Optics questionsThis is a list of recently added questions about optics.
What is the literal meaning of Latin “camera obscura”?
“Camera” means “chamber” and “room” in Latin. Camera obscura was an optical device used in drawing, and an ancestor of modern photography. This is a source of the modern word camera.
In a photo camera, what is controlled by a button labelled “ISO”?
Higher ISO settings allow shorter shutter speeds, which is often desirable as it reduces photo blur caused by camera movement. However, higher ISO also means more noise.
Animals which are thought to have the most complex visual system in the animal kindgdom belong to order...
Mantis shrimps, or stomatopods, are marine crustaceans of the order Stomatopoda. They are thought to have the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom and have the most complex visual system ever discovered. Compared to the three types of photoreceptor cells that humans possess in their eyes, the eyes of a mantis shrimp have between 12 and 16 types of photoreceptors cells. Furthermore, some of these shrimp can tune the sensitivity of their long-wavelength colour vision to adapt to their environment.
What is the iridium flare?
unending flow of the northern lights
quick and bright "flare" in the sky
white traces in the sky left by jets
The last rays of setting sun
A Satellite flare (also called a Iridium flares ) is a phenomenon caused by man-made satellite where the sunlight is reflected back to Earth. This results in a quick and bright "flare." Some flares can be up to 20 times brighter than Venus. These can be very bright. So much so, that it can even be seen during the day.
What shape does Ames' room have?
There are two illusions associated with the Ames Room. First the room appears cubic when viewed monocularly from a special viewing point (the true shape of the room is trapezoidal). Secondly, within an Ames Room people or objects can appear to grow or shrink when moving from one corner to the other.
What is the phenomenon occurring at the rainbow?
reflection, refraction and dispersion
diffraction and refraction
A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.
What is a Fata Morgana?
a chemical reaction
an optical phenomenon
an optical illusion
The Fata Morgana occurs because rays of light are bent when they pass through air layers of different temperatures in a steep thermal inversion, where an atmospheric duct has formed. It significantly distorts the object on which it is based, often such that the object is completely unrecognizable. The Fata Morgana may be seen on land or at sea, in polar regions, or in deserts. It may involve almost any kind of distant objects, including boats, islands, and the coastline.
This optical phenomenon, appearing on misty mountainsides, is called...
A Brocken spectre or mountain spectre, is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the surfaces of clouds opposite the sun. The head of the figure is often surrounded by the glowing halo-like rings of a glory—rings of coloured light that appear directly opposite the sun when sunlight meets a cloud of uniformly-sized water droplets. The phenomenon can appear on any misty mountainside or cloud bank.
The bright circle around the Sun seen in the picture is known as a halo. What causes it?
refraction of light in ice crystals
refraction in the lens of the eye or lens
refraction of light in water drops
reflections from the water surface
Halo is the name for a family of optical phenomena produced by light interacting with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere. Halos can have many forms, ranging from colored or white rings to arcs and spots in the sky. Among the best known halo types are the circular halo (properly called the 22° halo), Other common optical phenomena involving water droplets rather than ice crystals include the glory and the rainbow.
This is a rare phenomenon called iridescent clouds. It occurs in the clouds with ...
small droplets or ice crystals
The effect is similar to irisation. Iridescent clouds are a diffraction phenomenon caused by small water droplets or small ice crystals individually scattering light. Larger ice crystals do not produce iridescence, but can cause halos, a different phenomenon.
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