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Seeing red/green/violet lines around an object

  1. Oct 11, 2011 #1

    I study physics on my own, but jump from one area to another and am also a beginner, so if this question is easy and obvious then my apologies. However if it is complicated, please answer it with whatever terms neccessary.

    I have noticed that while in class (not physics) if I am looking down at my book on my desk that the edges of the paper will not appear white (which is the color of the paper) at certain angles. I end up seeing yellow/red lines/glow of the paper. It actually looks that color. I wear glasses and if I look at it from a certain way then I am thinking that the light from the ceiling is bouncing from my lens to my eye causing me to see the paper differently. Would this make sense or am I going about this wrong?

    Also, the same thing happens wth another object in my room. If I am at a certain angle towards my lamp then an object I look at has a very defined red/green/violet hugh around it.

    What is going on?

    Thanks a lot
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2011 #2


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    Gold Member

    Hi and welcome to this forum!
    Maybe it's a chromatic aberration of your lenses making up your glasses. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromatic_aberration.

    P.S.:It happens with my glasses too but I can only see blue and red for contour of objects. This didn't happen with my previous glasses. If I remove my glasses the aberration disappear so my eyes have a smaller chromatic aberration than my glasses.
  4. Oct 11, 2011 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    This same effect happens in refractor telescopes and binoculars. That is one of the main reasons that many people use reflecting telescopes, as they do not suffer from this effect.
  5. Oct 12, 2011 #4
    Chromatic aberration is probably it, thanks.
  6. Oct 13, 2011 #5
    Because eyeglasses are reflective surface as well, and not just refractive surfaces, there are other annoying visual artifacts as well. For instance, under proper lighting and at the right angle, you can see an image of your own eye in your glasses.
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