# Why don't we see scattered wavelengths of light?

• Jbeats245
In summary, the conversation discusses Rayleigh scattering and how it explains why we don't see scattered wavelengths of light. The shorter wavelengths (blue) are scattered more than longer wavelengths (red), causing the blue light to be directed towards our eyes while the red light continues on its path. The conversation also mentions the effect of this phenomenon during sunrise and sunset. The conversation then transitions to the topic of writing a letter of intent for an English class, specifically in regards to identifying a research field for a masters program in physics. The individual is unsure if quantum physics or nuclear physics would be too general of an area of research for their level of education.
Jbeats245
So Rayleigh scattering says that higher wavelengths of light are scattered more than lower ones - but why don't we ever see the scattered wavelengths anywhere? Is it just because when they're scattered they have lower intensities and are outshined by blue?

Jbeats245 said:
So Rayleigh scattering says that higher wavelengths of light are scattered more than lower ones

No, it's the other way around: shorter wavelengths (blue) are scattered more than longer wavelengths (red):

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/atmos/blusky.html

So basically, blue light gets scattered towards your eyes, but the red light keeps on going more or less as it was and "misses" your eyes.

Look in the general direction of the sun (not directly at it!) near sunset or sunrise, and you'll see more of the red or yellow light, because the blue light is scattered away from you. In principle, this is true at any time of day, but the effect is stronger when the sun is near the horizon and the light has to go through more air on its way to your eyes. (You also get more scattering from dust in that case.)

1 person
Oo right. Thank you!

I'm currently learning to how to write a letter of intent for my english class and the phenomenon is relevant to my anecdote. In part of my letter, I have to identify which research field i wish to work in the department. I'm only finishing my DEC in sciences(before undergraduate) at my cegep(college) and I have no idea how that works. If I'm applying to a masters program in physics, an area of research would be like quantum physics or nuclear physics? Or is that too general?

## 1. Why do objects have specific colors instead of a mix of all wavelengths of light?

Objects have specific colors because they selectively absorb and reflect certain wavelengths of light. The specific colors we see are the wavelengths of light that are reflected off the object.

## 2. Why do some objects appear to be the same color under different types of lighting?

Some objects appear to be the same color under different types of lighting because they have a consistent pattern of absorbing and reflecting certain wavelengths of light. This pattern remains the same regardless of the type of lighting.

## 3. Why does the color of an object change when it is viewed from different angles?

The color of an object changes when it is viewed from different angles because the angle at which light hits the object affects how much light is reflected and absorbed. This can alter the perceived color of the object.

## 4. Why do different materials have different colors?

Different materials have different colors because their molecular structure determines which wavelengths of light they absorb and reflect. This can vary greatly between materials, resulting in a wide range of colors.

## 5. Why do some objects appear to be a different color under natural sunlight compared to artificial lighting?

Some objects appear to be a different color under natural sunlight compared to artificial lighting because artificial lighting often has a different color temperature compared to natural sunlight. This can affect the wavelengths of light that are emitted and can alter the perceived color of the object.

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