. That is to say the the longest wavelength with the

#### Matt Phelps

I am studying hailstones. I have set up an experiment to pass colored light through hail, one color at a time for the colors of the visible spectrum, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet (ROYGBIV). I have measured the dominate wavelength for each color with a photo spectrometer. I measure the transmission of light with a Extech SDL400 light meter with no hailstone in place and then again with the hailstone in place inside my reflective cone. A seal prevents light from "leaking" around the hailstone such that only light passing through the stone is measured.

This is part of my Ph.D. dissertation. My hypothesis is that shorter wavelength light will have a higher percent passing through the stone that longer wavelengths for cloudy or opaque stones; where as clear stone will have a higher percentage for the longer wavelengths. I describe the stones dominate wavelength as the highest percent passing through the stone that is the longest wavelength. That is to say the the longest wavelength with the highest percent passing describes the opacity of the hailstone.

What I have not been able to explain is why shorter wavelengths do not always have a higher percent passing even on clear stones! It seems to me that clear stones whos dominate wavelength (using the selection method described above) would also have shorter wavelengths with high or at least equal % passing as longer wavelengths. This has not been the case, many times clear stones will have a high percentage of Red or Orange or Yellow with say Red being the highest, but it seems to me that the other shorter wavelengths (Green, Blue, Indigo or Violet) should be the same or equal values.

So how is it that a clear hailstone can have such a high percentage of a long wavelength say R, or O, or Y and have a lower percentage for GBIV?. It does seem fitting that a cloudy or opaque stone would have a higher percent passing for a shorter wavelength color such as Blue, Indigo, or Violet than a longer wavelength such as Red, Orange or Yellow. Each color is measured on at a time such that the observations are discreet.

Most literature suggest that light (of any wavelength) is refracted off of the air bubble shells inside the ice matrix. This makes it logical that with cloudy or opaque (due to trapped micro air bubbles) the shorter wavelengths would have the highest percent; however, this hypothesis is open to type B uncertainty because I can not explain why short wavelength light is a lower percentage that long wavelength light in clear hailstones. Any help, suggestions or constructive criticism would be most appreciated. Please provide authors name, year and publication of references. Thank you very much!

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Maybe I’ve been misunderstanding this all along, but isn’t it true that as a general rule, longer wavelengths tend to penetrate deeper, while higher frequencies have more of a tendency to scatter? What makes the results counterintuitive?

## 1. What is the relationship between light wavelength and ice?

The wavelength of light determines the color we see when light is transmitted through ice. As light passes through ice, it is scattered and absorbed by the ice crystals, causing a specific wavelength of light to be transmitted.

## 2. How does the thickness of ice affect light wavelength transmission?

The thickness of ice can affect the amount of light that is transmitted through it. Thinner ice will allow more light to pass through, resulting in a shorter wavelength being transmitted. Thicker ice will absorb more light, resulting in a longer wavelength being transmitted.

## 3. What is the impact of impurities in ice on light wavelength transmission?

Impurities in ice, such as dirt or air bubbles, can affect the transmission of light through ice. These impurities can scatter and absorb light, causing changes in the transmitted wavelength and potentially making the ice appear cloudy or opaque.

## 4. How does temperature affect light wavelength transmission through ice?

Temperature plays a significant role in the transmission of light through ice. As ice becomes colder, its density increases, causing it to absorb more light and transmit a longer wavelength. At warmer temperatures, ice will transmit a shorter wavelength of light.

## 5. Can light wavelength transmission through ice be used to study ice properties?

Yes, the study of light wavelength transmission through ice, also known as ice spectroscopy, can provide valuable information about the properties of ice, such as its thickness, impurities, and temperature. This technique is commonly used in polar research and can help scientists better understand the behavior of ice in different environments.