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Which color reflect UV light best?

  1. Mar 7, 2011 #1
    Which color is the best reflector of UV light?

    In scientific-popular movie ``The future is wild`` they believe that high altitude
    gooses should have beauty blue color http://www.thefutureiswild.com/futurassic.asp?level1id=4&level2id=11&level3id=46&level4id=70" [Broken] to protect themself from harmful UV rays.I thought before that best color that reflects any radiation is snowy white.Also if we are trying to find some color which is as closer as possible to UV it would be violet or purple,not blue.In Windows 7 ``paint`` program the farthest color to the righ is purple which looks rather like ``red``. Any coments?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2011 #2


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    I don't believe the visible color has any effect on how it reflects UV light. The range of UV in the electromagnetic spectrum covers about 400 nanometers in difference, similar to the range of coverage of visible light. In effect, you could figure out which specific wavelength of UV light is reflected by objects and assign "colors" to different parts of the UV spectrum.

    A material could reflect red light and also reflect parts of the UV spectrum as well. Also remember that some materials can reflect more than just 1 single color in the visible range.
  4. Mar 8, 2011 #3
    Isn`t color which we see as ``white`` usually tends to reflect UV rays too?
  5. Mar 8, 2011 #4

    Andrew Mason

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    Since a white surface reflects all visible colours of light approximately equally, one could reasonable expect that it does not suddenly stop reflecting for wavelengths shorter than violet. So white surfaces will likely reflect some of the longer wavelength UV.

    But reflection is a complicated process that depends on the atomic structure of the surface and the kinds of atoms involved. Since most glass absorbs shorter wavelength UV a white surface covered by a sheet of glass will reflect light and long wavelength UV but not higher frequency UV.

  6. Mar 8, 2011 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know honestly. Looking at the EM spectrum and what absorbs what, I can't see any reason to say that the visible color of something would also correlate with non visible wavelength light.
  7. Mar 8, 2011 #6
    UV reflection is a function of UV albedo. This albedo varies over the spectral range for various objects. I have no idea of what it might be for geese. However, we have no reason to believe that the UV albedo is any more closely related to the visible albedo than the visible albedo is to the infrared; i. e., not closely related at all.

    I know from personal experience that the military have done considerable work in UV remote sensing, but little of this seems to have been published.
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