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View Diary: Pique the Geek 20110605: Misconceptions about Science (112 comments)

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  •  absolutely not (2+ / 0-)
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    Translator, shantysue

    I used to think that and it just isn't true. Water does actually absorb light, not just scatter it. Here's the experiment, easy to do at your neighborhood pool.

    You know that air appears blue because it preferentially scatters blue light. So when you look at a white light (the sun) through air, the light looks reddish, since a lot of the blue has been scattered out.

    Look at a white light under blueish water and it looks blueish. That's because the color comes from absorption of red, not scattering of blue.

    This was gleefully and correctly pointed out to me by a vengeful person whose errors I'd frequently caught, after I'd posted the opposite.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 09:42:48 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I just thought about it, and you are right, (0+ / 0-)

      but for a different reason that you might think.

      As I said, water has no UV chromophore, so is is not reactive with visible light.  However, it is infrared active, due the the O-H bonds, and that activity JUST makes it into the visible spectrum, but barely.

      Since to our eyes the lack of red looks green, water does indeed look like a blue green material.  You are correct, and I was wrong.

      Warmest regards,


      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

      by Translator on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 09:56:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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