8 scattering of light

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8 scattering of light

  1. 1. Earth’s Atmosphere Gases (nitrogen and oxygen) Droplets of water Solid particles (dust, soot, ashes, pollen, salt from the ocean and pollutants)
  2. 2. Earth’s Atmosphere Thinnest atmosphere (less dense) Thickest atmosphere (more dense) earth
  3. 3. Rayleigh Scattering Lord John Rayleigh (English physicist)  Light travels at the straight line as long as nothing disturb it.  As it moves through atmosphere, it bumps into bits of solid particles or gas molecules and becomes scattered in all direction by either reflection or refraction.
  4. 4. Spectrum  The angle through which sunlight scattered varies inversely to the wavelength.  Blue always scattered first and violet last.
  5. 5. Sunrise and Sunset (Red) When sun is near the horizon or near the sky, sunlight travels longer through the atmosphere before it gets to your eyes. However, the blue light is unable to pass. It becomes scattered in the atmosphere before even reach your eye.
  6. 6. Blue Sky  As light moves through the atmosphere, most of the longer wavelengths pass straight through. However, much of the shorter wavelengths interacts with gas molecules and become scattered in the atmosphere.
  7. 7. White Clouds  Clouds in contrast to the blue sky appear white to achromatic gray. The water droplets that make up the cloud are much larger than the molecules of the air and the scattering from them is almost independent of wavelength in the visible range.

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