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Quantum Color

  1. Oct 24, 2008 #1
    Is there any paper on the quantization of color? Maybe not since it’s obvious. I always thought that color was on a continuum. But now I realize that electrons jump between a limited set of orbits.
     
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  3. Oct 24, 2008 #2

    ZapperZ

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    This is wrong. "Color" implies a particular frequency. You can generate ANY range of EM frequency, in principle! Atomic transition isn't the only way to generate light. Do you think your incandescent light bulb generate light because of some atomic transition? Try passing that light through a diffraction grating and see how that differs from, say, a discharge tube.

    Zz.
     
  4. Oct 24, 2008 #3

    DaveC426913

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    Well, you're talking about blending colours though. Seems the poster would want to understand pure, single-frequency colours.
     
  5. Oct 24, 2008 #4

    ZapperZ

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    Not from the way I read the post. Color isn't "quantized", the same way EM wavelength/frequency isn't "quantized". A continuous spectrum from an ordinary light bulb solves that.

    Zz.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2008 #5

    Ken G

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    Color is a very difficult subject anyway, because the term gets used in two related but very different ways. Physicists tend to equate color with frequency, because we always want to deal with observer-independent reality. Biologists, on the other hand, are more interested in the observer themself, so color for a biologist might deal more with rods and cones and the detection and perception of color. For example, if one uses the former definition, the color of the Sun is greenish-yellow, but if one uses the latter definition, the color of the Sun is definitively white. But I agree with ZapperZ that the OP seems to confuse quantization of light emitted by specific isolated atoms with general rules about color, whether they be the physical or the biological flavor.
     
  7. Oct 28, 2008 #6
    Well you're right. I'm the OP and I did not know that light was produced another way. So how does a light bulb produce light? I thought the EM waves in the electricity razed the orbit of the electrons and they emitted light as they returned to their correct state.
     
  8. Oct 28, 2008 #7

    Ken G

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    You are correct, it is hot electrons that emit the light from an incandescent bulb. But, the electrons are not in isolated atoms, they are in an environment of other nearby atoms, and this alters the kinds of energies that the electrons are allowed to have. The details depend on the type of solid, but if you can assume that enough complicated things are happening to the electrons, you can assume that they find access to all possible energy states, and then the most probable distribution over those energies is called a "thermal distribution". Electrons in a thermal distribution emit what is called a "Planck distribution" of light, not light at specific energies like the way isolated atoms do. The quantization you encounter in the former case is not in the allowed energies, but rather in the photons-- a photon is a "quantum" of light energy, but it can have any energy over the Planck distribution.
     
  9. Oct 29, 2008 #8
    Hi guys..do you want to say color is not quantised
     
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