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Old 04-16-2009, 10:53 AM #1
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Default Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good Thing

So, in my room I have five lights; A red, orange, yellow, green, and blue light. They sit on top of a dresser and are arranged in a row, from longest wavelength to shortest. When I turn all of them on I get white light, but all shadows are broken down into each of the five colors! Mixing shadow colors makes different colors, and the closer an obect is to the lights with respect to the surface the shadows appear on, the further apart the colors are. I have noticed that certain colors only show up in certain parts of the room. For instance, I can only get a violet shadow if I am on the blue-side of the room. My question is this; would it be possible for me to get shadows in wavelengths of light outside of the visible spectrum simply by positioning the lights and object creating the shadows in the correct way?


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Old 04-16-2009, 11:07 AM #2
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

We need pictures of the setup and light effect.... 8-)

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Old 04-16-2009, 11:30 AM #3
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

Just as soon as I can get the photos developed. I tried taking some pictures with my phone and digital cameras but they didn't do the effect any justice. It's easy to replicate though; you only need a couple different sources of light, each a different color, and you need to line them up in a row, otherwise the light waves won't separate correctly.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:22 PM #4
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

Quote:
Originally Posted by fretless
...When I turn all of them on I get white light, but all shadows are broken down into each of the five colors! ...My question is this; would it be possible for me to get shadows in wavelengths of light outside of the visible spectrum simply by positioning the lights and object creating the shadows in the correct way?
I really like your idea! *It sounds like fun and a good learning opportunity. *

To "get shadows in wavelengths of light outside of the visible spectrum" you would need to start with light that is outside the visible spectrum. *This is because none of the wavelengths actually get shifted, it is your eye that is combining the wavelengths and "seeing" the new colors.

How additive color works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additive_color




How human vision works - cone cells: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cone_cell
human cone cell response curves:


What are you using to make the different colored lights? *LEDs, Filtered incandescents?
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:25 PM #5
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

I use fluorescent lightbulbs, each one uses 13 watts, 60 hertz, 180 milliamps, 120 VAC (What is this VAC?). The company that makes them is feit electric, and you can order each one of them from their website, or get he entire set at walmart for about 40-45 bucks and save about 3 dollars apiece. They're the coil kind, by and by. I've had them for about 9 months now. And if you're bored and looking to impress your friends, buy a couple and put them in the microwave for a few seconds, but that's another topic altogether.

Attached is a picture of the lights as they are now. The red and the orange are roughly 9' from the floor. I'll get out a measuring tape when I return from class. I'll make a few more posts with some more pictures of the lights, and some of the shadows. The shadow pictures aren't very good though. If only I still had photoshop...
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:25 PM #6
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

Are YOU ready for the closeup? :
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:29 PM #7
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

This is the shadow as it appears on the wall opposite the lights, roughly halfway between the lights and the wall.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:32 PM #8
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

And here is one on an adjacent wall to the lamps, on the warm colors side. My hand is about 2-3 feet from the lights.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:35 PM #9
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

And this is entirely unrelated to the lights. Last fall, I woke up one afternoon to find this on my ceiling. on a fold out table in front of my window was a CD, which was partly covered by some random junk. It was covered just so that the part showing was able to reflect the rainbow smiley face you see. The eye was the center of the CD.

EDIT: And I apologize for taking up some space with posts, but I was trying to reach the 10 posts quota so I could post this link:
http://www.feitelectric.com/colortwist/colortwist.html There you will find the lightbulbs I'm using.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:40 PM #10
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

Where can you get colored fluorescent lights?

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Old 04-16-2009, 02:43 PM #11
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

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Where can you get colored fluorescent lights?

-Mark
I got mine at walmart for about 40-45 bucks, and I've been using the same ones since last July.

Oh yes, and they contain everyone's friend Hg.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:48 PM #12
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

fretless,
That's real cool, i might have to get a few for my son (12 years of age) Whom is not ready for most of the lasers i have.




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Old 04-16-2009, 02:58 PM #13
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

They're really fun to play around with. The yellow even has some practical use outside, since bugs can't see yellow light.
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:13 PM #14
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

Quote:
Originally Posted by fretless
[quote author=rocketparrotlet link=1239879221/0#9 date=1239892832]Where can you get colored fluorescent lights?

-Mark
I got mine at walmart for about 40-45 bucks, and I've been using the same ones since last July.

Oh yes, and they contain everyone's friend Hg.[/quote]

http://www.buylightfixtures.com/f32t...ght-bulbs.aspx
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:37 PM #15
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

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They're really fun to play around with. The yellow even has some practical use outside, since bugs can't see yellow light.
Or black fluorescent lights, i seen them at Menards along with all the others.

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Old 04-16-2009, 06:15 PM #16
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Default Re: Colored Shadows: Wave Interference is a Good T

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uses 13 watts, 60 hertz, 180 milliamps, 120 VAC (What is this VAC?).
Volts, Alternating Current

Way cool pics. Thanks for the posts!
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