Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Observing a light source through blinds (picture included)

  1. Aug 1, 2011 #1
    I have a mental dilemma that i would like some 'light shed upon'. For the past few nights I've been staring out my window -- which has blinds -- at a street lamp. I've been staring at this light source such that the light is travelling between 2 blinds as in the picture below (green = blinds, yellow = light source, black = night):


    The light I am seeing appears to 'scatter' in different directions -- I know in reality it is -- but I don't understand why I am seeing it do such a thing because I am observing from essentially one vantage point and any rays of light that aren't directed at my eyes shouldn't be seen by me. Also, this apparent scattering 'overlaps' my image of the blinds even though they are at my window, not behind the street lamp.

    Is this simply a demonstration of the limitations of human perception when trying to view reality or is something more phenomenal happening?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2011 #2


    User Avatar

    Your eye lens and other parts are not ideally transparent. The light is scattered by this residual opacity of eyes. The effect will grow stronger with your age, unfortunately...
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook